Thursday, February 23, 2012

Homemade Dry Brined Beef Jerky

Here is a simple recipe for homemade beef jerky using my Excalibur dehydrator.  When you choose meat for jerky, you want to buy the leanest and freshest meat you can find.  Fortunately for us, that is usually the cheapest!  To make 1lb of beef jerky you will need about 3lb of beef.  Good cuts include flank steak and round roast, or any other meat without any visible fat.  You basically have two choices when making jerky:  marinate it or dry brine it.  I was in a hurry to try out my new dehydrator so I made a dry brine with a mix of salt and spices.  I came up with several kinds:  CHIPOTLE SEA SALT, PINOT NOIR, LEMON AND RED PEPPER, ADOBO, AND AFRICAN SMOKE JERKY.  Each of them were perfectly delicious!  A million times better than store bought jerky!  Quick Tip: Cutting against the grain makes the jerky easier to chew than cutting with the grain.

A protein rich snack without added sugars or preservatives!

3lb lean fresh meat (I used a bottom round roast), sliced 3/16-1/4" thick
finely ground sea salt and seasonings

Seasoning Ideas:
Chipotle Sea Salt:  Sprinkle slices of meat with chipotle infused finishing salt and red pepper flakes
Pinot Noir: Sprinkle slices of meat with red wine infused sea salt
Lemon & Red Pepper:  Sprinkle slices of meat with lemon salt and red pepper flakes
Adobo:  Sprinkle slices of meat with adobo seasoning, sea salt, and a generous amount of black pepper
African Smoke:  Grind African Smoke Seasoning onto slices (found at Trader Joe's) for a smokey taste

1. Trim ALL fat from meat and slice it as think and evenly as you can.  Sprinkle with salt and your choice of seasonings.
2. Place on a single layer in your dehydrator.  Turn to 155F and cook for 4-6 hours or until jerky is very dry but pliable.  Let cool and store in an airtight container.  It's that easy!

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