Homemade Beef Jerky

We’re big fans of beef jerky in our house. The biggest problem we have is that it’s quite expensive to buy and the readily available stuff isn’t the greatest quality or flavour. I’ve wanted to make some at home for the longest time but have never gotten around to it. Until now.
I scoured the internet and found some recipes. The first one I found was by The Healthy Foodie. It looked amazing but there are so many ingredients and I really didn’t want to go and buy liquid smoke. The other recipe I found was on allrecipes.com. It was much more compact so I decided to use that as a base. I was going to use brisket as suggested by The Healthy Foodie rather than top round in the other recipe. I like brisket a lot; it’s so versatile and not too expensive either. As it comes from the chest of the cow it is a hard working muscle so takes well to long slow cooking.

Beef Jerky - brisket
Brisket, before slicing

I unpacked my brisket and trimmed off as much of the fat and sinew as I could. I saved the trimmings for a beef broth my wife plans to make. It’s always good to save bones and other trimmings for stock, they really help add to the flavour. After I’d trimmed the brisket I placed it into the freezer for an hour. This helps to firm up the meat which make it easier to slice nice and thin.

Before taking the brisket out of the freezer I prepared the marinade.

I took the allrecipes.com recipe but reduced the amount of soy sauce and Worcestershire sauce by a third. In fact, I didn’t even use Worcestershire sauce, I used Henderson’s Relish which I prefer. Henderson’s Relish, or Hendo’s as its know, is similar to Worcestershire sauce but it is vegetarian (In fact it’s Vegetarian Society Approved) and doesn’t taste quite as salty.

Beef Jerky - marinade
Marinade for the beef jerky

I ended up using 1/2 cup of Hendo’s, 1/2 cup of light soy sauce, 1 tablespoon of clear honey, 1 tablespoon of smoked paprika, 2 teaspoons of freshly ground black pepper and 1 teaspoon each of dried chilli flakes, onion granules and garlic granules. I mixed all of these together in a bowl and set it to one side.

I was now ready to start slicing the brisket. It was quite a large piece, around 2kg before I trimmed it so I cut it in half before slicing. We like to be able to eat our jerky easily so I sliced across the grain of the meat. If you prefer a chewier jerky then you can cut with the grain to give you long strands of meat. I sliced the meat about as thin as I could manage with a good sharp knife. As you can see I ended up with a rather large pile of brisket slices.

Beef jerky marinating
Beef jerky marinating

Next, I mixed the meat slices and the marinade together and placed them into a tub and then into the fridge. I mixed it up again before I went to bed and left it in the fridge overnight. I think it marinated for around 20 hours in total.

Beef jerky going into the oven

It smelled amazing as I was removing it from the tub. I put as much as I could onto racked trays without overfilling them. I wanted to make sure that air could flow around the pieces and dry them.

Beef jerky, about half way there
Beef jerky, about half way there

The jerky pieces were in the oven for 3 hours at around 60 Celsius before I turned them over and left them for another 3 hours. At the end of the next 3 hours I found that a lot of the jerky still wasn’t dry enough so I just left it in the oven, checking it regularly until it was. I think the length of time the jerky spends in the oven is very dependant on how thick the cut is and how predictable your oven’s performance is.

Finished beef jerky
Finished beef jerky

In the end I had so much brisket that I had to do two batches of jerky. I’m really happy with the outcome – the jerky was tasty, dry and chewy enough for us. It’s also a product that you can change to your tastes. You can pretty much add whatever spices and flavourings you want to it! Additionally, if you have a good dehydrater, you don’t even have to use your oven. Next time we’re trying teriyaki flavoured jerky, as requested by my wife.

Jerky is a high protein, low fat, low carbohydrates snack that anyone can make. All it takes is patience and a big chunk of meat. It doesn’t even need to be beef. You can even do it with chicken, turkey or pork! Enjoy!

37 Comments

  1. Corinne and Kirsty
    February 6, 2018
    Reply

    So, I never had beef jerky before and i didn’t even know what it was. but it looks super yummy! so when the cold goes away and the barbecue is out, i am gonna try it!

    • February 6, 2018
      Reply

      That sounds like a great idea. You’d get ge added smokiness too.

  2. EG III
    February 6, 2018
    Reply

    I wish I would have had this recipe back when I was still a meat eater. Jerky was always one of my faves and this looks divine!

      • EG III
        February 6, 2018
        Reply

        Good idea!

        • February 6, 2018
          Reply

          I’m trying to think what would work…courgettes maybe. Or you could make it the same way you would a fruit leather.

          • EG III
            February 8, 2018

            I’ve seen veggie jerky in stores so I know it’s possible…I’ll have to examine it further.

  3. February 7, 2018
    Reply

    even I like the recipes from allrecipes.com, the pictures of beef jerky look really amazing, would love to try

  4. February 7, 2018
    Reply

    This is something my brother would like he eats meat a lot surely try this one for him .Thanks.

  5. February 7, 2018
    Reply

    What a great recipe! Sounds like something my father would love. I have to try it!

  6. February 7, 2018
    Reply

    Awesome! My girlfriend absolutely loves homemade jerky and has been on a real health kick lately. This is exactly the kind of stuff she freaks out about. Sending to her now to see what she thinks 🙂

  7. roadaviator
    February 7, 2018
    Reply

    Beef jerky is something new for me. I love to eat non veg food but I worship this animal and so I cannot eat it at all. I think you can understand it. I’ll try to fit this recipe with other animals.

    • February 7, 2018
      Reply

      I totally understand! It would definitely work with other meat such as lamb, goat, chicken etc.

  8. kellyhutchinson37920
    February 7, 2018
    Reply

    I am excited to try making homemade beef jerky. I always hate spending so much on the store bought jerky and they son’t always taste that great.

  9. February 8, 2018
    Reply

    not much of a cook but your recipe is pretty straight forward. think i ill give it a try thanks steve!

  10. February 8, 2018
    Reply

    Even though I personally don’t eat beef, I know that my husband will love this recipe. I’ll have to share the link to your recipe with him!

  11. February 9, 2018
    Reply

    I used to love beef back in grade school to high school, but now i cut my meat intake for a lifestyle change 🙂
    But once in awhile i do enjoy a good beef!

  12. Afternoon Tees
    February 9, 2018
    Reply

    I didn’t think beef jerky was that easy to make, will have to give it a go! A nice cold beer and some salty chewy jerky…. heaven!

  13. February 9, 2018
    Reply

    I’m ashamed to say I’ve never tried jerky before!!! This does look really good though and maybe I should finally give it a go 🙂

    • February 9, 2018
      Reply

      I’ll admit, it’s not for everyone. But if you like cured meats you’re likely to be fond of it.

  14. February 9, 2018
    Reply

    I never knew how to make it. I prefer it thick rather than thin!

    • February 9, 2018
      Reply

      The great thing about making your own is that you can make it exactly as you like it!

  15. February 10, 2018
    Reply

    I love beef jerky, this seems surprisingly simple … i definitely have to try it!

  16. February 26, 2018
    Reply

    This looks so good, I might try it myself. I am going on a road trip and jerky is always a great snack for the road.

  17. maryosadolor
    March 20, 2018
    Reply

    I have always wanted to learn how to make beef jerky, but never got round to actually doing it. This has really awakened my interest to get it done. Thank you so much for the recipe.

    • March 20, 2018
      Reply

      I’m glad you like it! I hope you have a go and let me know how you get on 🙂

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