Making whole meat Jerky at home
100# USDA Choice de-fatted beef steak Slice 1/8" - ¼" thick with the grain
4 ounces of liquid smoke (dilute with 16oz. water).
8 oz. Black Pepper (depending on how hot you want it.)
2.5# Curing salt
Yields about 38# of beef jerky
- Select a good quality beef like USDA Choice grade top round. Another choice would be flat-iron steak or lean skirt steak.
- Remove all the outside fat and gristle.
- Slice it with the grain as thin as possible or less than ¼" thick. (your butcher can do this at the store for you) This is similar to fajita meat.
- Sprinkle with curing salt. (that should be table salt with sodium nitrite)
- Stack slices on top of each other as you salt the top side only.
- Put in container with a raised bottom so the salt water that drains off the meat doesn't set in the liquid. (this could cause the meat on the bottom to get too salty) Let set in the 39 to 32 F refrigerator for 3-5 days.
- Sprinkle with liquid smoke as desired, then sprinkle with black pepper or your favorite seasoning. More pepper just makes it hotter.
- Then cut each slice in 1 to 1½ inch wide strips.
- Lay the slices on a screen leaving the same space between slices as the width of them. You can use a Teflon coated, galvanized or stainless steel ¼" hail screen. If you use a pan, it may not dry as quick or as even.
- Your oven or smoker needs to have a small outlet at the top to have an outlet for the moisture because you will be loosing over 50% of the weight through evaporation.
- Dry for 1 hour at 165 F. and another 6 to 24 hours at 140 F. Yield will vary according to how long you dry it. The thinner the meat the quicker it dries. If you dry it too long, it will snap in two when you bend it.