Sunday, December 19, 2010

Homemade Beef Jerky

Making beef jerky is becoming a holiday tradition, and a big hit with the men in the family on Christmas morning. This year my five year old son helped with every single step.

First, we make a marinade of soy sauce, salt, pepper, garlic, ginger, and worchestershire sauce. S carefully measured and mixed the ingredients before we carefully cut the London Broil into 1/4 inch-wide strips. It is important to use a lean cut of meat as fat makes the jerky tough and unchewable.

After all the meat was cut into strips, we layered it in a glass dish, carefully pouring some marinade over each layer. This mixture sat in the fridge for about 12 hours, soaking up flavor. For this batch we used about 4.5 pounds of meat which resulted in just over a pound, or half gallon jar full of jerky.

After soaking, the jerky is spread out on racks and placed in the oven over parchment paper (to catch the drippings). The meat dehydrates in the oven at 140-160 degrees for about 8 hours at which point the temperature can be lowered to 120-130. The jerky should be closely watched at this point to prevent the creation of jerky chips. The meat should bend and crack slightly without breaking when it is done. It is then removed from the oven and allowed to cool before packaging and storing in a cool, dry place.

S was soooo proud of the jerky he made this year! He can't wait to have his own hand-made gift to give to his grandfathers this year.
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  1. looks yummy! I made ours out of ground meat this last time and instead of using soy sauce I used coconut amino's. It is slightly sweet and added really good flavor. We went through 4.5 lbs in under two weeks.

  2. I know! It's easy to eat it all up quickly, especially as a holiday travel snack! I'll look into the coconut aminos... I've never heard of them.