BEEF JERKY at Home Recipe, Big Protein and Low Calorie Treat, Helpful Hints

Make in your oven or in a dehydrator at home.
We have made jerky in the past.  Several years ago Brian got me a dehydrator and I have made it with that.  It was good but messy and I am not a big devotee of dry, tough, raw meat!  On the other hand Brian loves it and in trying to keep on this semi-diet it might be wise to invest in exploring jerky further!

I remember Alton Brown rigging a dryer out of a box fan and furnace filters.  I don't think I want to do that but with an oven and a home dehydrator there is potential for coming up with a decent jerky I hope.

This morning I have been on a quest for potential recipes.  Many are similar to Alton's.  I found a top ten list in Men's Journal and between them and Alton I hope to be inspired!

2 1/2 pounds sirloin.
Sooo....I made my bi-weekly trip to Sam's Club and found a great piece of beef to make the jerky from!  I am going to place it in the freezer for between 1-2 hours to firm it up for easier slicing then mix up the marinade!  Most of the recipes are similar and I will just go with Alton Brown's.

Ingredients for Alton Brown's JERKY:

2 pounds red meat (beef, elk, bear, venison, wild boar, or any critter you can hunt)
2/3 C. Worcestershire sauce
2/3 C. Soy sauce
2 t. ground black pepper
2 t. onion powder
1 t. liquid smoke
1 t. red pepper flakes
1 T. honey

Semi-frozen meat slices much easier.
Place the meat in the freezer for 1 or so hours, so that it will be easier to slice.  Slice the meat with the grain as thin as possible.  Mine is about 1/8-3/16" thick.

Remove and fat or gristle.
Mix the brine ingredients right in a resealable plastic bag. (Place the bag inside a flat container to make this easier.)

Mix the brine in the bag.
Place the meat strips in the brine.  Move it around so the marinade is evenly distributed around it.  Seal the bag, working out as much air as possible.

Push out excess air, flatten into a flat container, and refrigerate.
Lay the bag flat in the container and refrigerate 3-6 hours turning every once in a while.

Remove the meat from the brine and  drain well, pat it dry and discard the brine.

This recipe smells wonderful as it drys!
It is helpful to spray the dehydrator or oven racks with non stick cooking spray before placing the meat on the racks.   Next place it so it does not touch.  I scattered the meat laden sprayed racks across my double sink and turned on the ceiling fan and left them a short time just to dry a little more before loading them into the dehydrator. 

If using your oven spray the racks.  Next you can place a drip pan on the bottom of the oven to catch any drips then turn the oven's heat to the lowest setting.  Place the strips across the racks and prop the door open with a wad of foil.  Leave until dry and leather like.  I would check every hour or so to start.

Or dry per mfg. instructions in a food dehydrator.

Store in air tight bags at cool temperature. 

I am very pleased with the way these turned out.  They are very flavorful.  I like to send to work with my husband in the event he does not have time for lunch.  It is a much better snack than chips or candy! 

This was a much less messy endeavor than my past attempts due to the use of the non stick cooking spray and the semi-freezing of the meat before slicing.  Both made this a snap.  I load the dryer shelves in the dishwasher and am done. 

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