Homemade Beef Jerky Recipe (Dehydrator + Oven Instructions)


* This article contains affiliate links. For more information, please read my Affiliate Disclosure.

 

Homemade beef jerky is a delicious way to preserve meat for food storage and for easy transport to take on hikes, camping trips, road trips and to pack in a backpack in an emergency situation where you need to leave home.Homemade beef jerky is a delicious way to preserve meat for food storage and for easy transport to take on hikes, camping trips, road trips and to pack in a backpack in an emergency situation where you need to leave home.

While store-bought beef jerky is also a good option and tends to store/remain shelf stable for a longer amount of time, this is mostly due to added preservatives. When you make your own homemade beef jerky, you have full control over every part of the process, which means no added preservatives or questionable ingredients.

You can make beef jerky in a dehydrator, a smoker or an oven, and you can get as creative as you like with the marinade. Some common ingredients found in most homemade beef jerky marinades include some combination of soy sauce, Worcestershire sauce, brown sugar, honey, molasses, cracked pepper, garlic powder, onion powder and liquid smoke.

Today I’m sharing one of my favourite recipes for homemade beef jerky: Sweet and Smoky Beef Jerky made with soy sauce, Worcestershire sauce, honey, brown sugar, paprika, garlic and onion powder and liquid smoke.

But there are lots of great recipes for beef jerky marinades, so feel free to search other ones online or even use store-bought marinades if you prefer and then follow the rest of the instructions below.

 

Homemade Beef Jerky in the Oven Vs. the Dehydrator

As mentioned above, you can make beef jerky in a dehydrator, a smoker or an oven. I make my beef jerky in my Excalibur dehydrator (which I LOVE and highly recommend if you’re in the market for a home food dehydrator). But I’ve also included oven directions in case you don’t have a dehydrator yet.

I find I get the best results using a dehydrator as the oven can easily over-dry the jerky and tends to dry it more unevenly, leaving some pieces with too much moisture while some are a little too dry. So I suggest that if you are using your oven, you should keep a close eye on the jerky and remove any pieces that are dried while leaving any that require a bit more drying time.

 

Homemade beef jerky is a delicious way to preserve meat for food storage and for easy transport to take on hikes, camping trips, road trips and to pack in a backpack in an emergency situation where you need to leave home.

Best cuts of meat for beef jerky

The best cuts for beef jerky are lean cuts with the fat removed. These include:

  • Eye of round
  • Top or bottom round
  • Flank steak
  • Sirloin tip

You can either ask your butcher to trim all the fat for you and slice the meat into slices that are ⅛-inch to ¼-inch thick, or you can do this yourself. If you opt to trim and slice the meat yourself, it helps to pop it in the freezer for up to 30 minutes to make it firmer and easier to slice thin. 

It’s important to remove as much fat as possible as the fat is what will make the meat go rancid and spoil much quicker.

 

Homemade beef jerky is a delicious way to preserve meat for food storage and for easy transport to take on hikes, camping trips, road trips and to pack in a backpack in an emergency situation where you need to leave home.

How to make beef jerky in a dehydrator

When making your own homemade beef jerky, the meat needs to hit an internal temperature of 160°F in order to be safe for consumption – so if your dehydrator doesn’t go to 160ºF, you’ll want to use the oven method instead. Alternately, if your dehydrator doesn’t go to 160ºF, you can still use the dehydrator but then put your jerky in the oven at 275°F for 10 minutes as an added safety measure

One reason I love my Excalibur is because it reaches high enough temperatures for making all kinds of dried foods, including beef jerky. It also has fans in the bak (instead of at the top) so all of the food dries evenly and the trays don’t need to be rotated.

To make homemade beef jerky in a dehydrator, lay out marinated strips of jerky on the dehydrator trays, spaced out so they aren’t touching, and load trays into dehydrator. Set the dehydrator to 160ºF and set the timer for 4 hours. If the meat is still quite moist, put it back in the dehydrator and check every hour or so until the meat is dry and leathery but still flexible.

