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Jan 11, 2013 08:07 AM

Basic Beef Jerky Recipe Wanted

I am wanting to make some beef jerky at home. I was wondering if anyone had knowledge as to what the minimal ingredients one needed for jerky. Is it just beef and kosher/sea salt? Then dry that?

If it is only salt and meat, what is the minimal amount of salt to keep the sodium levels down?

Also, I was wondering about dehydrator suggestions if anyone has any. I am going to try Alton Brown's HVAC filters and box fan method this first time, but if I like what comes out I may get a dehydrator down the road.


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  1. For 1 lb of beef I use (roughly):
    1/4 c soy sauce
    1T or so brown sugar
    1-2T Worcestershire sauce
    1t liquid smoke (unless I smoke the jerky)
    1t or so onion powder
    ground black pepper to taste (I like more than my wife does; a friend rolls his in cracked pepper after marinading -- good, but I have to scrape a lot of the pepper off before eating.)
    habanero powder or pepper sauce to taste (none is ok, too)

    I cut the beef about 1/8 inch thick or a little more. Be sure to remove all the fat you can. If you want, you can cut it thicker and pound it a bit to break down the fibers. Don't pound too thin or it will get hard fast. Marinade for 24 hours in a plastic or glass container (not metal!) in the fridge. Pat dry lightly with paper towels (damp is OK, not wet, though). Dry for 6-8 hours (I use the dehydrate setting on my micro-convection oven) until dry but still flexible.

    Here is AB's recipe

    1. My son makes beef jerky by slicing it thin and rubbing in some kind of spice rub or teriyaki sauce. Never noticed him using any extra salt.
      To dry it, he sets the oven at 200', puts a jelly roll pan on the bottom rack to catch the drippings, then hangs the beef strips over the upper racks like a clothesline.
      He keeps it in there for quite a few hours - four to six, I think.

      1. My son is a hunter and we make venison jerky all the time using AB's recipe. We don't have a dehydrator so put on racks over sheet pans in the oven set on lowest setting for 5-6 hours.

        1. The only necessity is salt.
          That said most folks would not find that jerky very tasty.
          Personally I like at least some Black Pepper or Red Pepper and some sweet too.
          You can use almost any other flavoring you like.
          Minced Lemon Grass
          Fish Sauce
          Dark Soy
          Sambal Olek
          Toasted Sesame Seeds

          1 Reply
          1. re: chefj

            Fish sauce is an excellent idea. Thank you.

          2. The most basic recipe I have found online so far is salt pepper and marjoram.

            Thank you all for the responses.