Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Beef Jerky

I purchased a new preserves book this fall. It is called "Jam It, Pickle It, Cure It, and other cooking projects" the author is Karen Solomon. It is an interesting book with recipes for some basics and other things like, bacon, cheese, marshmallows. There was a recipe for Beef Jerky. I have a recipe that I use regularly but decided it would be fun to do two recipes - our old stand by and this new one and let my kids decide which they prefer. Here is the beef. I found a small beef roast and it was BOGO so I asked the meat department to slice it for jerky. They did this while I shopped. It was awesome. Below is a picture of the how the meat looks before I get it ready for marinating.

New Recipe :
1 lb. lean top sirloin or flank steak
1 tbsp kosher salt
1 tbsp soy sauce
2 tsp brown sugar
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 tsp dried chile flakes (optional)
1 tsp black pepper (optional)

Mix all ingredients in a bowl and put both meat and marinate in a large Ziploc bag. Put in fridge and let sit for 24 hours. Occasionally push meat around in Ziploc bag to make sure all meat comes in contact with marinade. Below is a picture of the meat and marinade in Ziploc bag.

My Regular Beef Jerky Recipe
2/3 cup Worcestershire sauce
2/3 cup soy sauce
1 tbsp salt
1 tsp black pepper
1 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp onion powder

Mix all ingredients in a bowl and place both marinade and meat in Ziploc. Close bag and massage the meat so that all meat comes in contact with the marinade. Place in fridge and occasionally move the meat around to keep meat marinated.

Below is a picture of my new dehydrator. My original machine had no thermostat control or fan. The bottom of the machine had the heater coil so could not be washed. I tried making sun dried tomatoes this summer with it and because it was not hot enough my tomatoes went moldy before they were dried out. So I decided to splurge and get a new machine. It has a fan that circulates the heat better. There are several temperature settings and on the top it shows what temperature to set for what you are drying. The fan and motor are in the lid of the machine so that the racks and base can all be washed. I have done sun dried tomatoes in the new dehydrator and love it. This is the first I made jerky and it was quick. Maybe too quick so I tried the second batch at a lower temperature.
After meat has marinaded for a minimum of 24 hours take out and place on racks of dehydrator. Here is a picture of the meat when it starts out.

When meat has dried out take off rack. Some pieces will dry faster than others depending on size and thickness. You may find that you need to rearrange the meat on less racks as meat dries. When meat is dried I store it all in a Ziploc bag. Be aware - it won't last long once the family members find it - and that is a good thing.


  1. I'm a tad envious of your dehydrator. I have a really old one that has about an inch of dust on it now. I love jerky though and can't wait to try out this recipe. Thanks so much for sharing, Elizabeth!

  2. This was exactly the type of post I needed to share with Josh yesterday to lift his spirits. He says he owes you a thousand hugs.

    I have a question, though... the second recipe, the original one... you need to put it in the freezer?

    And, this is about to sound terribly dumb, but... don't you have to cook the meat?

    We might have to invest in a dehydrator thingy. I am trying to hold off buying kitchen things until we move... but this will be at the top of my list, along with a mandolin. :o)

    So, which did you prefer... old? New? And what were the differences?

  3. Adria - thanks for the comments - drag that thing out, wipe off the dust and enjoy some jerky.

  4. Hey JD - a thousand hugs back - glad the timing was good - God just knows doesn't HE!!! Thanks for the question - I changed that to fridge - not sure what I was thinking - lol - something that spell check doesn't pick up. And the other questions isn't dumb - the dehydrator actually "cooks" the meat as it dries. It sounds odd - but it is cooked - just not the conventional way :0) And the dehydrator is a fun appliance to have - you can do some interesting things with it.

  5. Sorry JD - forget to answer the last question. It is a toss up - the new recipe has some spice -so Tim likes it. But there is something about the original recipe that I just love. I suggest you try them both and let me know what you preferred.

  6. Ahhh, ok. Fridge. Josh wants to try some of this like, THIS WEEKEND. I will likely try both... it sounds very interesting, very intriguing. It all depends on my ability to find a dehydrator thingymabob.

    I agree with Adria -- dust off the dehydrator, you carnivore you ;) Think "portable red meat"!!!

    (Adria loves red meat!!)

  7. Hey sweetie!

    I can't quite tell from the photo... what brand is the new dehydrator? Can you think of any good places in Saint John to buy one? I checked Canadian Tire, but the one they have doesn't seem to have the fan at the top, so I'd probably run into similar issues. Sears didn't have any as far as I could tell. Walmart? Winners? ??

    Can NOT wait to try this (if for nothing else than for Josh to quit begging, LOLOLOL)

  8. The dehydrator is a "Nesco" - seems like a popular one - and they have extra pieces that can be ordered from the company.

  9. Guess what I'm doing *right now*... ahhhhhhhhhh!