Jerky fan? Make Beef Jerky from scratch with this easy and trusted recipe! Alton Brown's Beef Jerky is the only way you'll eat jerky again!
Oh Alton Brown, he knows no wrong. Between his peanut butter and sauerkraut, he's always come through. Last month I made jerky with the awesome jerky gun with it that Mona got for us as a wedding anniversary present (I know, she's so freakin' sweet). At that time I used the seasonings it came with, but in true 'from scratch' fashion, it's time to make our own. So of course I turned to the culinary Obi-wan, Alton Brown and his Beef Jerky from scratch recipe!
Although making beef jerky from scratch out of ground beef is awesome and affordable, I also wanted to try it out with a nice cut of sirloin steak. I grabbed a steak and the ingredients for Alton's seasoning:
- Liquid smoke
- Worcestershire sauce
- Soy sauce
- Onion powder
- Black pepper
- Red Pepper Flakes
- Sirloin or Flank Steak
With a super sharp knife (like our favorite, Shun knives), I sliced the steak as thin as I could. Now Mr. Brown said to stick the steak in the freezer so that it would be easier to cut... I did not have the time and so I didn't... but I wish I had because as usual, Alton knows all. It definitely would have been easier that way.
Next step: throw it all into a ziplock bag for about 3-6 hours. As with most marinades, the longer the better!
And because I got busy / distracted (most likely distracted), which is fine, it just meant I had to leave the little guys in the dehydrator longer because they were super saturated. We dehydrated them for about 24 hrs in our dehydrator. If you marinate for about 3 hrs you could probably get away with only 8-12 hrs.
No Dehydrator? No Problem!
See the recipe instructions for Alton Brown's notes on how to make it without one!
When it was finally done...Mmmmm Beef Jerky From Scratch!
This jerky is SO incredibly flavorful. It is is our go-to for road trip snack and our go-to road trip gift! Have a friend who's moving cross country? THIS is a gift they will LOVE.
We were pretty excited about it; although now I understand why really good jerky is expensive, just like why a really good steak is expensive. Both are totally worth the money. So inline with that, the better the steak, the better the jerky.
Other Dehydrator Snacks
- Trim the fat off of the steak and thinly slice it with the grain (see notes). To help with this, you can add the steak to a plastic bag and put in the freezer for about an hour. This will firm up the meat and make slicing thin easier.
- Add all of the other ingredients in a large 1-gallon zip-lock bag and then add meat strips. With your hands, give the meat a little squeeze and move the liquid around so that it's covering all of the meat. Place the bag into the refrigerator for 3 to 6 hours.
- Add strips to food dehydrator trays and dehydrate for 18 – 24 hours. Check after 12 hrs (Wen it is done will depend how long you let the meat marinate).
- Or, if you don’t have a dehydrator here are Alton Brown's Instructions:
- Remove the meat from the brine and pat dry. Evenly distribute the strips of meat onto 3 of the air filters, laying them in the grooves and then stacking the filters on top of one another. Top these with 1 empty filter. Next, lay the box fan on its side and lay the filters on top of it. Strap the filters to the fan with 2 bungee cords. Stand the fan upright, plug in and set to medium. Allow the meat dry for 8 to 12 hours. If using a commercial dehydrator, follow the manufacturer’s directions.
- Once dry, store in a cool dry place, in an airtight container for 2 to 3 months.
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