Saturday, January 13, 2018

Homemade beef jerky

Sadly, shop bought beef jerky is not as natural or as good for you as it should be. It is a simple product that has been like many these days adulterated with numerous additives that quite frankly are bad for your health. However, it is quite easy to make at home with little effort.
Here's how to make the best beef jerky you will ever taste, with no guilt!

You will need -
2 pounds of beef
(Flank is good as it is thin, however I used offcuts from our beef steer and it was a mix of cuts)
1/4 cup soy sauce
2 tbsp of worcester sauce
2 tbsp brown sugar
2 tbsp smoked paprika (I use this instead of liquid smoke)
1 tsp regular paprika
1 tsp garlic powder
2 tsp salt
1 tsp or more of cracked black pepper, use to your taste

Cut the meat into slices no bigger than 1/4 inch (see tip below)
Place in a roomy bowl and add all the ingredients, mix well
The jerky should marinade for at least 8 hours or better still overnight
The next day place the jerky which will be smelling wonderful in a strainer as the liquid marinade needs to drain. (The remaining marinade can be used again, I used it on a pork roast)

This next step is absolutely crucial and cannot be missed, the beef must be heated to kill any potential bacteria. This should be done by placing the meat on a tray and cooking it for 20 minutes on 300 degrees.  I must admit that I did give it an extra 5 minutes to be sure.

Once the jerky has cooled it is time to cook it. I use a dehydrator set on its highest setting, the jerky will cook on a temperature around 170 degrees for quite a few hours. If you are using an oven set the temperature on its lowest setting which on our cooker is 170. 

Tip - If you find it a bit of a struggle to cut the beef so thin, you can place it between two sheets of clingfilm and bash them with a meat tenderizer or a rolling pin until desired thinness!

The jerky can take anywhere between 7 and 15 hours to cook, mine was ready after 8 hours. It must be slightly bendy but not so brittle that it falls to pieces. If in doubt cook it a bit longer. 
Once it has finished cooking, let it cool and pack it into a jar or if you have a vacuum sealer use that keep the jerky longer. I put some in vacuum sealed bags in the freezer and the rest in a jar in the fridge. 

The finished product

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