We made this beef jerky for the first time over Super Bowl weekend, and loved it. Since the instructions are a little more complicated than your average recipe, it’s taken me way longer than average to get my act together and share it with you all.
I don’t remember when my mindset shifted from ‘beef jerky is disgusting’ to ‘omg i love beef jerky, give me more,’ but it happened. Maybe a few years ago. I still haven’t gotten on board with Slim Jims, but I have been known to waltz into 7-Eleven and walk out with a few bags of jerky. It’s actually a pretty great snack. Sure, some brands are packed with high-sodium ingredients, but if you pick the right ones–like Krave (<— affiliate link!)–it’s a high-protein, diet-friendly option. But, why does it have to be the most expensive snack in the place!? The price always makes this frugal girl think twice.
I thought I’d need another fancy kitchen gadget to make my own jerky, but I googled it anyway. The Kitchn comes to the rescue once again: Beef jerky you can make in the oven! Sold.
Though it’s a time consuming process (give yourself two days), it’s so worth it. Our jerky was the perfect consistency, had amazing flavor, and only cost me about $8 to make nearly five times the amount you get in a bag that costs $6.75 per bag. That right there is a savings of nearly $26. I’ll spend the time making my beef jerky if that’s the case!
The great thing about homemade beef jerky is you can really play around with the marinade. Don’t like this Asian-inspired option? That’s fine. Try your favorite store-bought marinade or throw together your own with Worcestershire sauce, balsamic vinegar, some spices like garlic powder, and dried herbs. The possibilities are endless.
Here’s how to make beef jerky in the oven:
Skip the pricey bags at the store! It's incredibly easy to make your own (preservative-free) beef jerky. Here's how to make beef jerky in a standard oven.
- 1.5 pounds london broil
- 2 tablespoons ginger, grated
- 1/4 cup soy sauce
- 2 tablespoons sesame oil
- 2 tablespoons brown sugar
- 1 tablespoon chili-garlic paste
- 1 tablespoon sesame seeds
- 1 teaspoon ground pepper
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- Unwrap the meat, pat it dry with paper towels. Cover the meat with plastic wrap and freeze it for 1 to 2 hours until firm but not frozen.
- Using sharp chef's knife, trim off and discard any excess fat or tendons (excess fat can prematurely spoil your jerky, since it won't dehydrate all the way). With your knife parallel to the cutting board, carefully slice the thick slab of meat in half. Then cut each piece of meat into thin strips 1/8-inch to 1/4-inch thick. Tip: Cut strips against the grain for the classic chewy jerky look and feel.
- Combine remaining ingredients in a large glass baking dish or zippered bag. Add the sliced meat and coat with the marinade. Refrigerate for about 8 hours (or overnight) turning a few times to distribute the marinade.
- When you are ready to dry the jerky, remove the meat from the refrigerator and let it come to room temperature for about an hour.
- Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 175°F. Line as many baking sheets as will fit into your oven with foil, and place cooling racks inside each baking sheet. Remove the meat from the marinade, draining off the liquid and blotting away any excess marinade with paper towels. Arrange the meat strips side-by-side across the cooling racks, leaving at least 1/4-inch of space between strips. (Alternatively, line the bottom of the oven completely with foil. Remove racks from your oven, spray with cooking spray, and line racks with jerky.)
- Place the racks of meat in the oven and cook until completely dry. This can take as little as 2 hours and as long as 5 hours (took me about 2.5 hours), depending on the thickness and moistness of the meat, and how chewy you want it to be. Remember, jerky will get a bit harder as it cools.
- The jerky is ready when it is dry, darker in color, and breaks gently (not snaps) when bent. Cool completely on the racks before storing. Store jerky in an airtight container kept in a cool, dry place. Keep for up to three months.