Yay, it’s Whatever Wednesday again and I do so love being able to post any recipe or idea for a recipe that pops into my head! Today is all about the Jerky folks. To be specific, my current passion is for homemade Teriyaki Beef Jerky. It is SO much better than anything you can buy in those tiny little, very expsensive packages folks. And once you find out how simple it is to make at home, I’m pretty sure you’ll be dancing around your kitchen singing the “I love Toni’s Teriyaki Beef Jerky” song!
There it is, looking all yummy and chewable, now doesn’t that make you want some right now? Huh? Huh?
Here’s what you need to know about making truly fabulous Beef Jerky at home:
1) Buy the cheapest, leanest cut of beef you can find. 2 pounds is good for your first time out.
2) Trim all the visible fat, silver (membranes) and gristle off of the beef before you slice it.
3) Put it into the freezer for up to 1 hour before slicing. That makes it much easier to get nice even 1/4: thick slices
4) For easy to chew slices, cut across the grain. For chewier jerky, cut with the grain.
And that’s it, the rest is straight forward and simple!
So let’s get right to the “recipe”. I put that in quotes because when it comes to making any jerky, and particularly Teriyaki Beef Jerky, the ingredients you use to marinate the beef slices is really up to you, the chewer. The only staple ingredient that I use when making this particular recipe is a good quality Teriyaki Marinade. It just makes it SO much simpler to put together. Once that’s in there, I sometimes add Worcestershire Sauce, Dried Onions, Dried Minced Garlic or even the powdered brands of those spices. You can also add a little brown sugar or honey for a more rich and slightly less salty taste.
Here are my ingredients for Teriyaki Beef Jerky:
This piece of beef had quite a bit more fat on it than I usually buy, but oh well, that’s just the way the cookie crumbled at the market this week. I’ve already popped it into the freezer for an hour so it’s nice and firm and ready to prep and slice.
And that’s what a 1/4″ thick slice looks like. I’ve sliced across the grain so that I don’t wear out my jaws when I indulge in my daily beef jerky snack. Ohhhh, and don’t be tempted to slice thinner! I did that my first time with this recipe and after the dehydrating process I had slices so thin you could read a newspaper through them man o man were they dry and stringy!!
So once you have all the fat, silver membrane and gristle cut off, then sliced your roast into 1/4″ thick pieces, it’s time to throw together the marinade ingredients.
A note: When you use dried onion or dried minced garlic for the marinade, you’ll want to rinse the beef slices to remove most of the onion/garlic bits just before you put it into the dehydrator or oven. Otherwise you end up with tons of twice dried bits of stuff stuck on the beef jerky.
So just together all your marinade ingredients and then taste it. It’s going to be quite salty, so ignore that and try to get a taste for the rest of the flavors. You want the Teriyaki to come shine through as well as a hint of sweetness if you’re adding a couple of tablespoon of brown sugar or honey. Once you like the flavor blend, add the beef to the bowl and mix it around to coat all the pieces.
These are some of my favorite kitchen helpers. They're Dang Good and I love 'em!
Now cover it with plastic wrap and toss it into your fridge for up to 24 hours. If you like your jerky less salty you have two options. You can marinate for only 12 hours, or you can rinse it before drying it.
To dry your now awesome smelling Teriyaki Beef Jerky in a dehydrator, just lay out the beef slices on the racks, spreading them apart a little bit so that they aren’t touching one another.
To dry them in your oven, preheat the oven to 160F and lay the beef slices on baking racks, which you then lay on top of baking sheets. That allows the air to circulate around both the top and bottom of the jerky.
For the dehydrator, set the temp to 150F – 160F, depending on your machine, then walk away for 3 hours. After 3 hours, check the beef and move the trays, putting the top one on the bottom, etc. If the jerky is still moist (it probably will be), dry for 1 more hour.
For the oven, bake the jerky for 4 hours, then check it. It should be leathery to the touch and not soft when you poke it. It will dry more as it cools, so don’t over bake it!
I like to test it by chewing on a sample piece at the 4 hour mark. If it chews like jerky, it must be jerky! If it chews like tough roast beef, it ain’t jerky yet.
Let the jerky cool on the racks, then place it into zip lock bags or a tightly sealed plastic container. It can stay on a shelf in a cool area for up to 2 weeks. If you want to be extra safe, store it in the fridge for up to 2 months…if it lasts that long. =)
Have I mentioned that I love my dehydrator? Talk about a fun way to preserve leftovers from your summer garden, or just a way to quickly preserve fruits and vegetables that are about to go beyond their “eat by” date in the fridge! Oh and dried apples, grapes, peaches and cherries are fantastic to use in SO many quick breads and desserts that the uses for them are endless.
- 2 - 3 Pounds Lean Top Round Beef
- ½ Cup Teriyaki Marinade Sauce
- 2 Tablespoons Worcestershire Sauce
- 1 Teaspoon Ground Pepper or Cracked Peppercorns
- 1 Teaspoon Powdered or Minced Dried Garlic
- 1 Tablespoon Powdered or Minced Dried Onions
- OPTIONAL - 2 Tablespoons Honey or Brown Sugar
- Place the roast into the freezer for 1 hour.
- Place the semi frozen beef on a cutting and then carefully remove all visible fat, silver and gristle from the roast.
- Slice the roast into ¼" pieces. Slice against the grain for less chewy beef jerky.
- For the Marinade:
- Combine the Teriyaki and Worcestershire Sauce with the spices, stirring well to mix them.
- Add the beef slices to the marinade.
- Cover the bowl with plastic wrap, then refrigerate for up to 24 hours.
- After 24 hours, remove the beef from the marinade to drain. If you prefer less salty beef jerky, rinse the beef then let it drain.
- Place the beef slices onto dehydrator trays or baking racks (place the racks on top of baking sheets to catch the drips). Be sure that the slices aren't touching one another.
- Dehydrate for 3 hours at 150F - 160F.
- Check for doneness after 3 hours. The jerky should look dry and not be soft and springy when you press on it.
- Continue to dehydrate the beef for 1 more hour if needed.
- Cool on the racks, then store in plastic bag or containers on a shelf for up to 2 weeks, or in your refrigerator for up to 2 months.