Related: Homemade “Cheesy” Kale Chips (Dehydrator + Oven Instructions)

 

How to make beef jerky in the oven

If making beef jerky in the oven, preheat oven to 175°F, then lay marinated jerky strips out directly on a cookie sheet or baking tray

Place jerky into the oven for 2-3 hours. Check at 2 hours to see if any of the pieces are fully dried and if so, remove them and set them aside on a plate. Place any remaining pieces back in the oven and continue to dry until the meat is dry and leathery but still flexible.

 

Homemade beef jerky is a delicious way to preserve meat for food storage and for easy transport to take on hikes, camping trips, road trips and to pack in a backpack in an emergency situation where you need to leave home.

How to know when homemade beef jerky is done

When making homemade beef jerky for the first time, it can sometimes be hard to know when it’s done. If the jerky is soft, flexible and chewy, it’s safe to eat, but probably won’t last long on your shelf, so you can either eat it right away or store it in the fridge for up to 2 weeks. Or you can continue drying it until ore of the moisture is removed.

Once the jerky is dry and leathery a bit more stiff (but still slightly flexible), that is more suitable for longer-term storage. It should bend and crack, but not snap.

 

How long does homemade beef jerky last?

Homemade jerky can have a shelf life of a couple months when following proper methods. I find a vacuum sealer is very handy for storing beef jerky and other dried foods. I use a FoodSaver vacuum sealer.

Vacuum pack jerky or place in Ziplock bags with an oxygen absorber. Vacuum packed beef jerky will last up to 2 months on shelves or about 3 months in the refrigerator.

Homemade beef jerky will last at least one year or more in the freezer. 

If you don’t use a vacuum sealer or an oxygen absorber, beef jerky will last about one week on your pantry shelves or up to 2 weeks in the fridge. It will last for up to a year in the freezer.

Related: 8 Ways to Preserve Food At Home

 

Homemade beef jerky is a delicious way to preserve meat for food storage and for easy transport to take on hikes, camping trips, road trips and to pack in a backpack in an emergency situation where you need to leave home.

Sweet & smoky beef jerky marinade

My favourite homemade beef jerky recipe is marinated for 24 hours in a sweet and smoky sauce made with soy sauce, Worcestershire sauce, honey, brown sugar, paprika, garlic and onion powder and liquid smoke. 

It’s super simple to make. All you need to do is mix all of the marinade ingredients together in a bowl, toss the sliced beef in the marinade and then place in a Ziplock bag or airtight container and let it marinade in the fridge for a minimum of 8 hours, and up to 24 hours.

Then lay beef slices on your dehydrator trays (or on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper if using the oven method), and then follow the appropriate instructions for drying your beef jerky.

Full recipe and instructions can be found below:)

If you make this recipe at home, I’d love to hear from you! Leave a review or a comment below and let me know what you think!

 

Homemade Beef Jerky Recipe (Dehydrator + Oven Instructions)

Homemade Beef Jerky Recipe (Dehydrator + Oven Instructions)

Yield: Roughly 1 lb. of beef jerky

Homemade beef jerky is a delicious way to preserve meat for food storage and for easy transport to take on hikes, camping trips, road trips and to pack in a backpack in an emergency situation where you need to leave home.

Ingredients

  • 2 pounds thinly sliced beef (see best cuts above)
  • ¼ cup soy sauce or alternative (ie. Tamari or coconut aminos)
  • ¼ cup Worcestershire sauce 
  • 1 tablespoon honey (or substitute molasses or maple syrup)
  • 1 tablespoon brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon paprika
  • 1 tablespoon liquid smoke
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder

Instructions

  1. Toss the sliced beef in the marinade, ensuring every inch is well coated. Place in a Ziplock bag or in an airtight container and refrigerate for a minimum of 8 hours, up to 24 hours.

    Dehydrator Directions:
  2. Lay the marinated beef slices on dehydrator trays, ensuring they don’t touch. Place trays in the dehydrator and dry at 165ºF/74ºC for 4 to 6 hours. (For food safety reasons, if your dehydrator doesn’t go up to 165ºF, dry at the highest setting and then play jerky in the oven at 275ºF for 10 minutes after drying so that meat reaches an internal temperature of 160ºF).
  3. Once beef jerky is completely dry, it’s ready to pack. Jerky should be dry enough that it cracks when it bends, but doesn’t snap or break.

