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Easy Beef Jerky

on April 14, 2021

Jerky is my favorite food to take on trips when the low carb higher fat foods I prefer are not readily available. Most store brands have far too much sugar and are expensive; so I make my own.

A slicer makes this wonderful snack food easier, but a good sharp knife or mandolin makes it possible. Whatever method you choose, you want to begin with a leaner cut, I like london broil or thick round steak or round roast; have the meat semi-frozen to make slicing easier. Cut off any excess fat or fascia. Slice as thin as you like and lay pieces on dehydrator racks, or racks or parchment paper on a baking sheet. The number of racks or baking sheets needed will depend on the amount of meat you select.

While many people like to marinate the jerky meat, I don’t think it adds anything but unnecessary sugars, and all you really need is salt, but you can omit salt if you prefer. I like to use different kinds of salt: jalapeno salt (my favorite), Himalayan pink salt, smoked salt, truffle salt all give the meat a lovely flavor.

Using a dehydrator, follow your machine’s directions. I tend to use mine at 135F/57C for 4-6 hours. If the jerky is still too pliable and moist, continue until the meat is dry as you like.

For the oven method: heat the oven to the 135F/57C range; my oven is electric and won’t begin to operate unless I set it to 180F, which I do, then turn off when my oven thermometer reaches the desired temperature; then turn off the heat and let the oven light do the rest overnight. Gas ovens are more flexible and you may be able set the oven at low or just the pilot light will provide sufficient heat over night to dry the meat.

Store the jerky in an air-tight container.

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