So even though I was super picky growing up, I still liked some strange things. I used to love it when my dad would have to stop at the gas station on the way home from school or anytime for that matter. I used to love to get some junk food… and I would gladly still eat it now all the time if I knew it wasn’t garbage for you.
Anyways, one of my favorites back in the day was beef jerky and slim jims.. even the ones with the CHEESE — it grosses me out a bit now. :-/ I still buy bags of it on road trips. All that sodium just makes my mouth water. ha ! I remember my best friend’s mom who made some HOMEMADE beef jerky when I was growing up, and it just blew my mind how good it could be. And she could make it on her own… I never tried making my own until about 15 years later, and it’s totally just as good as my memory!
Now, I still buy beef jerky every once in a while, but it’s pretty expensive for the amount you get. And I can just make my own with some time (the recipe is extremely easy.) This version is inspired by Alton Brown’s Beef Jerky recipe from Foodnetwork.com. He doesn’t use a dehydrator — he makes his own! Beef jerky may seem intimidating, but making your own is VERY simple with a dehydrator. I’ve had one for years, and I use an awesome Presto Brand dehydrator for my needs (click here to buy) — a great price and worth it when I can make freakin’ beef jerky any time I want (it can get expensive to buy all the time!)
Before Tomorrowworld, I wanted to make some delicious snacks to take with us, since we’d be in a tent for FOUR days (that’s a lot for me). I made this beef jerky and some ranch pretzels (I’ll definitely share this one later), and had all intentions of making granola (and boiled peanuts), but never got the time!
Anyways, onto the jerky!
My favorite cut of meat to use (so far) is the top round. I like to slice with the grain to make it less chewy, but if you prefer the chew, slice against the grain. Also, I got a super-tip from Alton Brown to freeze the meat beforehand to make it WAY easier to slice. DUH. (Also, I found this super helpful step-by-step article with more jerky recipes here.)
This recipe is super easy, just slice and marinate your meat for 12-24 hours, then lay out in a dehydrator and let it work its magic!
And let me just say it’s pretty hard to make jerky look absolutely delicious and appetizing, but I TRIED.
- Trim steak of as much fat as possible. Put in freezer 1-2 hours to get firm before slicing. Slice into thin strips going with the grain. Place in a large [double] Zip-Lock bag. Mix all marinade ingredients together in a medium bowl. Pour over meat in bag and let marinate for 12-24 hours.
- Lay out strips in a dehydrator to dry, and set to 155^. Dehydrate for 4-6 hours until jerky is to your liking. The thicker strips will take a bit longer.
- Store in an airtight container.
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