Beef jerky can go one of two ways. It can be the tastiest, spiciest, most delicious thing you’ve ever tasted. Or it can taste like toughened shoe leather.
Beef jerky is utterly delicious when it’s made correctly. That’s one of the greatest benefits of making your own jerky. You can make it as tender as you want and spice it to taste.
We’re going to teach you the best way to make beef jerky, focusing on how long to leave your meat treats in the food dehydrator.
How Long Should You Dehydrate Beef Jerky?
To start, you should focus on getting the right cut of meat. While you can dehydrate any kind of meat (or anything, really!), you’re going to have the best results using low-fat, lean meats.
Flank steak, bottom round, top round, and sirloin tip are all popular cuts for a dehydrated beef jerky recipe. Then you’ll need to prepare your meat for the dehydrator.
Preparing Your Beef For The Food Dehydrator
Once you’ve selected your cut of meat, you’ll want to trim as much of the fat as possible. Then you’ll want to cut the meat as thin as possible. You can use a sharp chef’s knife, or even a meat slicer if you have access to one.
Slice with the grain of the meat for tougher jerky. Cut against the grain if you want tender, chewier beef jerky.
Once you’ve sliced your meat, you’ll want to freeze it for 1 – 2 hours. This creates more even, uniform slices that are easier to work with. Then you’ll want to marinate and season your jerky in whatever way you desire.
Now you’re ready for the food dehydrator.
How Long To Dehydrate Beef Jerky?
When placing your beef cuts in the dehydrator, remember to leave as much room between the slices as possible. This lets the air circulate freely, allowing the meat to dry more uniformly.
Most types of food dehydrators can be used to make beef jerky, so any brand will do. Nesco dehydrators are particularly popular among beef jerky fanatics, however, so you might want to get your hands on one if you’re serious about your dry meat snacks.
Next, set your food dehydrator to 160 degrees. The amount of time it will take to dry completely varies but a good rule of thumb is around 4 hours.
Use a meat thermometer to check the temperature. When the internal temperature reaches 160 degrees, it’s done!
And voila! It’s super simple to make the most delicious beef jerky you’ve ever tasted, even if you don’t have a lot of experience in the kitchen. Not only will you have healthy snacks for ages, you’ll save a load of money while you’re at it!
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