Homemade Beef Jerky, Version 1

As a single dad of all boys, you can  probably guess where a fair amount of my food budget goes. If you guessed vegetables, while it probably should be, you would be wrong.  The older boys seem to crave two things. Milk and meat.  I go through a lot of regular old cow’s milk and although I try and honor the “Meatless Monday’s,” there is a fair amount of meat served at this home.

One of the meaty snacks the boys really love is beef jerky.  I don’t buy it that often as it always seems crazy expensive (never understood that actually), so decided to learn how to make it at home.

There is a movement in charcuterie (essentially means ‘cured meats’) in local restaurants, independent butchers, and salumeria’s especially in the Pacific Northwest.  However, the purpose of this post and a follow up 2-3 more, is to show how easy it is to make really tasty beef jerky at home. Oh, and the most important part of this is, it is NOT EXPENSIVE when you do it this way. Save some money and have some fun doing it.  Your kids will love it, and if you need lean energy later in the day, tear off a piece for yourself dad (or mom).

Beef Jerky, Version 1 – Inspired and adapted by the Urban Farm Handbook

Homemade Beef Jerky


  • 1/2 cup soy sauce
  • 1 tsp onion powder
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 pound lean beef, fat trimmed and cut into 1/4 inch slices


  1. Combine all ingredients and thoroughly coat the meat in a non reactive bowl. Let marinate in refrigerator for 2-4 hours (overnight is too long as the soy sauce really goes after the meat).
  2. Place the meat strips into your dehydrator tray on the meat setting (165 degrees) and let dry for 4 to 8 hours.
  3. If you don't have a dehydrator, you can place on a cooling rack (the one you use for your cookies and cakes), inside a baking pan and place in oven at 200 degrees for 4 hours.
  4. Store in airtight bags or jars.
  5. Better yet, eat them!

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