Making beef jerky using a dehydrator is not as hard as it sounds. Some people try to make beef jerky once or twice, fail to get expected results, and eventually give up. We encourage you to carry on. In this post, we will give not only a recipe but also step by step instructions that will help you make beef jerky using a dehydrator.
Beef jerky is a high-protein snack, and you can make it easily. If you are trying to reduce beef consumption, you can make deer jerky or turkey jerky almost in the same way. And you can use your dehydrator to do it.
Why use a dehydrator?
Drying food items is not something new. People have been doing it for millennia. But why do people dry food items? The reason is simple: dried food items are easier to preserve. In the past, the sun and salt were the only two elements available to get the job done.
Now, thank to amazing technological progress, we can use dehydrator to dry meat. In fact, a list of kitchen gadget is incomplete without a dehydrator. You can use it to dry not only meat but also fruits and other food items. Another reason to use a dehydrator is that dehydrated foods taste better. Removing moisture, it makes meats and fruits tastier.
Apart from these benefits, a dehydrator can also help you reduce food waste. It also extends the shelf life of your food items. Many people use the dehydrator just for more efficient storing.
- Lean Beef
- 1/4 cup soy sauce
- 1/4 cup Worcestershire sauce
- 1 tsp black pepper
- 2 tsp brown sugar
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 tsp red pepper flakes
- 2 tsp liquid smoke
First of all, you have to take a lean piece of meat. You can use Top Round, Bottom Round, Flank Steak, Sirloin Tip, Eye of Round etc. Make sure the piece of meat does not contain much fat. For this recipe, you can use jerky gun. Do not hesitate to invest because it is arguably the best beef jerky dehydrator recipe.
If there is visible fat on the piece of meat, trim it off. Meat with fat gets spoiled within a relatively short span of time. By removing fat from the meat, you can also extend the shelf life of your finished item.
Yes, your jerky will last long if it does not contain fat. Before you go on to the next step, remove the fat from the meat. Removing the fat is not as hard as you might think. You can do it with a small, sharp knife.
Keep the beef in the refrigerator for a couple of hours. During this time, your beef will partially freeze. To make uniform slices, you must partially freeze the meat. Make sure it is hard but not fully frozen. Find the grain of the meat and make uniform slices.
Do not hesitate to invest in a slicer, because this recipe is the best beef jerky dehydrator recipe. The freezing stage can be skipped if you have a jerky slicer. There are many types of jerky slicers on the market, and Weston Jerky Slicer is one of the best ones.
If you use this machine, all your strips will be the same width. A slicer can be very useful when you need to make lots of jerky.
Complete slicing and then set all the sliced meat aside. Now you have to focus on making the marinade. Remember, we are talking about the best beef jerky dehydrator recipe. So you need some preparation to get it done.
We have separately mentioned all the ingredients necessary for the recipe. Mix all the ingredients, and use a ziplock bag or bowl to keep the mixture. This is perhaps the most important part of the process.
Now you have to add the marinade to the beef strips. Keep everything in a container and shake the container vigorously to make sure the marinade gets mixed with the meat. Keep it in the fridge for 10-12 hours. If you can keep it in the fridge for longer, your jerky will taste great.
Before dehydrating the jerky strips, you have to dry them because it is important to remove excess marinade. Do not skip this step because it will make the dehydration process quick. Then you will have to dry the jerky.
This is one of the easiest parts of the process, but you have to be a bit patient. There are many dehydrators on the market, and you have to choose one that you can work with. Clean the racks and place the strips on them.
Make sure that the strips are not overlapping. Air will circulate better if you leave some space in between the slices. The strips will dry quickly if there is enough circulation of air.
Now you have to let the dehydrator run for about 3 hours. The goal is to make the jerky hot enough to reach 160°. In some cases your jerky may take longer to dry. To some extent the time depends on the thickness of the jerky. Do not get impatient if it takes longer. After all, this is the best beef jerky dehydrator recipe.
Do not over dry the jerky. To make sure that the jerky is dried properly, you can check the jerky throughout the process. How do you know that the jerky is done? Well, it is done when it cracks and bends without breaking in half.
Within the meat, white fibers will be visible. When you are done, do not remove it from the rack immediately. Let it sit there for at least two hours. Yes, you have to be a bit patient because you are working on the best beef jerky dehydrator recipe.
Now you can store the jerky in glass jars, vacuum sealed bags or ziplock bags. And if you do not like the idea of storing it in this way, you can store it directly in your stomach!
If you keep the jerky in a ziplock bag, it will stay edible for 7-10 days. Store it in a vacuum sealed bag and it will stay fresh for up to a couple of months. Visit a local store and you will easily find a vacuum sealed bag.
- Before you marinate, you have to remove all fat from the meat. It will make your jerky longer lasting.
- To extend the shelf life of your jerky, you can use celery juice powder or curing salt.
- To get intense flavor, marinate for at least 18 hours.
- Before you dry the jerky, sprinkle some red pepper flakes on it.
- Make sure the knife you use to slice the meat is sharp enough. You will find slicing easier if the meat is partially frozen.
- You will complete it with fewer ingredients if you just use ziplock bag. It will also help you save money on marinades. When you store meat in your ziplock bag, make sure there is no air inside the bag.
- To enjoy great flavor, you will have to marinate the jerky longer. To a great extent, the taste of your jerky depends on how long you marinate it.
- Do not taste your jerky immediately after taking it out of the dehydrator. Allow it to cool for a few minutes.
We have discussed the process of preparing the best jerky dehydrator recipe. If you follow the steps carefully, you will be able to prepare beef jerky. We hope you have understood the process, and next time you will make beef jerky easily.