Homemade Jerky – 4 Ways

Homemade Jerky – 4 Ways

It was 5 years ago that I last posted on jerky. So much has changed in my life since then, most importantly, gained a wife and 2 new daughters. Way back when I was learning and experimenting, I (we) learned a lot. I mean a lot. Like, best meat? Beef top or bottom round or the “pectoral” muscle of a cow, and if your cousin gives you some deer meat from his most recent fall kill, that will work too.

I also “beefed” up my game because there are a few people in this house that at one time or another have been on a primarily protein diet. To accomplish that with some flair, it was time to dust off the jerky recipes, update the experiments, and settle on some consistent winners.

For your ease, all 4 faves are right here with links to the original posts WAY BACK in time.

Note: I am now just saying “jerky” where before I said “beef jerky” simply because the venison version was phenomenal and if you have family like I do, you need to find a way to extend the life of that deer in jerky form!

Note 2: I have now discovered that both top and bottom beef round (cheap at Costco) and venison steaks or chops are great, but the very best, most lean, least fat, is the pectoral meat of the cow. I will refer to all of these as meat for the sake of your ease, resourcefulness, and availability.

Note 3: All “how tos” are at the end of the 4 versions because they are all the same. Again, tried, true and darn delicious even for the rookie jerky maker. Big T means tablespoon and little t means teaspoon.

Version 1 – Basic

2 1/2 pounds meat
2 t onion powder
2 t garlic powder
1 c soy sauce

Version 2 – Black Pepper

2 1/2 pounds meat
3 c lager or ale
2 c soy
1/2 c Worcestershire
2 T black pepper, plus more for sprinkling

Version 3 – Chipotle

2 1/2 pounds meat
1 1/2 T kosher salt
1 3/4 t garlic powder and onion powder
1/2 c chipotle peppers in adobo, diced

Version 4 – Best Ever

2 1/2 pounds meat
1 c soy sauce
1 c Worcestershire sauce
1 cup teriyaki sauce
1/2 c liquid smoke
1/4 c blackstrap molasses
1 1/2 T garlic powder, onion powder, sesame seeds, brown sugar
1/2 t cayenne

For All

Cut meat into 1/4 inch strips (hack: freeze meat for 30-45 mins and then slice).

Marinate for up to 24 hours but a minimum of 8.

You can do either:

1) Place on cake rack over baking sheet in oven at no higher than 200 degrees (160 is optimal but takes longer)

2) Smoke at same temp on your grill or smoker.

3) Dehydrate

All the above take 3-6 hours depending on how a) how fast you want to consume, b) lower temp goes longer, c) desired consistency.

Let sit as long as you can stand it, as much as 24 hours. If you can go the full 24 your will be rewarded.

Look for a “tearing” effect, meaning, when you take a piece and your tear it, it doesn’t break off evenly, rather, has a stringy-like pull.

Store in freezer bags, any other airtight container, or vacuum seal. Keeps in pantry for several weeks, freezer with vacuum seal, indefinitely.

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