Sticks of beef jerky in a round brown and tan bowl with a brown and white towel behind all on a wooden surface (with logo overlay)

How to Make Beef Jerky

Use a dehydrator to dry out seasoned beef to make your own homemade beef jerky. It keeps a long time for a great snack at home or on the road.

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Growing up, my family went camping about once per month. Sometimes it was local, other times we would drive for hours to get to the campground. One consistency: my dad always had beef jerky as a driving food.

Fast forward, and I’m sure it’s still my dad’s favorite driving food, but Justin also loves it, too. His dad makes his own at home with deer meat when he goes hunting.

We borrowed the dehydrator originally to make some crystallized pineapple. Then Justin decided he wanted to make some beef jerky. Since we used beef instead of deer meat, we had to change some of the seasonings and flavor.

Either way, this was a great way to make it at home. It let Justin control the taste, and we could keep it to clean ingredients. There weren’t any preservatives in our jerky.

We have a few of the silica packets (yes, like the ones you get in a box with shoes) that we use to keep the beef jerky fresh.

Step by Step

Slice the steak into thin strips.

Strips of beef on a bamboo cutting board on a wooden surface

In a medium bowl, whisk the vegetable oil, soy sauce, liquid smoke, and A1 sauce. Add the salt, pepper, garlic, and red pepper flakes.

Beef jerky marinade in a stainless steel bowl on a wooden surface

Cover the steak strips with the marinade. Refrigerate for at least 2 hours.

Strips of beef covered in marinade in a stainless steel bowl on a wooden surface

Place the steak strips in a dehydrator and set according to manufacturer settings.

Strips of seasoned beef on the racks of a round dehydrator on a wooden surface

Dehydrate for 12-24 hours, depending on the thickness of the steak and the power of the dehydrator.

Sticks of beef jerky in a round brown and tan bowl with a brown and white towel behind all on a wooden surface (vertical)

Leftovers

Store the beef jerky in an airtight container at room temperature. If you have any silica gel packets or something similar to keep any hydration out, those help keep it longer. Either way, the beef jerky should be good for at least a week.

Recipe

Originally Published On: September 21, 2020

Sticks of beef jerky in a round brown and tan bowl with a brown and white towel behind all on a wooden surface

Beef Jerky

Use a dehydrator to dry out seasoned beef to make your own homemade beef jerky. It keeps a long time for a great snack at home or on the road.
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 12 hours
Marinade Time 2 hours
Total Time 14 hours 10 minutes
Course: Snack
Cuisine: American
Keyword: beef, dehydrator
Servings: 25 pieces

Ingredients

  • 1 lb steak (lean)
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • 1/2 cup soy sauce
  • 1/4 cup liquid smoke
  • 1 tbsp A1 steak sauce
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp pepper
  • 1 tbsp garlic (minced)
  • 1 tbsp crushed red pepper flakes

Recommended Equipment

Instructions

  • Slice the steak into thin strips
  • In a small bowl, whisk the vegetable oil, soy sauce, liquid smoke, and A1 sauce
  • Add the salt, pepper, garlic, and red pepper flakes
  • Cover the steak strips with the marinade
  • Refrigerate for at least 2 hours
  • Place the steak strips in a dehydrator and set according to manufacturer settings
  • Dehydrate for 12-24 hours, depending on the thickness of the steak and the power of the dehydrator
  • Store in an airtight container
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Nutrition Facts
Beef Jerky
Amount Per Serving (1 piece)
Calories 80 Calories from Fat 63
% Daily Value*
Fat 7g11%
Saturated Fat 5g25%
Cholesterol 11mg4%
Sodium 307mg13%
Potassium 67mg2%
Carbohydrates 1g0%
Fiber 1g4%
Sugar 1g1%
Protein 4g8%
Vitamin A 98IU2%
Vitamin C 1mg1%
Calcium 4mg0%
Iron 1mg6%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

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10 thoughts on “How to Make Beef Jerky”

  1. I used to have a coworker who always made this when I was in NJ and never knew how. Thanks for sharing the recipe. I will give it a try.

  2. Fascinating. I’ve seen it in bags at the supermarket and wondered how it is made and I thought it was a special treat for pets.

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