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Make your own Jerky

how to make jerky-01 This is one of the first recipes I created solely on my own, one that I took the time to measure out, write down and follow precisely… after several failed attempts when trying to perfect the ratios, this is pure perfection!! And to be completely honest, it’s maybe the hardest recipe for me to share – it’s one of those recipes that I’ve held secret from the rest of the world – so you really need to know how much I appreciate all of you 🙂 I try to avoid telling stories, I hate long-drawn out posts.. but this is a good one 🙂 Back in 2000 when I met my hubby, I tried to make him & his friends jerky to take with them on a hunting trip. I was still at my mom’s house, just 23 years old and I tried to dry it in the oven.. HUGE disaster. It’s amazing no one got sick – it was disgustingly salty and nearly RAW. Looking back it’s funny to all of us.. oh how far I’ve come! There are 3 components to making jerky: Meat, Marinade & Dehydrator

  • MEAT: We, typically, make our jerky from wild, local venison (elk works great too).. my hubby is an avid hunter and around “these parts” deer jerky is a common winter time snack! And before you ask what cuts of venison we use for jerky, I’ll tell you I’m not 100% sure 🙂 We butcher/cut up our own venison and use all different parts for jerky, little bits & pieces, stuff that just looks good.. the key is to making sure the venison is free of fat, then we just cut it into jerky slices (and we like our a little thick) And for those of you who don’t have access to venison, beef works great too! We’ve splurged and made a few batches with grass fed beef and it’s excellent! I recommend asking your farmer/butcher what cut of meat they recommend for jerky.. they know better than me!!!
  • MARINADE: I’ve taken the guess work out of it for you! Feel free to play with the hot sauce, my basic recipe is mild, if you want hotter add more hot sauce! and Recently I’ve tried adding a bottle of teriyaki sauce and some sesame seeds, it turned out really good too! I recommend allowing your meat to marinade 48 hours, however we don’t let ours go that long since we marinate ours under a vacuum.. we use our vacuum sealer’s large container to pull a vacuum which removes the air from the container/meat and allows the marinade to get into the meat quicker! (Click HERE for the vacuum sealer we have and click HERE for the container)
  • DEHYDRATOR: I have a inexpensive dehydrator and it works great! (Click HERE for the Dehydrator we have) But hopefully we’ll be upgrading to a better one soon, since we use our so much for other things… homemade dog treats, dried herbs & spices, dried mushrooms, etc (Click HERE for the Dehydrator that’s on my wish list). You can also use the oven, but since I’ve only attempted it once 13 years ago that was a failure.. I’m not the person to ask for direction… but generally speaking you’ll want hang them from toothpicks in your oven at about 175-200 degrees until dry.

Beef/Venison Jerky

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  • In a large container, combine all ingredients, mix well.
  • Add water if needed to fully submerge jerky slices in the marinade.
  • Marinate Jerky Slices for 48 hours in the refrigerator, stirring occasionally.
  • Drain your jerky slices, DO NOT RINSE
  • Arrange marinated jerky slices on the trays of your dehydrator - and dehydrate according to the manufacturers directions for meat.
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  1. Great article and recipe! Does anyone know where I can buy venison meat in bulk? I have been making homemade jerky recipes for awhile now and have only experimented in beef and turkey. You can check out my site at www.4seasonsjerky.com Please let me know what you think. I wanna add venison jerky to my menu. There are discounts available!

    1. You would have to find a deer/venison farm. I don’t believe there is any state that permits the sale of wild harvested meats.

  2. I am truly pleased to glance at this web site posts which carries lots of valuable information, thanks for providing such data.

  3. I feel special that you appreciate us enough to share this recipe with us and thank you very much ..I cannot wait to try this cause my daughter and I love beef jerky but I’m not trusting of all beef jerky and of course now only look for grass fed / Whole food so this is awesome and I’m soo excited you posted this recipe Thank you again<3<3

  4. If you want to make beef jerky my favorite cut to use is London Broil. I buy it when it’s on sale. Cut off any fat, slice and then put in a marinade at least overnight.

    1. Lisa – I would not advise using hamburger for this type of jerky (you use a dry mix and a jerky gun for hamburger like this–> http://amzn.to/14CY936) As I said in my post it’s best to ask your butcher/farmer for their recommendation for cuts of meat that are best for jerky… I’ve used lots of different cuts with success, none that really didn’t work if they are sliced into jerky pieces..

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