Trail Food: Beef Jerky

Posted on 09 April 2011

Beef Jerky is one of my favorite trail snacks. I like it really much, but the biggest problem is the high price. So I decided to make my own Beef Jerky. The advantage is that you can put everything into the marinade what you want, to get a delicious and tasty jerky.

You need perfect beef for the jerky. I prefer organic beef from a farmer near me, but we also have a good butcher which processes the meet from other good farmers around me. The best beef for the jerky is the fillet, because it has little fat, but it is the most expensive part of the beef. You can also use Roast Beef, Beef Shoulder or rolls. If there is too much fat you can cut it away. Another important part is to cut the beef in very thin slices. This works best if the meat is slightly frozen or you make it at the butcher. After that you can cut the beef into small pieces. Important is to cut the beef against the grain, to bite it better.

Now you could spice up the meat and dry it, but this would not taste very good. So I made a marinade where I’ve placed the meat for 24 hours that it takes the good taste. For the marinade you can use different sauces, herbs, vinegar etc. Important is to use no oil or something similar because it can become rancid. Here is my recipe for the beef. It is made for round about 1kg beef.

  • 125 barbecue sauce
  • 100 soy sauce
  • 125 teriyaki sauce
  • 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
  • 20g ground black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon Fleur de Sel
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • a bit mustard
  • 50ml single malt whisky (preferably a whisky from Islay, because they are so smoky. For this batch of jerky I used a Bruichladdie Octomore)

Put all ingredients in a bowl and mix it. Then put the beef into the marinade and mix everything again, so that the whole beef is covered with the delicious marinade. After that put everything in a freezer bag and close it with elastic or something else. Put everything in the refrigerator for 18-24 hours.

The next step is to separate the meat from the marinade. Pour everything in a sieve so that the marinade can proceed. With slight pressure on the meat you can get more marinade out of the beef. Last but not least dry the beef with the help of some kitchen paper. Now you can put the beef into your dehydrator for round about 4-6 hours, depending on how thick the beef is.

After the drying process the meat must cool down at first. Then the beef jerky can be stored in normal Zip-Locs. I still let this jerky rest a little bit, so that the rest-humid can steadily spread. You can store the jerky for about 6 month.

Enjoy making your own Beef Jerky.


  • quasinitro

    Yummy! On first May i will test it :- )

  • Sven

    Nice Article! Good “how to” value. Thanks. Think of getting a dehydrator.

  • T. J. Hart

    You mixed the whiskey INTO the marinade! I thought the cook sipped it while creating the jerky! ;-)

  • Brian

    Ben, that looks like a good recipe. Single malt…hmm I might like making that ! I’ll try this recipe with my next time. Just made a batch od Korean kalbi flavored jerky that turned out very well..

  • http://thunderinthenight.blogspot.com/ Joe

    Fantastic article Beni, clear, concise, helpful and inspiring. I love jerky on trips and it will be great fun having a go at making my own.

  • hrxxlight

    @quasinitro

    OK. I think I have to make a new batch for May, 1st.

    @Sven
    Thank you Sven. Try the Bomann dehydrator for thr beginning. Thisone is really expensive and works pretty good:

    @T.J. Hart
    Every cook hast to test the ingredients before creating something delicious.

    @Brian
    Your recipe sound yummy. Could you please release it here in another comment or can I find it on your Blog??

    @Joe
    Thanks for these kind words. Jerky is the perfect snack for trips, because there is not really much meat in the normal trail food packages. And it is time that you get your own dehydrator in the next time.

  • Michael I

    How much do you save? That is, how much does it cost you to make the equivalent of a normal bag of Jerky from a store?

    Thanks,
    -Michael

  • hrxxlight

    @Michael

    I haven’t checked this, but it is a legitimate question. I’ll do this in the next days and let you how much I save

    Beni

  • http://korpijaakko.wordpress.com Korpijaakko

    I guess I missed this while I was up North. I’ve done beef jerky once before but after reading this delicious recipe I think I’ll have to try again. Last time I used moose meat as I happen to have a good supply for it (for free)… Maybe this time I’ll test moose vs beef. A dash of Islay whiskey sounds like a perfect addition to the marinade! Thanks!

  • hrxxlight

    @korpijaako

    wow moose what a luxury. It is very hard to find moose in germany and it is really expensive, but I would try it if I would get the chance to buy something.

  • http://korpijaakko.wordpress.com Korpijaakko

    If you visit Finland I can provide a piece of moose for you. ;)

    They are regularly hunted here. The meat is more expensive than beef in a shop or restaurant (and not widely available) but for those hunting, it’s relatively cheap. Even free if you think that it’s a hobby and most hobbies always cost something.

  • hrxxlight

    @korpijaako

    That sounds nice. Maybe I’ll visit Finland in autumn. My girlfriend and I are looking for a cabin near a beautiful lake which we can rent for some days.

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