For as long as I can remember I have always loved Jerky. I remember my mom buying it when I was young and dividing it up so that we would each get our equal share.
When I got my dehydrator a couple of years ago, I knew that I needed to make jerky, but somehow I kept putting it off.
A few days ago I had a craving for Jerky and when I got to the store I couldn’t bring myself to buy the small bag with a few scraps for 5.99. It was just too expensive for what it was. So, a couple days ago when I when I was picking up some meat I decided to buy an extra eye of round that was on special and vowed to myself that it would be in the dehydrator becoming jerky in the near future.
I found a couple recipes on the web but I am not the type to just follow a recipe so decided to just make my own.
I started with a 2-3 lb roast and trimmed all the visible fat and then cut the beef thinly with the grain. I like a chewy jerky so cutting it that way makes it a bit more chewy. It is very important that you choose a meat with little fat and trim all of the fat that you can. The fat can not dehydrate and will become rancid over time.
Place the cut slices of beef in a large Ziplock bag with the prepared Marinade
- 1/3 cup worcestershire,
- 1/3 -1/2 cup soy sauce,
- about a tsp of liquid smoke,
- 1 Tbsp of Honey
- 3 Tbsp Balsamic vinegar
- 1 tsp each or so of onion powder, garlic powder and freshly ground pepper.
- I almost added some hot pepper flakes but decided not to in case some of the no-spicy kids wanted some but I think I will add some next time.
I let the beef marinate for nearly 24 hours and then put it in the dehydrator in a single layer filling up about 3 trays of my Excalibur and then started the dehydrator at 155 degrees. After about 2 hours the more thinly slices were done and then over the next hour or two I started to take out more and more. So the thick slices took about 4 hours total.
*note: cooking time will depend on the dehydrator you use and how thinly the meat is sliced. Some dehydrators, like the stacked ones without a fan might even take 12 or more hours. You can also make this in a oven at 150 if your oven goes down that much and you need to leave the oven door slightly open.
Whatever method you use, keep an eye on it. If you leave it in too long it will become very very tough. It will still be good but you will need a strong jaw and good teeth. Also remember that it will harden even more once out of the dehydrator.
I Store all of my dehydrated foods in Mason jars for easy access and to then be air tight. It should last a couple of months.
I don’t think it will last more than a week or so in my house though.
I don’t know why I have been holding out on my myself over these last years that I have had a dehydrator. Not only was this easy to make and much cheaper than any jerky you could buy, it was also the best jerky that I have ever had!
Hope you enjoy!!