Are you an avid beef jerky enthusiast but aren’t sure how to make that delicious snack just right on your own?
Making your own homemade jerky is a great idea because you control the ingredients that go in and you know exactly what you’re getting. But this can be a tricky task!
If you’re looking for the best beef jerky recipe for the dehydrator, look no further. We’ll show you how to get perfect jerky from scratch.
Start With a Good Meat
You can’t have delicious jerky if you don’t have a solid base. A good rule of thumb is to pick the cut of meat that has the least amount of fat. The smaller the fat content, the longer your jerky will last and the better it will taste.
You’ll also want to make sure that you’re selecting the freshest cut of meat as well. Purchase enough of it, because beef jerky will lose the greater portion of its weight when it’s dried. If you want a pound of beef jerky, by three pounds of meat.
But what cuts of meat have the least amount of fat on them?
The most popular choice is the eye of round. It’s lean and it has very little fat. The grain is easy to slice along and, best of all, it’s cheap.
Bottom and top round are also great choices. They’re both less expensive and lean, though bottom round might have some marbling on the inside. Sirloin tip, flank steak, and even lean ground meat are all great choices as well.
The Prep Work
Once you’ve got your meat, it’s time to prep it. If you go to a butcher, you can always ask them to slice the beef for you. If you want to take matters into your own hand, freeze your beef for about an hour in order to slice it a little easier.
You’ll want to slice with the grain and make sure they’re as thin as you can possibly get them.
If you’re looking to make 5 pounds of jerky, here’s what you’re going to need:
- 5 pounds of the beef of your choice
- 2 cups soy sauce
- 3 cups Worcestershire sauce
- 2 cups of a high-quality teriyaki sauce
- 1 cup of liquid smoke
- Â½ cup dark corn syrup (or blackstrap molasses, if you’re feeling adventurous)
- 3 tbs garlic powder
- 3 tbs onion powder
- 3 tbs sesame seeds
- 3 tbs brown sugar
- 1 tsp cayenne pepper
Make sure you pick high-quality ingredients here. The better your ingredient quality, the better your beef jerky will be.
The Best Beef Jerky Recipe for the Dehydrator
First, mix your wet ingredients together. Once they’re incorporated, add the dry ingredients. You can go heavy or light on the cayenne pepper, depending on your tastes. The more you add, the spicier it’ll be.
Add your meat to the marinade you just made and make sure you cover it the whole way up. Cover the container and stick it in the fridge for at least a day. As tempting as it might be to skip this step and just jump to the dehydrating, don’t do it. You want the meat to soak up all that goodness.
Pull the meat from the marinade, but don’t worry about rinsing the strips off. Just place the strips on your dehydrator trays and make sure they don’t touch.
From there, all you have to do is dehydrate them at 160F for four hours. Check them, flip them over, and then slide them back in for about 2 more hours, or until all of your jerky is dry.
You’ll know your jerky is dry when you can tear a piece off easily. If you can snap them in half with no effort, they’re over dry.
Set them out on the counter for no longer than a day so they can finish drying.
Dehydrate All The Things!
We hope our best beef jerky recipe for the dehydrator has inspired you to give dehydrating your food a try. This is a basic recipe, but it’s a delicious base, one that you can build off of and twist once you get comfortable dehydrating your food.
If you liked that recipe and you want to give it a try, check out our food dehydration tips here!