How to Make Homemade Jerky: A Step-by-Step Guide
Jerky is a savory and protein-packed snack loved by many. This delicious treat is often enjoyed while camping, hiking, or even as a quick and convenient snack on the go. While you can easily find jerky at the store, making your own homemade jerky can be a fun and rewarding experience. In this step-by-step guide, we will walk you through the process, so you can enjoy your very own homemade jerky.
Before we begin, gather the following ingredients and equipment:
– 2 pounds of lean meat (e.g., beef, venison, or turkey)
– 2/3 cup of soy sauce
– 2/3 cup of Worcestershire sauce
– 2 tablespoons of honey
– 2 teaspoons of black pepper
– 2 teaspoons of onion powder
– 2 teaspoons of garlic powder
– 1 teaspoon of smoked paprika
– A sharp knife
– A cutting board
– A mixing bowl
– A zip-top bag
– A dehydrator or an oven
1. Start by partially freezing the meat for about 1-2 hours. This step makes it easier to slice the meat into thin pieces. While the meat is chilling, prepare the marinade by combining the soy sauce, Worcestershire sauce, honey, black pepper, onion powder, garlic powder, and smoked paprika in the mixing bowl. Mix well until all the ingredients are combined.
2. Take the partially frozen meat out of the freezer and place it on the cutting board. Use a sharp knife to slice the meat against the grain into thin strips, around 1/8 to 1/4 inch thick. Thinner strips will dry faster, while thicker ones will result in a chewier jerky.
3. Place all the sliced meat into the zip-top bag and pour the marinade over it. Seal the bag and massage it gently to ensure all the meat is evenly coated. Let it marinate in the refrigerator for at least 4 hours, but for a more intense flavor, you can leave it overnight.
4. Preheat your dehydrator to the recommended temperature for making jerky, typically around 160°F (70°C). If you don’t have a dehydrator, you can use an oven set on the lowest temperature, usually around 170°F (77°C).
5. Arrange the marinated meat on the dehydrator trays or place them on wire racks in the oven. Make sure there is enough space between the slices for adequate airflow. This aids in drying the jerky evenly.
6. Now, let the jerky dry for around 4-6 hours in the dehydrator or 2-4 hours in the oven. Check the jerky periodically for desired doneness. The jerky should be firm and dry without being brittle.
7. Once fully dried, let the jerky cool completely before storing it in an airtight container. Homemade jerky can be stored for up to 2 months in a cool and dry place.
Making homemade jerky is not only a cost-effective way to enjoy this delicious snack, but it also allows you to personalize the flavors and control the quality of the ingredients. So, why not give it a try? Follow our step-by-step guide, and you’ll have your very own homemade jerky to enjoy at home or on your next outdoor adventure. Remember, with a little effort and the right recipe, you can turn TAKE10 and make your own homemade jerky!
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