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Beef Jerky on a cutting board.
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5 from 3 votes

Alton Brown's Beef Jerky

Make your own beef jerky from scratch!
Course Snack
Cuisine American
Diet Gluten Free
Author Tracy



  • 1 to 2 pounds sirloin or flank steak
  • 2/3 cup Worcestershire sauce
  • 2/3 cup soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 2 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 teaspoons onion powder
  • 1 teaspoon liquid smoke
  • 1 teaspoon red pepper flakes


  • 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.


Special Equipment: Dehydrator, OR 1 box fan, 4 paper air-conditioning filters, and 2 bungee cords
Slicing on the grain:  This means that you're cutting with the fibers.  Look for the "lines" in the steak and cut in that direction. You'll be able to tell quickly if you're doing it right, as otherwise it'll seem hard to cut.