If you’re a fan of beef jerky, then you know that the pre-packaged stuff at the store can be expensive and full of preservatives. Why not try making your own homemade beef jerky? Specifically, why not try making a classic BBQ beef jerky recipe that will leave your taste buds satisfied and your wallet happy?
Making your own beef jerky is surprisingly easy and can be done with just a few simple ingredients. The classic BBQ beef jerky recipe typically involves a marinade made with brown sugar, salt, paprika, onion powder, garlic powder, and other spices. Once the meat has been marinated, it can be dried in a dehydrator or oven to create a delicious and healthy snack that can be enjoyed on the go.
If you’re feeling adventurous, you can also experiment with different flavors and styles of beef jerky. For example, Korean BBQ beef jerky is a popular variation that involves a marinade made with a cup soy sauce, brown sugar, a cup of red wine vinegar, garlic, and ginger. Whether you’re a fan of classic BBQ beef jerky or want to try something new, making your own homemade beef jerky is a fun and rewarding experience that is sure to impress your friends and family.
Ingredients and Preparation
Making your own best jerky is a fun and rewarding experience that can save you money and provide you with a delicious snack. Here are the steps to make your own classic BBQ beef jerky recipe.
Choosing the Best Meat
When making beef jerky, it is important to choose a lean cut of meat. Eye of round roast, top round, and flank steak are all great options. Trim off any visible excess fat to prevent spoilage during the drying process.
Preparing a Flavouful Marinade
To make the marinade for your beef jerky, combine soy sauce, Worcestershire sauce, brown sugar, black pepper, garlic powder, onion powder, paprika, a cup mustard, and liquid smoke in a mixing bowl. You can also add hot sauce, chili powder, smoked paprika, BBQ seasoning, or other spices to customize the flavor to your liking.
Marinating and Refrigerating
Slice the marinated meat against the grain into thin slices or jerky strips. Place them in a large bowl or Ziploc bag with the marinade. Make sure that each strip is coated in the excess marinade and refrigerate for at least 3–4 hours, or overnight for best results.
Slicing and Tenderizing
Remove the meat from the marinade and pat it dry with paper towels. Tenderize the meat by pounding it with a meat tenderizer or the back of a knife. Slice the meat into thin strips, about 1/8 inch thick.
Prepare a BBQ rub by mixing together brown sugar, red pepper flakes, chili powder, smoked paprika, ground black pepper, cayenne pepper, and salt. Coat each strip of meat with the BBQ rub. This forms the base of your delicious beef jerky.
Place the seasoned meat on wire racks or dehydrator trays and freeze for 30 minutes to an hour. This will help the meat retain its shape during the drying process.
Once the meat is frozen, place it in a food dehydrator, oven, electric smoker, or pellet grill with hardwood or wood chips for added flavor. Dehydrate the meat at a low and slow temperature, around 160–180 degrees f Fahrenheit, until it is dry and chewy. Store the homemade beef jerky in a sealed container in the refrigerator or freezer for up to 3 months.
By following these steps, you can create your own delicious and smokey BBQ beef jerky that is packed with protein and flavor.
Cooking and Storing
Dehydrating and Smoking
Making BBQ beef jerky requires a dehydrator or smoker. You can use an oven, but it won’t provide the same smoky flavor. For a classic BBQ beef jerky recipe, you can use apple, oak, or hickory wood chips to add a smoky flavor. For a pellet grill, set the temperature to 180°F (82°C) and smoke for 4-5 hours.
After you’ve made your BBQ beef jerky, you need to store it properly to achieve a maximum shelf life. Store-bought jerky typically comes in a sealed container and can last up to 2 years. However, homemade jerky doesn’t have preservatives, so it won’t last as long. To store homemade jerky, wrap it in paper towels to absorb any remaining moisture and place it on wire racks or cooling racks. Then, put it in an airtight plastic container in the refrigerator. Homemade jerky can last up to 2 weeks in the refrigerator or up to 6 months in the freezer.
BBQ beef jerky is a delicious, healthy snack that’s high in protein and low in calories. Depending on the recipe, 1 ounce of beef jerky can have around 80–100 calories and 10–15 grams of protein. However, it’s important to note that some store-bought jerky can have added sugar and sodium, so it’s always best to check the nutrition label. When making your own beef jerky, you can control the ingredients and make it a healthier snack option.
Overall, making BBQ beef jerky requires a dehydrator or smoker for the drying process. Once you’ve made your jerky, store it in an airtight container in the refrigerator or freezer to extend its shelf life. Homemade beef jerky is a high-protein, low-calorie snack that you can make with different recipes and remaining ingredients.
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Homemade Smokey BBQ Beef Jerky Recipe
- sharp knife
- Cutting Board
- Mixing bowl
- Airtight container or ziploc bags
- 1.5 to 2 pounds of lean beef flank steak or sirloin, thinly sliced
- 1/2 cup soy sauce
- 1/4 cup Worcestershire sauce
- 1/4 cup brown sugar
- 2 tablespoons honey
- 2 teaspoons smoked paprika
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 teaspoon onion powder
- 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
- 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper adjust for spice preference
Step 1: Preparing the Marinade
- In a mixing bowl, whisk together soy sauce, Worcestershire sauce, brown sugar, honey, smoked paprika, garlic powder, onion powder, black pepper, and cayenne pepper.
- Mix until the sugar is dissolved and the marinade is well-combined.
Step 2: Slicing the Beef
- Trim excess fat from the beef and slice it thinly against the grain. Aim for slices about 1/8 to 1/4 inch thick for optimal drying.
Step 3: Marinating the Beef
- Place the beef slices in a large, resealable plastic bag or a shallow dish.
- Pour the BBQ marinade over the beef, ensuring each slice is well-coated.
- Seal the bag or cover the dish and refrigerate for at least 4 hours or preferably overnight, allowing the flavors to penetrate the meat.
Step 4: Dehydrating
- Preheat your dehydrator according to the manufacturer’s instructions.
- Remove the beef from the marinade and pat it dry with paper towels.
- Arrange the beef slices on the dehydrator trays, leaving space between each piece for proper air circulation.
- Dehydrate at 160°F (71°C) for 4-6 hours or until the jerky reaches your desired level of dryness.
Step 5: Storage
- Allow the beef jerky to cool completely before storing.
- Store in an airtight container or zip-top bags to maintain freshness.
- Preparation Time: Approximately 20 minutes (excluding marinating and dehydrating time)
- Servings: This recipe yields about 8–10 servings.
- Calories per Serving: Approximately 120 calories per 1-ounce serving.