Beef jerky…one of the easiest on-the-go snacks you can grab! But did you know that most of the gas station beef jerky is laden with crap that just isn’t good for you. Luckily, there’s been an increase of packaged beef jerky made from quality, grass-fed beef, free from MSGs, soy, nitrates, etc. (keep a look out for many of these in our upcoming subscription box!) However, buying these on a regular basis can start to get a little pricey. Think Starbucks budget for beef jerky. To solve this challenge, we started dehydrating our own jerky using grass-fed flank steak.
The key to moist jerky is the marinading process. We used quality, grass-fed flank steak and marinaded it for two days in the refrigerator. This allows the meat to soak up the moisture and give you beef jerky that won’t pull your teeth out. For this recipe we wanted a sweet and spicy mixture (my favorite) so we used pineapple and honey to give it a sweet flavor and red pepper and jalapeno for some heat.
There are several dehydrator options out there. Nesco makes a pretty cheap version that can get you started with for dehydrating. We have a bigger dehydrator we purchased from Cabela’s so we’re able to dehydrate more volume at one time. I will warn you, this is an all day process. Once the temperature reaches 160F in your dehydrator, you can add in your steak strips and dehydrate for 4-5 hours.
My only problem with homemade beef jerky is I can’t keep it on hand very long before the kids devour it! This is the perfect snack for road trips, ball games, long commutes, you get the picture. A protein packed snack without all of the MSG and other crud. And the cool thing about jerky is you can create new marinades to try out different flavors!
Homemade Beef Jerky
- 2 # grass-fed flank steak
- 1 pineapple core
- 1 inch chunk of fresh ginger
- 2 tablespoons honey
- 3 T coconut aminos
- 1 teaspoon pink Himalayan salt
- 2 tablespoons garlic powder
- 1 teaspoon onion powder
- 1 teaspoon paprika
- 1 tablespoon liquid smoke
- 1 teaspoon black pepper
- 1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
- 2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
- 1 jalapeno pepper
In a small saucepan, add the pineapple, ginger, honey, and coconut aminos. Fill with enough water to mostly cover the ingredients. Let boil until reduced by half. Remove from the heat, strain and let cool.
While the marinade is boiling, thinly slice the steak, against the grain of the meat.
Add the meat slices to a zip-top bag, along with the cooled marinade and remaining ingredients.
Let marinate in the refrigerator for 2 days.
Turn on dehydrator and let it preheat to 160F. Add steak strips and dehydrate for 4-5 hours.