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Aug 16, 2013 09:12 AM

Experimenting with jerky

First off, what is your favorite cut of beef to use with jerky?

Also, what are some interesting ways of changing up jerky? I'm thinking of marinating, smoking for 4 hrs, and then rehydrating in the marinate for an hour or two, and then throw it in the dehydrator for a couple hours.

Or maybe reduce the marinate and brush the jerky midway through dehydrating?

How about dehydrating, boiling it in reduced marinate and then dehydrating?

Any thoughts?

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  1. Keep jerkey simple. Lean top sirloin or eye-round cut into 1/2 inch strips, dry rub + liquid smoke + low-sodium teriyaki or Worcestershire-soy marinade, overnight marinade in fridge. Dehydrate in oven or using dehydrator.

    Boiling meat, even after dehydration and in a reduced marinade, is going to do strange things to texture and taste.

    Experiment more with the dry rub and marinade and perfect the dehydration. Nothing else matters. Not even so much the meat if it's lean. Fat does not dehydrate well and will cause jerky to spoil/go rancid pretty quickly.

    1 Reply
    1. re: Rigmaster

      I think the meat has to be very lean, or it can turn rancid quickly. I prefer London broil, rump or eye round. For huge flavor, I like a liquid marinade with very little added water, sliced just under 1/4" thick and marinated for at least 8-10 hours before it hits the dehydrator. Also, I typically let it hang out in the smoker after dehydrating. I may be wrong, but I believe dry meat sucks up the smoke better. Now I'm salivating.

    2. I use a well trimmed brisket flat, sliced thin across the grain.

      Marinate overnight in my mom's seasoning salt, (paprika based), soy sauce, red pepper flakes.

      Lay them flat on paper towels and daub dry and then apply a liberal amount of coarse black pepper.

      Into the dehydrator and voila.

      (I may have to do this over the weekend.)

      1. I've used London Broil. I think that's from the Round. It's very lean (a little fat cap along the edges) and no gristle so there's a high utilization rate. Also, London Broil is often a sales item so you save a few bucks.

        As to your multi-step approach, it depends upon what you're looking for in the final product. A glazed jerky?

        Personally, I like to keep it straightforward where I marinade and dehydrate. I like the jerky fairly dry to the touch.

        1. i made jerky once for my sister to take to camp

          1 1/2 to 2 pounds flank steak
          2/3 cup Worcestershire sauce
          2/3 cup soy sauce
          1 tablespoon honey
          2 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper
          2 teaspoons onion powder
          1 teaspoon liquid smoke
          1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
          hung it tooth picks and sllllllooow cooked it in the oven at 200 for something like 8 hours over a foil pan to catch the drippings

          2 Replies
          1. re: girloftheworld

            Thanks guys. I've just wondering how it is to get a maximally flavorful jerky!

            I'm thinking of leave it in the fridge overnight, to make the meat nice and dry and ready to absorb the marinade.

            Marinade overnight.

            Smoke for 4 hrs on low heat.

            Transfer to dehydrator.

            I'll save a slab that I'll remarinate after smoking and see what happens!

            Not over complicating it am I?

            1. re: bshee

              My son has been making delicious jerky for years, and all he does is rub it with a dry rub, or brush on some teriyaki sauce, hang it from the oven racks with a cookie sheet below, and leave it there for hours at 200'.
              That's what I call not complicated.

          2. A nice way to spice up jerky is to try different meats. Chicken, Turkey, Pork, Fish, Kangaroo?

            Always loved turkey jerky.

            3 Replies
            1. re: NekoNekoFancyPants

              my grandfather gets fabulous jerky from South Africa a place called called belton I think it is antelope..