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Beef Jerky

Man Made Meals with Mike Wheaton :

beef-jerkyBeef jerky has certainly gained in popularity over the years. Gas stations, grocery stores and even vending machines sell several different brands of beef jerky.  It is ubiquitous, yummy, convenient and certainly a snack many men enjoy.

The biggest issue with purchasing pre-packaged jerky is all the preservatives and extra additives they contain. Additives such as sugar, corn syrup, caramel color, monosodium glutamate, maltodextrin, hydrolized corn gluten, potassium sorbate, sodium erythorbate are some of the ingredients that are commonly listed on packages of beef jerky.  My thought is that if you can’t pronounce it, let alone spell it, don’t consume it.  Luckily jerky is easy to make at home – even without a dehydrator.  The following is a basic recipe that you can make for less than you would pay for the pre-made stuff and certainly a whole lot healthier as well.

cut-beef-jerky-meatStart with a beautiful piece of lean beef and remove all traces of visible fat from that meat.

I chose to use London Broil, but you could also use loin, sirloin, top round, flank or any other lean cut.

Always keep in mind when making jerky that fat will go rancid on you rather quickly so you want to use the leanest cut of meat possible.

The leaner the meat, the longer your jerky will keep for.

beef-jerky-on-racksIngredients

  • 3/4 cup Worcestershire sauce
  • 1/2 cup of low sodium soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon smoked paprika
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 2 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • 2 pounds beef top round, thinly sliced

Directions

  1. Cut as much visible fat from the meat and then cut into thin strips – about 1/16” to 1/8” thick. It helps to cut evenly if the beef is slightly frozen. I generally let a fully frozen steak thaw in the fridge overnight.

  2. Whisk Worcestershire sauce, soy sauce, paprika, honey, black pepper, red pepper flakes, garlic powder, and onion powder together in a bowl. Add beef to bowl and turn to coat beef completely. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and marinate in the refrigerator, overnight.

  3. Preheat oven to 175 degrees. Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil and place a wire rack over the foil.

  4. Transfer beef to paper towels to dry. Discard marinade. Arrange beef slices in a single layer on the prepared wire rack on the baking sheet.

  5. After two hours, flip the pieces over and continue drying.

  6. Bake beef in the preheated oven until dry and leathery, 3 to 4 hours depending on the thickness of your cuts.

  7. Leave the beef jerky out to cool for a couple of hours, then transfer to an airtight container or sealed plastic bag where it will keep unrefrigerated for 4 months.

About the Author

Mike Wheaton Colorado

Mike Wheaton got an early start to his culinary world. He was first taught to cook for himself at the age of 5 as his single mother would work both a day and a night job to support the family. By the age of 9, he would help earn money by busing tables and washing dishes at the local saloon where his mom worked. One day the cook failed to show up and Mike was tossed into the kitchen. It was an exhilarating experience for him and the owner soon learned that Mike had better talents than scrubbing dishes. Throughout the next decade he would go on to be promoted to every position of the food service industry for several different restaurants cumulating in a c-level position for a high-end national restaurant chain. Leveraging his past successes, he ultimately left the food service industry for more lucrative opportunities. Shortly after relocating to Denver from New York City in 2002, Mike started a successful restaurant marketing and consulting business which he still runs today. He is also a co-founder of Lonnie Metzler LLC. Aside from business, Mike is an amateur culinary artist who loves to create in the kitchen alongside his two young daughters.

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