Let’s Make Our Own Homemade Jerky That Will Amaze Our Friends For National Jerky Day
Looking at the calendar, we’ve noticed that June 12th is celebrated as National Jerky Day — a holiday that’s dedicated to a type of meat that’s been seasoned, marinated, cured, and then dried to preserve it. You know, the sticks of meat that can be found in every grocery store aisle checkout, liquor store, and gas station. It’s the type of food that people grab as sort of an impulse buy. It’s food to tide one over until they can get access to some real food. That gives us the impression that beef jerky has somewhat of a bad reputation.
Thinking about National Jerky Day got us thinking about Jerky itself. Why do people think so lowly of this preserved meat product? After all, they’re packed full of protein and are low in carbs. An average cup of beef jerky contains 30 grams of protein, 23 grams of fat, 10 grams of carbs, and 2 grams of fiber. Of course, it’s also packed with an astronomical amount of salt, but hey, it is a preserved meat product. What do you expect? Okay, we admit it, store-bought beef jerky isn’t all that great. Perhaps the best types of beef jerky are the ones we make for ourselves.
Since we feel most people are either going to skip the holiday dedicated to this food or they’re simply going to grab a stick of jerky at their local gas station, we thought that we’d help people out by helping people create the best beef jerky on the planet. Okay, hyperbole aside, we do feel that we can help people create some pretty good beef jerky that will allow us to celebrate this holiday with style.
Making The Best Homemade Beef Jerky
Okay, let’s take a few moments and learn how to make beef jerky that’s sure to wow anyone who enjoys it.
Step One: The Right Meat
When making beef jerky, it’s important to make sure that you choose the best cuts of meat. It has to be a lean cut of meat because fat doesn’t dry out, which can accelerate the spoilage process and defeat the entire purpose of making jerky. Our choice of meat to use is eye of round roast. It’s lean, easy to trim, and doesn’t cost a whole lot. For our recipe, we used a 3-pound eye of round roast with the silver skin and fat removed.
Here’s a helpful tip for slicing the meat. Place it in the freezer for an hour so that it firms up but doesn’t freeze. That will make it a whole lot easier to slice into strips. Once it’s firm, slice the meat between 1/8th and 1/4th of an inch thick.
Step Two: Gather The Ingredients
- 1-cup of dark brown sugar
- 1 cup of soy sauce
- 3 tablespoons of Worcestershire sauce
- ½ teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
- 1 teaspoon of meat tenderizer
- 1 teaspoon of red pepper flakes
- 1 teaspoon of onion powder
- 1 tablespoon of smoked paprika
Step Three: Create The Jerky!
Slice the meat in the way that we mentioned earlier. In a medium mixing bowl, combine brown sugar, soy sauce, Worcestershire sauce, meat tenderizer, smoked paprika, black pepper, onion powder, garlic powder, and red pepper flakes. Using a whisk, make sure that all the ingredients are well mixed and that the sugar is completely dissolved.
Place the meat in the marinade and make sure to toss all the pieces until they’re well coated. When that’s done, cover them with plastic wrap or transfer them to a large Ziplock bag. Marinate the meat for at least 12 hours, or preferably, overnight.
Take two baking sheets and line them with aluminum foil. Place a wire rack on top of each pan. Now, preheat your oven to 175 degrees Fahrenheit. Place the two oven racks in the center position. Place the meat on the wire racks in a single layer. Place the pans in the oven and cook for 3-4 hours, or until the meat is dried out. Make sure to rotate the pan once while baking to ensure even cooking.
When the meat is properly dried out, it should feel like leather. It should be supple, but still tender. Cool the jerky to room temperature and place it in a Ziplock bag or an airtight glass jar. Beef jerky will last for about 1 week at room temperature. If you need to store it longer, freeze it or place it in the refrigerator.
And that’s all there is to making the best homemade jerky. Once you’ve mastered this beef jerky method and recipe, you can try other variations on the basic recipe. Remember, there is a variety of beef jerky, and all of them are excellent in our opinion. Just be warned. Once you start making beef jerky, you’re going to want to keep making it.