Best Beef Jerky Recipes

Best Beef Jerky Recipes

Try these simple and delicious meat and beef jerky recipes using a food dehydrator.

Making your own beef jerky is 6 x cheaper than store-bought plus there are no preservatives, MSG or sodium nitrate. Experiment with different flavour combinations, cuts and types of meat.

Homemade Beef Jerky: Top Tips

  • Leanest cuts of meat only: fat can affect the drying times and will become rancid quickly
  • Be sure to allow adequate space in between slices to allow for air circulation
  • Partially freeze meat to make it easier to slice thinly
  • For a chewy jerky cut strips along the grain, for a more tender jerky cut against the grain
  • The thicker you slice your meat the longer it will take to dry
  • Keep your strips as uniform in size as possible to ensure even drying
  • Be sure to let jerky cool completely before storing as any moisture will cause the jerky to spoil.
  • Always store in an airtight container, refrigerated will also extend shelf-life

Beef Jerky Recipes

Basic Jerky Recipe

Ingredients

  • 1 kg trimmed beef topside steak or rump steak
  • 1/2 cup of soy sauce
  • 3 cloves of fresh garlic crushed
  • Optional: 1 tsp chilli flakes
  • Sea salt flakes, for sprinkling before drying the meat

1. Make sure beef is trimmed of any excess fat

2. Slice beef into 5mm thick slices. For a chewy jerky cut strips along the grain, for a more tender jerky cut against the grain

3. Place sliced beef into bowl and add soy sauce, garlic and chilli. Mix together thoroughly. Allow to marinade for 4 hours if possible (it will marinade while dehydrating so is not overly necessary)

4. Place beef slices onto the dehydrator trays ensuring they are not overlapping. You may want to place a drip tray or baking paper on the bottom of the dehydrator (or on last unused tray) to prevent any dripping

5. Dehydrate at 65°C for 6-8 hours

Mexican Beef Jerky

Ingredients

  • 2 large jalapeños, halved (1 seeded)
  • 2 limes, juiced
  • 380ml beef stock
  • 1/2 cup soy sauce
  • 1 kg trimmed beef topside steak
  • Sea salt flakes, for sprinkling before drying the meat

Method
Add both jalapenos to a mini food processor and process until very finely chopped. Transfer into a large bowl. Stir in the lime juice, stock and soy sauce.

Take the beef and cut it into 1/4-inch-thick slices, either with or against the grain.

Add the beef to the marinade, stirring well to coat each slice. Cover and refrigerate for 6 to 8 hours.

Set your dehydrator to 65ºC.

Take your beef out of the fridge and pat dry with a paper towel, lay out on your dehydrating trays being careful not to overlap any of the meat. Sprinkle with the sea salt flakes.

Dry for 5-8 hours until meat is dry with mo moisture left. Depending on if you have cut the meat with or against the grain your meat with either be quite crisp or more pliable.

Kangaroo Jerky

Ingredients

  • ¼ cup soy sauce
  • ¼ cup Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 tsp Cayenne pepper
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp onion powder
  • 1-2 tsp black pepper
  • 1kg Kangaroo fillets

Method
In a large bowl mix together all the marinade ingredients until well combined.

Slice your kangaroo fillets into ¼ inch thick slices and add to marinade. Cover and refrigerate for 6-8 hours.

Set your dehydrator to 65ºC.

Take your kangaroo out of the fridge and pat dry with a paper towel to remove al excess marinade.

Lay kangaroo strips on your dehydrating trays being careful not to overlap any of the meat.

Dry for 5-8 hours until kangaroo strips are dry with no moisture left.

Goat Jerky

Ingredients

  • 1kg goat meat trimmed of all the fat– should be available from most good butchers
  • 1 cup of Worcestershire sauce
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 3 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 4 drops Tabasco (you can put up to 10 drops if you like a fiery jerky)
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 teaspoon paprika

Method
In a large mixing bowl add all the marinade ingredients and whisk together until well combined.

Cut the goat meat into ¼ inch strips and add to marinade. Cover and refrigerate overnight.

Set your dehydrator to 65ºC.

Remove goat meat from the fridge and pat dry with paper towel making sure there is no excess marinade left on the meat.

Lay goat strips out on your dehydrating trays making sure not to overlap any of the meat.

Dry for 5-8 hours until goat is dry with no moisture left.

Salmon Jerky

Ingredients

  • 1kg salmon
  • ½ cup soy sauce
  • 2 Tbsp molasses
  • Juice of one lemon
  • 1 tsp smoked paprika
  • 1 tsp cracked black pepper

Method
Place the soy sauce, molasses, lemon juice, black pepper and paprika in a bowl and mix well.

Using a very sharp knife, remove skin and cut into thin strips against the grain.

Add to marinade, cover and refrigerate for 2 hours.

Set dehydrator to 65ºC.

Remove from liquid and pat dry with paper towel.

Dehydrate for 3-6 hours until dry with no moisture left.

 

Benefits of Homemade Jerky

Save Money
Check out the cost difference between store-bough vs homemade jerky:
Store-bought: generally costs between $5 - $10 for around a 50g packet, if you are consuming just 1 packet per week this equals $364 per year!
Homemade Jerky: 1 kilo beef rump steak (at $15 p/kilo) will make 6 times the amount of jerky as you would get for an average $7 packet, which comes to a total of just $130 per year
$364 vs $130: A food dehydrator literally pays for itself!

Healthier

Due to the perishable nature of meat, a standard packet/store bought jerky can contain a plethora of different preservatives, as well as MSG and sodium nitrate, so that it can sit on supermarket shelves for months on end and still look appealing to the unsuspecting customer!

Making your own jerky ensures you know exactly what is going into your food and there is absolutely no need to use preservatives of any kind. Just natural ingredients, spices and herbs. You can also choose very lean cuts of meat, which reduces fat content.

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Ilonka Hofmann