I absolutely love beef jerky, however the price is something I do not love. Why is it such a delicious snack is so expensive to buy when you can make it at home yourself?
So recently I was determined to set out and make my own beef jerky. Even though I own a food dehydrator, I realise not many people do, and to make proper beef jerky without getting food poisoning, you need quite a decent dehydrator which can cost a bit of money.
This recipe I’ve created and perfected requires just a standard oven (fan-forced will obviously be better, but not essential). While the marinade is an obvious and important step in the process, the way the jerky is cooked and the temperature is essential. Overcook it and it will be difficult to eat, under-cook it and it’ll be chewy and gross.
The type of beef you want to use is most likely corned beef. It’s not the most expensive cut of beef, but it works really well. Find a piece that has the least amount of fat, a little fat makes great jerky, a lot makes bad jerky.
The perfect beef jerky marinade
- 3 teaspoons of salt (Pink Himalayan rock salt works well, but any salt will do, make sure you crack it first though, or you’ll get chunks of salt in your jerky)
- 2 teaspoons of pepper
- 1 teaspoon of Tabasco (or equivalent hot pepper based sauce)
- 1 teaspoon of smoked paprika (you can use liquid smoke instead if you prefer)
- 1 teaspoon of garlic powder
- 1 teaspoon onion powder
- 2 tablespoons of brown sugar
- 2 tablespoons of Worcestershire sauce
- 1/4 cup soy sauce
I personally like my jerky to taste a little smokey and barbeque-y, but if you don’t, leave out the smoked paprika and add in a little more pepper for a more peppery taste instead. Liquid smoke is hard to get in Australia, but if you can, liquid smoke is a nice addition instead of smoked paprika.
Preparing the meat
I advise if you’re not too good at cutting meat to get your local butcher to cut the meat for you into 1/4 inch wide beef strips. Uniform size means it’ll all cook at the same time.
- Combine all of the marinade ingredients in a large bowl.
- Place all of the beef strips into the bowl of marinade.
- Cover with plastic wrap and place in the fridge for at least 24 hours.
Cooking the meat
After allowing meat to marinate for 24 hours, we can then cook it at a very low temperature for an extended period of time.
- Preheat the oven to 65 degrees Celsius in a non-fan-forced oven (or 50 degrees Celsius in a fan-forced oven).
- Place the meat strips onto a plastic cutting board put a piece of cling wrap over the top.
- Using a meat mallet or something heavy with a flat surface, pound the meat flat into 1/8 inch thick pieces.
- Place meat on a wire rack so heat can reach all sides (top, bottom and sides).
- Cook for approximately 4 hours or until the jerky cracks when bent, not snaps.
There you have it, the perfect Beef Jerky recipe cooked in an oven. Feel free to tweak the recipe, add in some teriyaki flavouring sauce if you want a more teriyaki based jerky.