Homemade beef jerky is a protein packed healthy snack food. I make a big batch and then separate it into snack sized ziplocks to keep in the fridge for snacks on the go- not the most environmentally friendly, but it keeps us easily eating nutrient dense food even on busy days. Paired with a veggie or fruit, beef jerky can be a meal replacement in a pinch.
If you’re nervous about making jerky because of the expense, if your batch doesn’t turn out for whatever reason you can chop it up and add it to soups. I’ve only had one batch not go well, because I dried it too long and it was too tough to eat. Homemade beef jerky is best stored in the fridge since it contains no preservatives. Using more salt can preserve it better, but to be safe, I’d still store it in the fridge or freezer.
Making jerky is a great solution for a cram-packed freezer, as it often can be after a bulk meat order or if you need to make room for something else.
Homemade Beef Jerky
3 lbs meat (roast, sliced) (buy grassfed meat here)
2 tablespoons honey or maple syrup
6 cloves garlic, crushed (garlic can be easily grown in your garden- see gardening resources here)
1/2 teaspoon black pepper (buy organic herbs and spices here)
1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
1/4 cup olive oil (buy olive oil here)
1 teaspoon cayenne
1 teaspoon paprika
1/2 teaspoon ginger
2 teaspoons sea salt
For ease of slicing, place thawed roast in freezer for 45-60 minutes; a slightly frozen roast is easier to slice. Set a timer so you don’t forget- a solidly frozen roast is not easy to slice ;)
Use a sharp knife to slice roast into thin strips (1/4 inch thick or less if you can) and place strips into a freezer bag or bowl. Cover with remaining jerky ingredients and toss to coat meat evenly. Place in the fridge for 12-24 hours (covered if using a bowl), stirring or flipping the bag once half way through to evenly distribute marinade.
After marinading, place strips of meat on dehydrator tray- they can be touching but not overlapping. Dry on the highest setting your dehydrator (this is the dehydrator that I have and love) has for 7 hours. Store in the fridge or freezer.
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