Foodie Friends: I've been holding out on you. Unintentionally, of course!
Three years ago I came up with the best recipe for homemade beef jerky using my oven. I've posted about it several times on social media when giving it for holiday gifts or fixing a batch for my boyfriend, promising to share the recipe soon, but it just never happened. I'm finally sharing it now. Sorry, it took so long!
Back when I originally devised this recipe, I was tired of the overpriced, overly sweet commercial beef jerky marinated in sugar, high fructose corn syrup, teriyaki sauce, and soy sauce.
I yearned for something savory, spicy, and slightly salty to snack on, but couldn't find it anywhere. Literally, every package of black pepper or spicy beef jerky I looked at still had sweet stuff or weird additives mixed in.
So, I took to the interwebz to see if I could 1) make it at home and 2) without a dehydrator. I stumbled upon an oven-dried beef jerky tutorial from The Art of Manliness. Looked easy enough, but their beef jerky recipe called for a marinade that included all the ingredients I wanted to avoid: soy sauce, teriyaki sauce, corn syrup, and sugar.
After mulling it over, I decided to borrow their technique for drying the jerky and skip the marinade in place of my own favorite blend of savory and spicy seasonings.
Oh, lawd. It is so good.
The beef flavor really shines while it's still warm and chewy, which is accented by the savory onion and garlic and spicy black pepper and crushed red pepper.
Seriously...the hardest part of making homemade jerky is resisting the urge to eat half the batch straight out of the oven.
Priorities, you know?
Ready for the technique and recipe? Hold your horses!
First, I want to share a few tips for easy and successful jerky making at home. Just in case you're the type to skim through the recipe and forget the read the additional notes.
Tips & Tricks For Making Homemade Beef Jerky in the Oven
1. Look for the leanest cut of meat you can find. Layers of fat on the outside of a cut are easy to remove, but you don't want a piece of beef that has a lot of marbling throughout it. Why? Jerky needs be dry and fat keeps it moist + goes rancid quicker.
2. If you're buying your meat fresh from a butcher, save yourself some time and have them slice it for you. Trust me, you will thank me! This saves a bit of time + ensures that all the slices are of even thickness. Is this required? Heck no, I've sliced many a batch by hand at home, but I sure love when the butcher does part of the work for me.
3. Slicing the jerky yourself? Stick the meat in the freezer for 30-60 minutes first. This will make the meat waaaaaay easier to slice. Also, using a sharp knife helps. And if the meat starts to soften up on you while you're slicing (this typically happens to me in the summertime), just stick it back in the freezer for another 20 minutes, then start again.
4. Clear plenty of counter space for seasoning the jerky. I have what I consider a fairly small apartment kitchen, so I have to do a bit of rearranging first, but it's worth it. I don't want raw meat touching any of my other stuff. I also lay out big strips of wax paper or parchment paper on the counters so I can season each piece of meat all in one go.
5. Having a helper makes the process go much quicker, but isn't required. Between slicing the meat, laying it out, seasoning both sides, then laying it out on the oven racks, the jerky prepping process can take a few hours if you're doing a big batch. To speed things up, enlist a kitchen helper for laying out the beef slices and seasoning each piece. Promising an extra portion of the finished jerky works well. :)
6. Don't leave your home unattended while the jerky is drying in the oven. This tip is more of a safety recommendation, but I think it's worth mentioning. In order to get maximum circulation and drying capabilities from your oven, you'll use a utensil to prop open the door. If you're banging around the kitchen or near the oven, a pet brushes up against the stove door, or an upstairs or downstairs neighbor (apartment situation) stomps around and/or drops something heavy, the utensil can slip and fall into the oven. If your utensil is wooden or plastic...that's a recipe for a fire.
Or, if one of your beef pieces isn't supported well on the oven racks and slips off in the first 30 minutes in the oven and falls onto the heat coils below...that's also bad. Better safe than sorry. I suppose this is one of the major benefits of owning a dehydrator. Jerky typically takes 5-6 hours once it's in the oven to dry (time may vary depending on thickness), so plan on making it on a day when you can stay home.
Psssst...If you happen to make one of my recipes or DIY crafts and share it on Instagram, Facebook, or Twitter make sure to use the hashtag #therisingspoon and tag my account @therisingspoon so I see it! It helps me so much to get feedback on my creations and it totally makes my day. :)
This recipe technique was adapted from The Art of Manliness' How to Make the Best Beef Jerky in the World
- The yield will vary based on how thick or thin you (or the butcher) slices the beef. I got 55 wide & thin pieces of jerky from this batch.
- You may need more spices than this. It will all depend on how precise you are when you're sprinkling it over the beef and how much meat you're using. If you have a lot of spill-off then you'll need more. You might also want more or less of a particular spice. There's a lot of room for flexibility here!
I'd like to hear from YOU!
What are your favorite seasonings for jerky? Do you have any tips or tricks for making it at home?
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