While you can make your own beef jerky, many store-bought products contain artificial additives, flavors, and even sugar. Say no thanks to that! So, instead, I make my own. It’s actually pretty easy and works out so much cheaper than the store bought stuff anyhow. I’m pretty sure that once you try making your own, you’ll never go back to buying beef jerky again – it’s the perfect low-carb snack!
2.5 lbs. beef joint – top side or silver side work well but any joint will probably work
2 tablespoons garlic pepper
2 tablespoons chili flakes – optional
Place the beef in the freezer for one hour. This makes the meat firmer and easier to cut. Don’t let it freeze though!
Take a very sharp cooking knife and cut the meat into strips around 1/8-inch-thick and 4-inches-long. There is no need to be especially accurate so long as the thickness is fairly uniform. Think thick, short bacon rashers. Avoid cutting the meat too thinly though as it will dry too much and become brittle.
Layer the beef slices on a plate and sprinkle each layer with the garlic pepper and chili flakes if you are using them. Cover the plate with aluminum foil and leave in the fridge overnight so the flavors infuse into the meat.
The next day, take the strips of beef and stick a wooden cocktail stick through the end of each one. Suspend each slice between the rails of your oven rack. Place the meat fairly close together as you’ll need all the space you’ve got but don’t let any of the meat touch. Your oven should now resemble a cave with dozens of beef stalagmites! Place a sheet of aluminum foil under the meat tendrils to catch any fat that drips down.
Turn on your oven and set it to 125 degrees centigrade. Close the door but prop it open using a wooden spoon or similarly nonconductive item. The idea is to let the moisture escape so it’s essential the door remains slightly ajar.
Leave the jerky to dry for between three to five hours. Check it every hour or so after two hours have elapsed. When ready, the meat should crack when you bend it but not snap. Remember you are not cooking the meat but simply drying it out.
Once the jerky is done to your satisfaction, remove it from the oven and take out all the cocktail sticks. Allow the meat to cool and then store in an airtight box and place in the fridge. If you intend to store your jerky for more than a week, you might want to freeze it although cowboys used to store it under their saddles for months on end so you should be okay. If you do freeze it, it only takes 30 minutes or so to defrost at room temperature.
Nutritional information per two-ounce serving
Protein 28 grams
Carbohydrate 10 grams
Fat 7 grams