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Homemade Beef Jerky

4 lbs. London broil beef or flank steak
2 t. black pepper
2 t. chili powder
2 t. garlic powder
2 t. cayenne pepper, more if you like it hot
2 t. onion powder
1 t. liquid smoke
¼ c. soy sauce or low-sodium soy sauce
½ c. Worcestershire sauce
½ c. Frank?s hot sauce

Trim all fat off meat. Cut steak in to 4 inch strips. The steak should be about 1/2 inch thick. It’s easier to cut meat partially frozen. Pound meat lightly, you don’t want it too thin. Add all ingredients in large bowl. Mix well. Cover and refrigerate overnight. (8hrs.) Line cookie sheets with tin foil. Place steak strips on sheets, don’t overlap meat. Set oven at lowest temperature. 150-175 degree Bake six hours, turning after three hours. This is done when meat is dried out, depending on your oven.

Venison or Beef Jerky

Jerky is practically indestructible, lasts almost forever and can be used as either a quick main meal or a basis for soups and stews. The word jerky comes from the method in which the meat is removed from the bones. It was jerked away quickly so as to eliminate many of the sinews. Three pounds of fresh meat equals about 1 lb. jerky.

Method 1: (Indian style) Hang strips of meat on racks made of willows to dry in the sun or sometimes in the smoke of the campfire for a smoked flavor.

Method 2: (pioneer) Rub strips of meat with dry salt and put in a stone crock to “season” for 24 hrs. (use no water) Then remove the strips and hang in sun or smokehouse to dry until very hard.

Method 3: Mix together 3 lbs. salt, 5 Tbsp. black pepper and 4 Tbsp. Allspice.

Skin one thigh of the animal, muscle by muscle removing all the membranes so that only the raw and moist flesh remains. Best size meat is pieces about 1 foot long 6" wide and 2 or 3 inches thick. Rub the salt spice mixture into the meat. Be sure to cover every bit of the meat’s surface. Hang each piece by the small end to dry. If the sun is too hot, hang it in the shade. Never let the meat get wet or even damp, take it inside if it rains. Cover the meat with canvas or cloth to protect it from the dew. This will be at it’s best at a month old.

Method 4: (Modern Style): Purchase a large beef brisket from your butcher and ask them to slice it very thinly for you. Dip each strip into a bowl of liquid smoke then lay in a large deep dish. Continue to lay each strip until the bottom of the dish is filled. Then sprinkle liberally with garlic salt and lots of pepper. Lay another row of strips on top of the first, in the alternate direction. Continue to dip and season each strip. Marinate for at least 24 hours. Line oven with foil and lay strips directly on the foil very close together and bake at a very low heat for hours or until the strips are very dry. Warning: This will make your house smell of liquid smoke for days.

Beef Jerky*

5 pounds lean beef
1½ tablespoons salt
1 tablespoon black pepper
1½ teaspoons cardamon
2 teaspoons marjoram
1½ teaspoons cure (pink color)
2 teaspoons monosodium glutamate
2 teaspoons cayenne pepper
1 tablespoon garlic powder
½ cup liquid smoke
½ cup water

Mix all spices together with meat. Mix well until meat is tacky. Grind and press into a loaf pan lined with foil. Put in cooler or freezer to firm product for slicing. Slice as thin as desirable and lay on oven racks. Spray oven racks with oil, than lay slices on the racks. Spray with liquid smoke and garlic mixture. Dry in oven at 170 °F for two to three hours. (See chart for dehydrator drying.)

*NOTE: Temperature is very important when making jerky. The USDA Meat and Poultry Hotline’s current recommendation for making jerky safely is to heat meat to 160 °F before the dehydrating process to assure that any bacteria present will be destroyed by wet heat.

Recent work at the University of Wisconsin demonstrated that the following time-temperature combinations are effective at killing E. coli 0157:H7 in jerky products. Although the lower temperatures are considered effective at killing bacteria, it is recommended that dehydrator temperatures of 145 °F or higher be used. Monitor the temperature of the dehydrator by placing the metal stem of a dial thermometer between dehydrator trays, or create an opening for the stem by drilling a hole through the side of the tray.

