There was a point in my life when I didn’t like beef jerky. I was clearly insane. I just didn’t like the way they smelled, so I decided I won’t like them. I honestly thought they smelled like dog food, which isn’t a too weird of a thought since many dog treats are made from dried meats. It wasn’t until I tried some good quality beef jerky at a farmers market in NYC that I was totally hooked. It’s a perfect snack anytime, and so portable for hiking, on flights, road trips, anywhere.
It was shortly after this newfound respect for beef jerky that I saw how difficult it was to find quality store-bought jerky without harmful ingredients like gluten, soy, and tons of sugar. And when you do find one that’s acceptable, you have to pay an arm and a leg for a teeny tiny package fit for a toddler. No thanks, I’d rather not.
So I recently made some of my own and it turned out really really well. I used chuck roast but you can use any type of lean beef. A great trick to easily getting really thin slices is to freeze the meat for about 30 minutes before cutting into them.
Marinating them for a long time is key to yielding a great flavor profile…whatever that means.
You don’t need a dehydrator for this if you have an oven that can reach a low temperature, anywhere from 140-150 degrees F. After hours in the oven the meat slices go from this:
Check if they are finished by taking a piece, squeezing it, and then bending it. It should be firm and dry, and bend without breaking off.
- 2-3 lbs chuck roast (or any other lean beef cut)
- ½ cup coconut aminos
- ¼ cup apple cider vinegar
- 1 tbsp raw honey
- 1 tbsp sea salt
- 1 tsp black pepper (omit for AIP)
- 1 inch fresh ginger, grated (omit if you don't like ginger!)
- Put the beef in the freezer for 30 minutes. This allows for easy, thin slicing!
- Take out the partially frozen beef and slice thinly as you can against the grain, about ⅛ inch in width.
- Combine the rest of the ingredients in a glass container or a ziplock bag.
- Whisk the mixture until the salt is dissolved and everything is combined.
- Add beef to the marinade, toss, and refrigerate for 8-12 hours, turning halfway.
- Preheat oven to 145 degrees F, or its lowest setting.
- Drain and discard the marinade, and arrange the beef slices in a single layer on a baking rack over a baking dish, so it can catch any drippings.
- Dehydrate in the oven for 10-12 hours with the oven slightly ajar for better circulation.
- The jerky is done when the strips are dry and firm, but bends without snapping off.
- To keep it fresh for a few months, store in an airtight container in the refrigerator.
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