27 August 2013

Homemade Beef Jerky

How did the subject of making our beef jerky come up?! Well, I think its a combination of a lot of things: We love beef jerky, we love to eat beef jerky, we don't really like how expensive beef jerky is, and although we've done a lot of research on making beef jerky we've never actually attempted it...Until now! Its actually really cute because this was Siena's idea to start off with! How does a 2 year voice that she wants to make her own beef jerky, well, she said "beee jerky" then Riley interpreted for her saying "she wants beef jerky. ... OH WE SHOULD MAKE OUR OWN BEEF JERKY! Daddy told me how to make it! You get beef and cut it up and cook it on low for a long, long time." No joke, my 6 year old knows a beef jerky recipe. (See I told you, we're kinda beef jerky-aholics over here!)

So here is the more precise version of Riley's recipe:

1. So in the back back depths of the freezer I found a huge chunk o beef! (It was actually 1.5 lbs of London Broil to be more exact.) I literally just took it out of the freezer, set it on the counter and looked up some beef jerky recipes, this recipe I followed for the most part but used my own marinade. Then I ran it under hot water to remove the Styrofoam container it was froze to (Oops, I know that's a horrible way to freeze meat).

2.  We cut the meat into strips, trimming off all the fat. I wanted to surprise Matt with this and I couldn't remember if he liked thin jerky or thick strips! So I tried both. But I still kept it on the thin side for the most part!

The kids wanted to help cut the meat so I decided to make it into a proper knife handling session with them. (I told him to pretend to cut for the pic and this is how he poses. This was lesson #1 in "how not to cut"!)

Then they wanted to make a "meat mountain" I would have probably said were not going to play with our food, but it is his last day until he starts 1st Grade!! So, to heck with it, here is the Meat Mountain! 

3. For the marinade I used 1 cup of soy sauce (use low-sodium so its not too salty) mixed with 1 cup of water, 1 tablespoon of Worcestershire sauce, 1/2 teaspoon of cayenne pepper, 1/2 teaspoon of Montreal steak seasoning, 1/2 teaspoon of barbecue seasoning and a dash of Cajun seasoning. 

4. Soak the meat strips in the marinade. I left mine in for about an hour and a half and that was plenty of time for them to get a good flavor!

5. First, I lined the first oven rack entirely with aluminum foil then hung the strips of meat on the second rack keeping it over the foil the entire time to avoid any raw meat drips. Since its only baked at 140°f it takes all of 3 seconds to heat up!

*The guy from the site I followed this recipe at used a spoon to keep his oven door open to vent because the suggested temp to cook at is 140°f and our ovens lowest temp is 170°f, it worked out really well, I just had to warn the kids not to touch the oven (which they are already really good at watching out for!).*

6. Now the slow and low part. I cooked these for about 4hrs. I probably would have taken them out about 30mins earlier if I had tested them earlier. I turned off the oven and put the entire rack on the counter to cool, which in the 80° heat we had today didn't take long! You can eat them right away! *A tip to test for doneness is that they should not be super bendy and you should be able to see the meat fibers starting to tear when you bend them, then they are done. You can put them back in the oven if they aren't done yet, and leave them on the counter to dry out some more too if needed. 

Yum. Yum. Yum.
Matt got home half-way through posting this and I told him to look at the title and he nearly shouted "Are you serious! You made some!??! WHERE IS IT?!?" (I told you we're fanatics!) These will be a lovely healthy treat to snack on during the 11 hr trip to my sister in laws wedding this weekend (her invitation in the background!!). So excited ♥

♥ The best thing about making it at home is you can chose whatever meat is on sale and it ends up being cheaper than buying beef jerky in the stores and you can mix and match flavors! The meat I used here wasnt on sale and was $7.58 for 1.5 lbs but I had bought it with the intent of using it for dinner, next time I make beef jerky i'll make sure to find a nice meat on sale! ♥

Check out other snacks I've made:


  1. Nice shoutout to my weddin! And did these even make it to the roudtrip!? Hahaha Delish!

  2. Hah! It didn't even make it past the state border!