How to Make Beef Jerky with a Dehydrator

Updated on March 17, 2016
Turtlewoman profile image

Kim is a board-certified holistic health coach, healthy living and cleanse consultant, and studied under Drs. Andrew Weil and Walter Willet.

Source

Beef Jerky Recipe using a Dehydrator

One of our favorite snack to take on hikes or camping is usually granola bars or beef jerky. Commercially made beef jerky tends to be expensive, high in sodium, and there's such a small amount in each bag. I prefer to make my own beef jerky as it's really easy and cost-effective.

Beef jerky is a convenient, high-protein snack to have on hand all the time. If you don't like beef or are trying to cut back on red meat, you can make turkey jerky or deer jerky in your dehydrator.

If you want to learn how to make beef jerky using a dehydrator, this article includes a step-by-step tutorial. I am also sharing with you two of my favorite recipes.

Why Use a Dehydrator?

People have been drying food since the beginning of time. People preserved different types of food out of necessity. The only two elements that were available were the sun and salt.

Flash forward thousands of years later, technology has given us the dehydrator. We can now dry meat and make delicious jerky right in our kitchen. A dehydrator is one of my favorite kitchen gadget. Not only do I use it to dry fruits, but I often make beef jerky with it. If you have pets, you can also make healthy turkey jerky for them.

The following reasons to use a dehydrator to make beef jerky

  • Less expensive - It cost less electricity to run the dehydrator than using the oven.
  • Healthier - Drying food preserves nutrients
  • It's easy!


Looks like the "Slim Jim's"!

Source

How to Make Beef Jerky with Ground Beef


When it comes to choosing meat for my beef jerky, I prefer ground beef. The result is usually a more chewy and less tough jerky. I do not like to bite into a hard piece of jerky. It's also a lot quicker to make compared to other cuts of beef, since you don't need to do any slicing. Trust me, slicing beef is so time consuming! You also don't need to let the meat marinade for hours.

If you do decide to slice flank steak and marinade it, simply leave it the refrigerator for 1-2 days to allow the flavors to marry and really seep through the meat.

The Essential Equipment for Making Beef Jerky


There are only two equipment that will make your life much easier. Buy a dehydrator and a beef jerky gun! The dehydrator is such a great investment. You can find one for roughly under $40 on Amazon. The beef jerky gun that I use is only $15 and it hold up to 1 pound of meat.

Of course there is the old fashion way of drying out your meat which is to use your oven. However you will be spending more on the electricity bill in the long run.

**For 2 pounds of meat**

Recipe #1: Basic, but Yum Beef Jerky

  • 1/4 cup soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
  • 2 tablespoons liquid smoke
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1 teaspoon paprika

Tips for Beef Jerky Marinade

Optional:

  • Throw in some red pepper flakes if you like spice!
  • 1 teaspoon meat tenderizer if you are using London broil, or any other cuts besides ground beef.

Recipe #2: Teriyaki Beef Jerky

  • 2/3 cup Worcestershire sauce
  • 1/3 cup soy sauce
  • 1/3 cup teriyaki sauce
  • 2 tablespoon honey
  • 1 tablespoon maple Syrup
  • 2 tablespoon brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1 teaspoon liquid smoke
  • 2 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 teaspoons onion powder
  • 2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 tablespoon white sesame seeds

Click thumbnail to view full-size
Source
Source
Source
Source
Source

Instructions for Beef Jerky Using a Dehydrator


  1. Throw all your seasoning in the ground beef and use your hands to mix it well. Yes, use your hands. Mix, mix, mix! **The preservative packets that come with the Nesco jerky gun taste alright too. However, I don't use it because of all the MSG.
  2. Use a big spoon and scoop all the meat into the tube of the jerky gun. Make sure there is no air bubbles in the meat so pack it in there tight!
  3. Using your beef jerky gun, place the slices on the racks. Set your dehydrator temperature to 165 degrees F. I usually check the meat periodically for 2 reasons. One, I get anxious and can't wait for them to be finished. It's an odd habit. Two, different dehydrators have different power so the drying time can vary. The size of the cuts of meat can also make a difference in drying time. It can take from 2 hours to 12 hours to dehydrate, depending on the thickness of the beef and your dehydrator. It's finished when the meat has turned very dark and is pliable.

**TIP**

  • Your beef jerky will be done when it is no longer moist. If you leave it in too long it will become very dry and will crack when you try bending it.

