Homemade Beef Jerky with bold garlic and spicy flavors
Commercial beef jerky is pretty hit-and-miss. Most of the bags sold in stores have way too much sodium and goofy flavors. I like garlic, and lots of it, especially on meat. I’ve tried numerous recipes and landed on a simple one that tastes great and is easy to do. Avoid any acidic ingredients, such as lime juice. They only make the meat mealy and mushy. Blech.
While this is a recipe geared towards dehydrators (much like my Mixed Berry Fruit Leather), it can also be attempted in your oven. The big question is how low does it go? Anything higher than 250 degrees F is probably too hot. If you go the oven route, I wouldn’t attempt letting it go overnight. Try it during the day and peek in on it every half hour or so and find the right duration for you.
To get the most garlic flavor out of the meat, mix your garlic and beer together a few hours before marinating. If you take a sip of the beer and it tastes like burning, you’re in the ballgame. Next add in the rest of your ingredients. The spice comes from Cholula hot sauce, which is pretty widely available.
For the meat, I like top round. It’s generally in the right shape too, about 3-6 inches tall and nice and long, for jerky. Stick it in the freezer for at least an hour to firm it up and make it easier to slice. (Pound it out with your knife blade if you sliced it too thick.) It doesn’t need to be luncheon-meat thin, but thin enough to take on the marinade. 2 pounds of meat yields roughly 10-12 ounces of jerky.
I generally marinate overnight and stick everything in the dehydrator first thing in the morning. The key is anywhere from 2 to 8 hours, but no more. Then into the dehydrator set to 155 degrees. After about 6 hours, it should be safe. Run it longer depending on personal preference.
Food safety here is pretty important. Check out this summary of great information on preventing food borne illness in your home jerky
- 2 Pounds Thinly Sliced Beef
- 1 Can Your Favorite Beer (Lager)
- 3/4 Cup Soy Sauce
- 2 Tablespoons Worcestershire Sauce
- 1 Tablespoon Honey
- 2 Tablespoons Liquid Smoke
- 1 Tablespoon Cholula hot sauce
- 3 Tablespoons Crushed Garlic
Combine the marinade ingredients in a bowl
Marinate the meat for at least 2 hours, but no more than 8
Place the meat slices in a dehydrator and set to 155 degrees for 6 hours and check the moisture level
Dehydrators vary in effectiveness so you may need anywhere from 1 to 3 more hours to fully dry out the jerky.