Today is my 23rd anniversary. In honor of this I am making an entry about something my hubby really loves, well the whole family loves and that is home-made beef jerky. A place on the way into town makes theirs and they sell it for 19.00 a pound. NO, I am not joking.
I used to make jerky in a dehydrater until mine broke after heavy use. Now I make it either in my oven or my toaster oven.
Heres is a really good link to get you started if you have a dehydrater. Liss from Budget101.com used to run a very busy list I was on. Her site has a TON of useful information: http://www.budget101.com/dehydrated-dried-food-mixes/how-make-jerky-step-step-3363.html
You may use my marinade recipe for it below. If you don’t have a dehydrater you can use your oven.
Here is how I do it:
You will need 1-2 pounds of lean boneless meat, flank steaks or cheap roast partially frozen
1/2 cup of soy sauce
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup Worcestershire sauce
1 tsp garlic powder and 1 tsp onion powder
1/4 tsp black pepper
1/2 tsp liquid smoke
1/2 tsp red pepper flakes (optional)
Trim and discard all fat from meat (it becomes rancid quickly). Cut meat into 1/2 or 1/4 inch slices (with or across grain as you wish). If necessary, cut large slices to make strips about 1 1/2 inches wide as long as possible. If you want to have wide strips instead, you need to cut the meat 1/4 inch slices.
In a bowl or a zip lock bag combine all other ingredients, stir or shake until all the seasonings are dissolved. Add meat strips and mix to thoroughly coating all surfaces. (The meat will absorb most of the liquid.) Set for 8 hours or refrigerate all night.
Spray oven cooling rack with PAM and use an aluminum cake pan as a “drip pan” to catch the drips from the meat. Shake off any excess liquid and arrange strips of meat close together, but not overlapping directly on cake racks set in shallow rimmed baking pans. Let dry in VERY slow oven (150 to 175 degrees), bake until done in 200 degree oven (3-4 hours). Do not over dry; the jerky will be crunchy. Store in air tight container at room temperature.
You can use your oven rack but must spray it with pam and lay an aluminum drip catcher tray on the bottom of the oven OR place meat over tooth picks between the oven rack rungs instead. Any of these methods work. If your oven does not go to 200 degrees you can have it higher and prop open the oven door.