Homemade Beef Jerky, Version 2 – Black Pepper Jerky

My progression with homemade beef jerky has been fun, and the boys seem to enjoy all of this experimentation (did I tell you how much they love jerky?).

I tried a second recipe for beef jerky and I actually think it is a step back from Version 1, which I wrote about a couple weeks ago, but, it is important to share, since it was rabidly devoured in short order again.

Lessons Learned

Lesson 1 – I simply need to find a cut of meat that has less fat. While fat may be great for grilling steaks, burgers, and other meaty goodness, it is terrible to deal with dried out grizzle. It is hard to eat, horrific to chew, and doesn’t add any value that I can see.  Most recipes seem to call for lean round, but there still seems to be an awful lot of fat. I suppose we can trim more off, or have the butcher do it, but all that meat you bought (per lb) becomes a significantly less yield.

Lesson 2 – Onion and garlic powder seem to be the key. In version 1, the soy certainly penetrated the meat and it had a nice Asian taste to it, but that garlic and onion powder, seem to be showing up in all the recipes, and must give the jerky that depth of flavor that makes this lean treat so delicious.

I am already on my 3rd batch, and it seems to be going splendid…will share later this week.

Homemade Beef Jerky, Version 2 - Black Pepper Jerky


  • 2 lbs trimmed beef top or bottom round
  • 3 cups amber ale or lager
  • 2 cups soy sauce
  • 1/2 cup Worcestershire sauce
  • 2 tbsp cracked black peppercorns, plus 2 more tbsp for sprinkling before drying meat


  1. Combine all ingredients (except bonus cracked pepper) and coat meat in a nonreactive bowl. Cover and and refrigerate for at least 6-8 hours (soy really works on meat so no more than 8).
  2. Preheat oven to 200 degrees. Set a large wire rack over a baking sheet.
  3. Remove meat and pat dry with paper towels.
  4. Sprinkle coarse pepper and bake for 4 hours, or place in dehydrator on meat setting for same amount of time.
  5. Remove and dried-beef jerky can be kept in airtight bags in fridge for up to 6 weeks.

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