    Oven Directions:
  4. Preheat the oven to 175ºF. Lay the marinated beef slices on a baking tray, ensuring they don’t touch. Dry in the oven for 2 to 3 hours.
  5. Once beef jerky is completely dry, it’s ready to pack. Jerky should be dry enough that it cracks when it bends, but doesn’t snap or break.

Notes

*** IMPORTANT: Always ensure that your beef jerky is dry and has no visible moisture left before storing. Foods with more than 10% moisture content that are vacuum sealed or sealed in an airtight container with an oxygen absorber run the risk of producing the botulism toxin, which thrives in moist environments with low to no oxygen. ***


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ABOUT ANNA
Hi! I’m Anna, and I’m a city girl turned modern homesteader who’s passionate about growing, cooking and preserving real food at home, creating my own herbal medicine and all-natural home and body care products, and working toward a simpler, more sustainable and self-sufficient life each and every day. 
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A few things to keep in mind as you're planning your holiday festivities... there are so many fun things you can do for free, or for the cost of a small charitable donation around this time of year. ⁣

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Folks like us tend to like to stay productive, even while living slow, intentional lives. We like to feel like we accomplished something every day, whether that means tackling a new project, learning a new skill, preparing a new recipe or simply reading and acquiring some new information that will serve us down the road.

Winter presents us with the perfect opportunity to do all of the above, because as much as there may be snow on the ground and we may feel as if our hands are tied as far as certain outdoor activities we like to partake in the rest of the year, our time is suddenly freed up to focus on all sorts of different things that we often don’t have time for during the spring, summer and fall months.

In the latest issue of Modern Homesteading Magazine, we’re highlighting some of the ways that we can keep entertained and productive and continue learning and adding new skills to our repertoire during the winter months while still taking time to slow down from our usual pace and celebrate all that we’ve achieved over the past year.

In this issue, you’ll find:
🧶 Projects & ideas to help you keep busy and stay productive this season
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But the best part is that if you subscribe by the end of December you’ll also get a FREE one-year subscription to gift to someone else.

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in truth it’s a much needed time of rest for all⁣
human beings, whether they spend their days⁣
at home working the land or in the city working⁣
in a cubicle. ⁣

On the other hand, slowing down and⁣
settling in can lose its lustre after a while.⁣
Cabin fever can start to set in by January or⁣
February and we may find ourselves restlessly⁣
waiting for spring.⁣

But there is a happy medium that we can⁣
find between boredom and busy-ness that, in⁣
many ways, only winter can offer us. Because⁣
even though our gardens may be lying dormant⁣
and the trees may be bare and the hens may⁣
not be laying and the wild critters may all be hibernating, there is still life and activity all⁣
around us, even in the depths of winter.⁣

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Magazine, we’re highlighting some of the ways⁣
that we can keep entertained and productive⁣
and continue learning and adding new skills to⁣
our repertoire during the winter months while⁣
still taking time to slow down from our usual⁣
pace and celebrate all that we’ve achieved over⁣
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And the best part is, until the end of December, all new subscribers to the magazine also get a FREE one-year subscription to gift to someone else, which makes a great holiday gift! ⁣

Click the link in my bio to subscribe or visit: https://modernhomesteadingmagazine.com/subscribe/
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I don't know about where you're from, but around here the Christmas decorations have been on store shelves since August and the first carton of eggnog I saw at the grocery store was in September! ⁣

I'm all for celebrating the season, but I think it loses something when it becomes Christmas all year long (or at least when it spans 2 or even 3 seasons!)⁣

I like waiting until December to decorate and put on Christmas tunes, and I definitely won't take my first sip of eggnog until the advent calendar comes out!⁣

That being said, when it is time for Christmas, I enjoy savouring every bit of the holiday season, and that means that when it comes to eggnog, store-bought just won't do. Instead, I whip up my own homemade eggnog, which is way tastier in my opinion, and has less added and unnecessary ingredients, thickeners, etc. It's just eggs, sugar, milk and cream, some liquor if you choose, and a little nutmeg and a cinnamon stick to garnish!⁣

It's also super quick and easy to make yourself.⁣

Grab the full recipe via the ink in my bio @anna.sakawsky or visit https://thehouseandhomestead.com/old-fashioned-homemade-eggnog-recipe/ ⁣

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What’s in your bug out bag??

