Trim all visible fat from the beef, wrap in plastic wrap, and place in the freezer for an hour or two to partially freeze.
While the meat is in the freezer, combine the soy sauce, water, brown sugar, ground black pepper, sea salt, garlic powder, & onion powder in a bowl or ziplock bag and mix well.
Remove the meat from the freezer and slice ¼" strips against the grain for an easy chew. Slice with the grain for a chewier jerky. Or skip the freezing phase and use a Jerky Slicer.
Add sliced beef to the mixture and marinate for 8-24 hours in the refrigerator.
After the meat has finished marinating, remove from refrigerator and strain excess marinade.
Pat dry the strips with paper towels.
Dry with your Dehydrator, Smoker, or Oven. Click the links or read the post above for more detailed drying information.
The jerky is finished when it bends and cracks, but does not break in half.
Marinate for 24 hours for the most flavorful tasting jerky.
When using a smoker, make sure the smoke is a nice clear/blue color, NOT white. If you have white smoke, increase your temperature. The white smoke can alter the taste of the jerky... not in a good way!
When testing the jerky to see if it is finished, let it cool for 5 minutes before testing it. Once cool, bend a piece, it should bend and crack but not break in half.
Best wood chips to use are apple wood and hickory.