Drying Minimum
Temperature Drying Time

125 °F 10 hours
135 °F 8 hours
145 °F 7 hours
155 °F 4 hours

Source: Wisconsin Cooperative Extension Service,
Meat and Animal Science Department.
University of Wisconsin Madison.
There are special considerations when making homemade jerky from venison or other wild game, since venison can be heavily contaminated with fecal bacteria depending on the skill of the hunter in dressing the animal and location of the wound. While fresh beef is usually rapidly chilled, deer carcasses are typically held at ambient temperatures, potentially allowing bacteria multiplication.

Hot Pickle Cure Jerky**

This recipe uses a pre-cook phase.

Yield: Five pounds of fresh meat should weigh approximately 2 pounds after drying or smoking.

Slice 5 pounds of meat (¼-inch strips) with the grain, not crosswise. Use fresh lean meat free of fat and connective tissue. Spread out meat and sprinkle on 3 Tbsp. salt, 2 tsp. ground black pepper, and 2 Tbsp. sugar. Put the meat in a pan or dish and let stand for 24 hours in the refrigerator.
Pound the meat on both sides to work in the spice. Optional: Dip strips of meat in a liquid smoke solution (five parts water to one part liquid smoke) for one to two seconds for added flavor.

Make a brine by dissolving ¾ cup salt, ½ cup sugar, and 2 Tbsp. ground black pepper in a gallon of water. Stir to dissolve the salt and sugar.
Bring the brine to a low to medium boil. Immerse the seasoned meat strips (a few at a time) into the boiling brine until they turn gray (approximately one to two minutes). Remove meat from brine, using clean tongs or other utensils that have not contacted raw meat.

Spread out meat on a clean dehydrator rack or on a clean rack in the top half of a kitchen oven. If you use a kitchen oven, open the oven door to the first or second stop. Heat at 120 to 150 °F (lowest oven temperature) for nine to 24 hours or until the desired dryness is reached. Remove jerky from oven before it gets too hard or brittle. Properly dried jerky should crack when bent in half but should not break into two pieces.

Store jerky in clean jars or plastic bags, or wrap it in freezer paper and freeze. If kept dry, properly prepared jerky will last almost indefinitely at any temperature, but its quality deteriorates after a few months.

Teriyaki Jerky

1/2 teasp salt 1/4 cup soy sauce
1/8 teasp pepper 1 lb lean meat, thinly sliced
1/2 teasp ground ginger
2 tablesp brown sugar

In a glass bowl, combine all ingredients (except meat). Place meat slices
in mixture, sloshing around so all sides get covered. Marinate 6-12 hours,
in covered bowl (refrigerate), sloshing liquid around occasionally. Dry.

Sweet & Sour Jerky

1 teasp salt 1 tablesp soy sauce
1/4 teasp pepper 1/4 cup red wine vinegar
1/2 teasp onion powder 1/4 cup pineapple juice
1 clove garlic, crushed 1 lb lean meat, thinly sliced
3 tablesp brown sugar

follow directions above

Western Barbeque Jerky

1 teasp salt 3 tablesp brown sugar
1/4 teasp pepper 1/3 cup red wine vinegar
1/8 teasp cayenne 1/3 cup catsup, ketchup or whatever you have
1 teasp onion powder 1 lb lean meat, thinly sliced
1/2 teasp garlic powder
1 teasp dry mustard

follow directions as above

Hot and Tangy Jerky

1 teasp salt 2 cloves garlic, crushed
1/4 teasp cracked pepper 2 tablesp A-1 Steak Sauce
1/4 teasp cayenne 3 tablesp Worcestershire Sauce
1 teasp onion powder 1 lb lean meat, thinly sliced
1/2 teasp paprika

follow directions as above

Hawaiian Jerky

1 teasp salt 1 clove garlic, crushed
1 teasp ground ginger 1/4 cup pineapple juice
1 tablesp brown sugar 1/4 cup soy sauce
1/4 teasp pepper 1 lb lean meat, thinly sliced
1/8 teasp cayenne pepper

follow directions as above