Yesterday I was in my Stories sharing a bit about emergency preparedness and what I’m doing to get prepared for whatever the future holds.

I also asked YOU what emergency skills or supplies you recommend having in your back pocket “just in case,” and one of the responses I got was to have a bug out bag packed and ready to go.

This got me thinking it was high time to pull out my bug out bag and go through it because it’s been a couple years since I last did so. I decided to share it with you here and show you what I keep packed and ready to go and go through what needs updating and what I’m missing.

If the concept of a bug out bag is new to you, have a watch through this video and check out this article on 15 Emergency Preparedness Items You Need to Have Packed and Ready to Go: https://thehouseandhomestead.com/15-emergency-preparedness-items-you-need-packed-ready-to-go/

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Do you keep a bug out bag packed?

What do you keep in it?

What types of emergency situations are you preparing for in your area?

Let me know in the comments 👇

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Do you have what you need on hand to take care of yourself and your family in the event of a worst case scenario?

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Between growing nuclear tensions, the ongoing threat of pandemics, cyber attacks and a looming energy crisis, medical staff and supply shortages, and general “everyday” medical, financial and other miscellaneous emergencies, we’d all be wise to be prepared BEFORE the next emergency happens.

One of our neighbours passed away very suddenly last week (just 50 years old 😔) and it reminded me of just how quickly things can go sideways. As far as we know he suffered a heart attack, and while his wife did everything she could to save him, by the time the ambulance arrived it was too late. It was a wake up call for me, that not only do we need to be prepared with supplies on hand, but with knowledge and skills too. I’m definitely looking into booking a refresher First Aid course and highly recommend everyone reading this do the same if this is a skill you need to brush up on!

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I consider myself an optimistic realist: I hope for the best and I live fully and freely in the moment, but I prepare for the future accordingly based on what I can see unfolding in our world. And honestly, I find this “sweet spot” to be incredibly empowering.

This is why I do what I do and why I share it with you on a regular basis; I WANT TO EMPOWER YOU TOO!

That’s why I created The Society of Self-Reliance: A private membership that connects you with the resources, support and community you need to reclaim your independence and become more self-reliant in every aspect of your life.

From growing and preserving your own food to crafting and using herbal medicine to life skills like how to manage it all and stay calm in stressful situations, how to prepare for emergency situations and much more, if you’re ready to learn invaluable skills that will help you take control of your family’s food security, health and wellbeing, time, finances, and ultimately over your own future, The Society of Self-Reliance was created for you!

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To learn more or get on the waitlist, click the link in my bio @anna.sakawsky or go to thehouseandhomestead.com/society

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171 5

It’s October, and that means pumpkin spice season is officially here 🎃

This year, instead of spending $5 or more on a PSL loaded with questionable artificial ingredients, why not make your own pumpkin spice syrup at home with REAL PUMPKIN and all-natural ingredients!

All you need is some puréed pumpkin (I make mine with fresh pumpkins, but you can use canned), some brown sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, ground cloves, allspice and ginger, a splash of vanilla extract and some water.

Bring everything to a boil and then simmer and reduce. Strain into a bottle or Mason jar and store in the fridge for up to a week or so.

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129 7

Do you dream of escaping the rat race and starting a homestead far from the chaos of the modern world?

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In the latest issue of Modern Homesteading Magazine, I sat down with Ann Accetta-Scott of @afarmgirlinthemaking to talk all about what people need to know about buying and selling a homestead property.

