Good jerky is something that is hard to beat! There are so many flavors you can add to the meat, and you can make jerky out of almost any type of meat. This makes the options almost limitless. Generally, you will use a dehydrator to make jerky, and there are many great products on the market if you need to buy one. Stop on by the store for some suggestions if you want to purchase one. Here are some tips for making beef jerky.

Preparation

The first thing to know is that using a lean piece of meat will result in the best jerky. For example, sirloin tip, flank steak, or bottom round are all great cuts that will make good beef jerky due to their low-fat content. The more fat in the meat, the shorter the amount of time that the beef jerky will be good for. You can even use ground meat if you have a jerky gun. Cut off any fat that you can and then you’ll be ready for the next step.

Putting the meat in the freezer a couple of hours before getting started makes slicing the meat much easier. Don’t let it get fully frozen, just hard to the touch. Then cut uniform strips that are roughly 1/8 -1/4 inches thick. This will make the jerky easy to chew.

Seasoning

Once you have sliced the meat, it’s time to get the seasoning ready. You can either make your own in a bowl or bag, or you can purchase a jerky seasoning. We carry many great seasonings to get you started. Regardless of how you source your seasoning, you will need to add the beef strips, to a container with the seasoning and shake to evenly coat the meat. After this is done, you can leave the meat in the marinade seasoning for hours. We would suggest between 6-24 hours to get the best taste!

Dehydration

After the meat is done marinating, it is time to start the dehydration! Evenly space the strips of beef on the racks, and let it start dehydrating. Depending on how much marinade was used and how thick the meat is, it may take longer to fully dehydrate. Check on the jerky throughout the process to make sure that it doesn’t over dry. As soon as it starts to bend and crack, it is done! Don’t let it break through, this is a sign that it is too dry.

Jerky will usually last around a week or so if stored in ziplock bags. If you want jerky to last longer, it will need to be vacuum sealed. Vacuum sealed jerky can last up to two months. Do keep in mind that meat with a higher fat content will have a shorter shelf-life, no matter the storing method.

This is basically it! The jerky making process really isn’t that difficult, and you can try as many different seasonings that you want. Jerky is a great gift to make for friends and family, does well for long trips, and is a great get-together snack.

View our selection of jerky seasonings here.