Beef Jerky

I have not made this recipe in a few years but probably made it for about 30 years so my husband could take this homemade jerky to “Deer Camp”.  Some protein for the guys to chew on while they were out in the woods.  I will probably never make this recipe again but I wanted to record it for all my family, friends and others who are interested in making ‘jerky’.

Nowadays you can buy all kinds of jerky and I am sure the guys would have enjoyed the variety.     A little history on beef jerky…  It is sliced and trimmed meat, that is dried very slowly.  This process was used when there was no method of refrigeration.  It goes as far back as ancient Egypt and South America in the 16th century.  The word itself – jerky – is a variation on an Incan word, charqui which translates to “burn meat”.

Below are some of the varieties of ‘jerky’ you can buy at Trader Joe’s:

DSC_0389 DSC_0390

It is nice to know that over the years I have made my jerky like they do; quality meat trimmed of fat, no preservatives or flavor enhancers such as nitrites or MSG.  I followed the same process of marinating the strips of meat for 24 hours and slowly drying in my oven.  Gene made special racks out of screens  to fit my double ovens.  I made only one kind of jerky, Trader Joe’s make seven!

Beef Jerky

  • 4 to 5 lbs. round steak, partially frozen (easier to slice)
  • 2/3 tsp. garlic powder
  • 2/3 tsp. pepper
  • 2 tsp. onion powder
  • 1/2 cup Worcestershire sauce
  • 1/2 cup low-sodium soy sauce
  • 1 tsp. hickory smoke-flavored salt

Trim all visible fat from the round steaks.  Slice partially frozen meat, 1/8 to 1/4-inch slices across the width.  Combine the rest of the ingredients and pour over meat.  Place the slices side by side in shallow pans so all of the meat marinates.  Marinate for 24 hours, turning a couple of times.

Drain meat on both sides with paper towels to remove excess liquid.  Arrange meat strips close together, but not overlapping, on oven racks.

Dry beef at the lowest possible temperature without cooking the meat (with door cracked) until the meat has turned brown, feels hard and is dry to the touch.  This drying process will take about 5 hours or more.  Pat off any beads of oil and store in airtight containers.

Recipe by cooking with aunt juju  

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