Source

How to Store Homemade Beef Jerky

If you plan on eating the beef jerky immediately or within 5-7 days, you can store it in a sealed bag or tightly sealed container on your counter. If you store it in the refrigerator, it can last up to a few weeks. I would store the rest of the beef jerky in a tight zip lock freezer bags and store in the freezer. The drier the meat, the longer it will last.

Questions & Answers

    Comments

      0 of 8192 characters used
      Post Comment

      • profile image

        Vickey 

        7 hours ago

        Hello #KimLam So after I let my meat marinate And I put it in my dehydrator. How long. Does it take for the meat to cook?

      • Turtlewoman profile imageAUTHOR

        Kim Lam 

        2 months ago from California

        Keep the vents closed. I'm not sure which dehydrator you have, but ideally, you want to keep the temperature low. :-)

      • profile image

        Teresa walsh 

        2 months ago

        Do I open the vents while cooking with my dehydrator. Also mine doesn’t have a temperature setting. Do I assume it’s 160.

      • profile image

        Dougie 

        18 months ago

        Is there a secret to keeping the trays which the meat sits on clean , and ways to making cleaning easier ?

      • profile image

        Debbie 

        19 months ago

        I recently needed burger, did not have any, had a frozen steak, thawed it, put in Ninja, awesome burger!....then I could go on to make the "burger" jerky! Thanks for the great looking recipe and a use for my dehydrator...I never use.

      • profile image

        Nancy 

        19 months ago

        I also found the meat to be very slimy and hard to work with. Way too much liquid for 2lbs of meat.

      • profile image

        Eric 

        21 months ago

        For storage, I use my food sealer...can keep fresh for months!!!

      • profile image

        Nanakath 

        2 years ago

        Hi love this recipe thanks. I'm in the UK. Missing the States. Going to get a dehydrator can this be used for SOS? Hubby Vietnam Vet. Loves is SOS. Thanks again. Looking forward to my new dehydrator to come.

      • profile image

        Beth 

        2 years ago

        What type of curing salt do you use in your recipes?

      • profile image

        Alan 

        3 years ago

        I used the recipe for Teriyaki Beef Jerky today. The jerky is currently in the dehydrator and smells great. However there was WAY too much moisture in the meat so much It was difficult to use the jerky press. The meat came out in "Splats" rather than nice uniform strips. Next time I will use only half the recommended amounts of fluids.

      • Turtlewoman profile imageAUTHOR

        Kim Lam 

        4 years ago from California

        It's so useful! I also use it to make jerky for the dogs and dried fruits for myself too. Enjoy! Thanks for the note.

      • B. Leekley profile image

        Brian Leekley 

        4 years ago from Kalamazoo, Michigan, USA

        My wife and I are on the fence whether to get a food dehydrator. This hub may decide the question in favor of giving one a try.

      • Turtlewoman profile imageAUTHOR

        Kim Lam 

        5 years ago from California

        Hi Deerwhisperer, thanks for dropping by. That would be a great idea...there are so many things you can make with a dehydrator. Have fun with it! Take care!

      • Deerwhisperer profile image

        Brenda K Krupnow 

        5 years ago from Ravenden, AR

        I really like jerky and so does our dog, but it's sooo expensive. After reading your hub I plan to go out and buy a dehydrator, or better yet, maybe someone will give me one for Christmas. Nice well written hub. I voted up, useful, and interesting.

      • Turtlewoman profile imageAUTHOR

        Kim Lam 

        6 years ago from California

        Hi Kitty- I only use liquid smoke in jerky and BBQ sauce. Thanks for visiting- hope you like it!

        Nettlemere-That's interesting! It's time you introduce everyone in the UK to homemade beef jerky!:-)

      • Nettlemere profile image

        Nettlemere 

        6 years ago from Burnley, Lancashire, UK

        Beef jerky isn't much eaten in the UK as far as I know, we seem to go in for smoking rather than drying. Don't know why. But this does sound like a handy way of preserving meat for camping expeditions.

      • kittyjj profile image

        Ann Leung 

        6 years ago from San Jose, California

        I don't like MSG either, so I prefer to cook at home. Thank you for sharing this useful hub. I think I will give it a try. I have never used liquid smoke, but I will look it up.

        Voted up and useful!

      working

      This website uses cookies

      As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, delishably.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

      For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: https://delishably.com/privacy-policy#gdpr

      Show Details
      Necessary
      HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
      LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
      Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
      AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
      HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
      HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
      Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
      CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
      Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
      Features
      Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
      Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
      Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
      Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
      Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
      VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
      PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
      Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
      MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
      Marketing
      Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
      Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
      Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
      Statistics
      Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
      ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
      Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)