Ann and her husband Justin recently moved from their two-acre homestead outside of Seattle, Washington to a 40-acre homestead in rural Tennessee. Ann and I sat down to talk about the realities of buying and selling a homestead, moving across the country to pursue your homesteading dream, what to look for when you’re searching for your next property, pitfalls to avoid (if you can!), and what you can do if you’re not ready or in a position to make your move just yet.

Whether you’re looking to purchase your first homestead or trying to sell an existing homestead and upgrade to a bigger property, Ann had some great insights to share that can save you time, stress and money when you’re ready to make your move.

Check out the full interview in the fall issue of Modern Homesteading Magazine: link in bio @anna.sakawsky or visit www.modernhomesteadingmagazine.com to subscribe, login to the library (if you’re already a subscriber) or view a sample of the current issue!

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This is why people don’t trust our medical system!!!

I very rarely go on a rant about current events but this has me feeling really fired up…

My husband and I each got an Amber Alert on our phones the other night along with millions of other British Columbians, informing us of a child abduction in Vancouver. It made the suspect sound like a dangerous kidnapper and said “do not approach. Call 911.”

As it turns out, it was the mother of the child (a 3-year-old boy), who had refused medical treatment without getting a second opinion and follow up blood tests, so the Ministry of Child and Family Services was called, she was arrested and her son was taken from her and was administered medical treatment in the hospital without consent and without a guardian present.

There’s a lot more to this story than I’m able to share in this video or this caption, so I’ll post some links below where you can hear directly from the mom what happened, and check out other IG accounts that have been in direct contact with her and the father. But the point is this was a GROSS misuse of our Amber Alert system, a GROSS abuse of power (turns out the boy wasn’t sick in the end anyway), and has now traumatized this family for life.

Doctors are not gods and as mothers we do not co-parent with the government!!!

This hits close to home for me because I too have been through the medical system and had my concerns dismissed, was misdiagnosed and given wrong information, and was treated with obvious contempt when I got a second opinion.

In this day and age of rampant medical coercion and the erosion of bodily autonomy over our own bodies and over those of our children, this story highlights the dangers of the very slippery slope we’re on.

As parents who only have the best interests of our children at heart, this could happen to any one of us. We can’t let this be normalized. Remember “first they came for (fill in the blank), and I said nothing. Then they came for me and there was no one left to speak for me.”

Check out my stories for the full video that the mom, Wiloh made explaining the details of what happened or check out the comments for links to learn more & support this family.
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I’ve hesitated about posting this reel over and over because I know I’ll probably get backlash, hate and vitriol from some people in return. But I wouldn’t be being true to myself if I didn’t speak the truth that’s on my heart and mind…

If you haven’t noticed, there are currently thousands of Canadians sharing their stories and using the hashtag #trudeaumustgo on their social media posts right now in response to the divisive rhetoric and actions of our prime minister over the past few months. But our media has downplayed the issue and has attributed most of the hashtags to “bot” accounts and foreigners trying to influence our politics.

In response, real Canadians are making videos and sharing their stories to show that we are not bots, but real people who have been negatively affected by the words and actions of our leaders, particularly our leader at the top.

I used to consider myself a lifelong leftist and have supported the liberal government and Trudeau over the years, but after what I’ve witnessed over the past few months; After how he has spoken about Canadians who have made a different medical choice or who have protested mandates (which have done nothing to stop the spread of you-know-what anyway); After the hate and division that has trickled down from the top and infiltrated our communities, I can no longer stand silently by.

While I am 💉, a few months ago when I voiced my support for those who stood up against mandates and against the division being pushed on us by our leadership, I suddenly found myself among what our prime minister called the “small fringe minority” of citizens with “unacceptable views.”

I lost followers, friends and even a couple family members. I was told I’d been “radicalized,” although my views have never changed.

So today I’m adding my voice to the chorus of real, everyday Canadians who are taking a stand against tyranny and division in this country. As the saying goes, if we do not stand for something, we’ll fall for anything. I stand for freedom & autonomy, and against division & tyranny.

#trudeaumustgo

(Special thanks to fellow 🇨🇦 homesteader @meggarlandd for inspiring me & giving me the courage to post this:)
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