Make Your Own Beef Jerky! How to Make Beef Jerky in the Oven
How to Make Beef Jerky in the Oven
Drying out your meat to create jerky is an ancient cooking process that increases the shelf-life of the meat and adds a delicious and unique flavor and texture to your steak. While most people typically purchase their beef jerky at the store, you can also make it in your oven. To create beef jerky, you'll have to marinate the meat first, then cook the beef for a long time at a low temperature. If you follow the correct steps and use the right ingredients, you can create your very own homemade beef jerky in no time!
3 pounds (1.4 kg) of flank, top round, or sirloin steak
1/2 cup (118.3 ml) of soy sauce
1/4 cup (59.1 ml) of sesame oil
1 1/2 teaspoons (6.3 g) of powdered ginger
1/4 cup (1 g) of brown sugar
2 tablespoons (25 g) of sesame seeds
2 teaspoons (8.4 g) of ground pepper
Preparing the Meat
Trim the fat off the meat.Use a sharp paring knife to carefully trim any of the white fat or tendons from the red steak. Fat will make your jerky overly chewy and will cause the jerky to spoil faster. Remove as much of the fat as you can before moving onto the next step.
Place the meat in a freezer for two hours.Wrap the meat in plastic wrap first, then place it in your freezer. A partially frozen steak will be easier to cut than a non-frozen steak.
Cut the meat into 1⁄8 to 1⁄4 inch-thick (0.32 to 0.64 cm) strips.Lay the meat out on a cutting board and start to cut thin strips of meat from the steak with a chef's knife. Each slice of meat should be anywhere from 4 to 6 inches (10 to 15 cm) long. Continue cutting the strips until you’ve cut the entire steak into pieces.
- Cut against the grain for a more traditional chewy texture or with the grain for a more sinewy texture.
- Try to slice the meat so each piece is a uniform size.
Marinating the Meat
Pour the liquid ingredients to a cooking dish.Pour the half cup (118.3 ml) of soy sauce and the ¼ cup (59.1 ml) of sesame oil into a cooking dish or a large bowl. Mix the liquids together until they are well incorporated.
Add the dry ingredients to the mixture.Use a measuring spoon to add 1/4 cup (1 g) of brown sugar, 1 1/2 teaspoons (6.3 g) of powdered ginger, 2 tablespoons (25 g) of sesame seeds, and 2 teaspoons (8.4 g) of ground pepper to the mixture. Use a spoon or a fork to mix all of the ingredients together until they are well incorporated.
Place the strips of meat into your marinade and cover it.Place the beef into the marinade and mix the pieces around so that they get covered in the mixture. Cover the top of the cooking dish with plastic wrap or an airtight lid.
Place the steak in the refrigerator for up to 12 hours.As the meat sits in the refrigerator, it will start to soak up the marinade and impart the flavors from the spices and soy sauce mixture into your jerky. The longer that you soak the meat in the marinade, the more flavorful your jerky will be.
- If you’re in a rush, you can leave the meat soaking in the marinade for three hours.
Cooking the Jerky
Remove the meat from the marinade and dry it off with paper towels.Remove the bowl or the cooking dish from the refrigerator and lay the slices of meat onto a paper towel. Use more paper towels to blot over the surface of the meat and remove as much moisture as you can. Leave the meat out for an hour so it can warm up to room temperature.
Place the beef onto a cooking sheet lined in tin foil.The cooking sheet will be what your jerky cooks on. Do not let the jerky overlap or it won’t cook evenly.
Preheat your oven to 145–175 °F (63–79 °C).If your oven doesn't go that low in temperature, set it to as low as your oven will go. You’ll have to cook the steak at a low temperature over a long period of time so that it dries out and becomes jerky.
Put the beef into the oven and cook it for 3-8 hours.Check the jerky after three hours have passed. If it’s to your liking you can remove it and store it in ziplock bags. Otherwise, let the jerky continue cooking for up to 8 hours, or until it’s the consistency that you want.
- Thicker pieces of jerky will take longer to cook.
- The longer that you keep the jerky in the oven, the drier it will become.
Video: How To Make Beef Jerky - Step By Step
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