Thursday, March 17, 2016

365 True Things: 354/Jerky

Yesterday as we got in the truck to drive back up the coast, I realized that I was hungry: I'd forgotten to eat lunch! A teammate pulled out a package of TJ dried mango and another of teriyaki turkey jerky. I went straight for the jerky. It was tasty, but it reminded me how much better jerky that I make myself is.

I have a food dehydrator—which I have only ever used for jerky, and then, not all that often. I'd like to change that, though. There's a great website,, with tons of tasty-looking recipes that tell you step-by-step how to make such meals as unstuffed peppers or enchilada bean bark stew. I may have to try some of those as I get closer to a weeklong backpack in the Sierra this September.

But right now, what interests me is jerky. Of which there are of course myriad types. But basic beef jerky? Here's a recipe that I might even try this week. Just to have the pleasure of a jerky snack once in a while. Without the little desiccator packet that always makes me wonder how wholesome the store-bought variety is.

Basic Beef Jerky

  • 2 lb. beef round or flank steak
  • 1/4 cup soy sauce
  • 2 Tb liquid smoke
  • 2 Tb Worcestershire sauce
  • 2 Tb brown sugar
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp black pepper
  • 1 tsp meat tenderizer
  • 1 tsp onion powder
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp paprika
  1. Place the beef in the freezer for 30 minutes to an hour. This makes it easier to cut.
  2. Slice the beef into thin (1/8 to 1/4-inch strips). Try for even thickness.
  3. Combine the rest of the ingredients.
  4. Place beef and marinade in a large Ziploc bag. Shake to coat the meat. Refrigerate for 8 hours or overnight.
  5. Arrange meat strips on dehydrator trays. Cook at highest setting for 4 hours or according to your dehydrator's directions. 

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