Do you have steaks piling up in the freezer that don’t get used as often as you’d like? Personally, I am not a huge steak fan, but I am a fan of beef jerky. You can turn that steak intoh delicious convenient jerky for snacks or lunches, heres how to make your own jerky!
You will want to start with a liquid base, some that is commonly used are; coconut animos, soy sauce, and worcestershire sauce. Next adding your dry spices, garlic, onion powder, chilies, and many more. You can get creative and try out different recipes yourself. Make sure to have meat marinating for 24-48 hours in your fridge. Here is one recipe our family have been enjoying;
4-6 steaks (no specific cut, we use every cut that came with purchasing a whole cow)
¼ cup Worcestershire sauce
1 tsp garlic
1 tsp onion powder
2 tsp salt
You will want to make sure you cut off any fat, leaving only the meat. I use a knife for slicing the meat while the meat is still chilly, this make slicing a bit easier as the meat is stiffer. I’ve read some people have been successful in slicing their meat with a mandolin, but I prefer just a knife I enjoy having some thin and some thick cuts. Our Littles find it easier to eat thinner and my husband and I enjoy the thicker cuts. Having both thin and thick you will need to organize the slices on your sheet so you take the thinner slices before over cooking them.
This is the part that makes the jerky. Dehydrated for too long causes the jerky to become dry and brittle. It may take some trail and error. Our first batch was very dry, but I was following a recipe that was using a different dehydrator than mine, so in their it took close to 8 hours, where in my it takes about 5 to 5 ½ hours at 150 degrees F. Depending on your dehydrator you can either lay the meat flat on the sheet, or hang with the right attchaments. Towards the end of the cooking time, you may choose to check the jerky every 30 minutes so it doesn’t dry out. Taste test until you’re happy with it! Look for no pink in the meat, and a good crisp chew to the texture, but not too chewy, like it might be undone. Some meats are fattier, and using a paper towel to blot the fat off may be useful.
When you make your own jerky, it is recommended that you eat it within 2 months in an air tight container, we use glass jars. If it is made properly and vacuum sealed, it can last as long as store bought jerky, years. The color, texture, and smell are all clues to tell you if it is still safe to consume your jerky. Of course, you will have to know how jerky should look, feel, and smell, to give yourself a reference point. The darker the meat becomes the older it is. The recipe for the marinade can affect the color of the meat to a degree, as can the thickness of the meat. Sweet jerky marinade does not result in very dark jerky. Thick cuts of meat are always darker than thin sheets because it takes longer to cook – dehydrate. The jerky should be flexible – it should be bendable. As it ages, it will become brittle and snap if it is too old.