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How to Make Jerky

Why Should We Tell You?

Homecooked Jerky It seems like defeating the purpose for a company that makes its money by selling beef jerky to give you instructions for how to cook jerky at home. But we made jerky at home long before we started this company. It can be fun and rewarding. More than a snack, jerky making can be a great hobby and a skill that can be passed on to future generations. We love to share our passion for making great jerky and hopefully we can give you some tips that will allow you to make an amazing batch to share with your friends and family. Of course, to truly know if you’re doing it right, make sure to buy lots of Boyd Specialties jerky so you can compare the final results.

Oven Cooked Jerky

  • First find a cut of meat you want to use. Top round is a popular cut and flank steak is hard to beat. The best bet is to talk to your local butcher and see what they recommend.
  • Unlike cooking a steak, you want to find a cut of meat that doesn’t have a lot of marbling. The less fat, the better. Prime is more expensive than select because the extra fat makes steaks taste amazing, but that’s exactly what you want in a great beef jerky, so select is a great choice for jerky.
  • With a sharp knife, remove as much fat as possible. Then cut your beef against the grain in thin strips about 3/16” thick.
  • When your choosing a marinade, remember that cooked marinade tastes very different after the flavor has baked in with the meat taste. Trial and error or existing marinade recipes are the best way to get great results. But remember, making the flavor is one of the most rewarding part, so have fun with it. The only limit is your imagination. Make sure you write down the exact amount of each ingredient you use so you can either make changes later or repeat your success.
  • >Place the meat and the marinade in a sealable plastic tub. Tall cylinder tubs work great (like Tupperware). Rotate and shake the tub lightly (after it’s sealed) about once every few hours for up to a day. Don’t let the meat marinate for more than a day or you’ll get mushy meat.
  • Find a screen like a pizza tray with holes in it so the air can flow and heat can transfer. Lay the meat strips on the tray in one flat layer. Be careful not to let any pieces overlap and leave about a quarter of an inch between each piece. This helps the heat transfer.
  • Make sure to line the bottom of your oven with tin foil or a drip pan. The meat will drip during the cook process and you don’t want to damage your oven.
  • Set oven on its lowest temperature (about 150˚F) and then find a kitchen utensil to stick in the door to keep it from closing all the way. Leaving it open a crack allows moisture to escape and help the meat dry out just right.
  • Cook time will depend on the batch size. Usually it’s about 5-8 hours. During the process make sure to rotate the screens every few hours. Move the top screen to the bottom and turn them 180˚. You’ll know it’s done when the pieces feel dry and are hard enough to bend and just barely not break.
  • When product is removed, allow it to cool to room temperature. You can put them in the refrigerator, but it’s actually better to leave them out. Put them in a sealed plastic bag and hide them so no one else in the house can steal any before they’re ready. Leave them in the bag for a day. You’ll be amazed how much the flavor will change over that day and the texture will be much better too.
  • Buy lots of beef jerky from our online store so you can be sure you followed the directions right.

Dehydrator Cooked Jerky

  • If you want to cook jerky in a dehydrator instead of an oven, it’s pretty simple. Just follow the above directions, but instead of using an oven, you’re going to use a machine that’s been made to dry meat. No more sticking a spoon in the door or lining the bottom with tin foil. Dehydrators circulate the air and expel the moisture. Most dehydrators also have built-in drip trays.
  • For the best home dehydrators, Excalibur makes about the best personal ovens on the market. Think Easy Bake Ovens for big kids.
  • Make sure to read the directions on any dehydrator you get. Directions and cooking process can change a lot with each different brand of dehydrator.
  • Again, it’s best to purchase a lot of jerky from our online store. This can be an inspiring goal and make cooking a lot more fun!