Snacking Essentials: Beef Jerky – Three Ways

Andy Anderson !


I like good beef jerky, but the operative word in that sentence is “good.” Most folks equate jerky with a dehydrator; however, you can use a dehydrator, oven; even an air fryer.

The thing that makes good jerky is not the drying method; it is the spices… and that is what we are going to talk about.

The ingredients in this recipe have no additional sweeteners, and NO preservatives. That means shelf life is about a month; however, I will wager it will be gobbled up long before that.

So, you ready… Let’s get into the kitchen.


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30 Min
4 Hr



  • 1 lb
    steak, more on this later

  • 1/2 c
    tamari sauce, or liquid aminos
  • 2 Tbsp
    worcestershire sauce
  • 2 tsp
    white pepper, coarsely-ground
  • 1 tsp
    dehydrated onions, coarsely ground
  • 1/2 tsp
    smoked paprika
  • 1/4 tsp
    red pepper flakes
  • 1/4 tsp
    garlic powder

How to Make Snacking Essentials: Beef Jerky – Three Ways


  2. The two most important things about jerky are the type of beef you use and the spices.

    The Beef
    Actually, it could be pork, or chicken; however, we are talking beef. I have made jerky with several cuts of beef, but one thing is that it needs to be is lean, lean, lean. My favorite cuts are flank, eye-of-round, top-or-bottom roast, or even a London broil.

    Oh, and cut against the grain… that makes the jerky more on the tender side.

    You do not want the beef too thick or too thin. I found my ideal thickness to be about 1/8 inch (0.3cm). Any thinner and it is dried and breaks apart. Any thicker and you wind up with steak for dipping, like a chicken tender.
    If you are cutting it yourself, you might want to stick it in the freezer to firm it up a bit, making it easier to slice.
  3. Gather your ingredients (mise en place).
  4. Cut the beef into uniformly thick slices.
  5. Mix all the marinade ingredients together, then add the beef slices.
  6. I like to add them to a Ziploc bag, and throw the bag into the fridge.
  7. Throw the bag into the fridge for about 30 minutes.
    I am going to give you three ways to turn these into jerky.

    Knock off any additional marinade, place on the drying trays, and run the dehydrator on the manual’s recommended temperature and time. In my case it took about 8 hours.

    Line a baking sheet with parchment paper, and add a wire rack, then add the marinaded steak to the rack. Preheat oven to 175f (80c), and bake to your preferred doneness, about 4 hours.

    Lay the marinated beef in the basket of your air fryer and cook for about 2 hours at 180f (85c).
  9. What you are looking at is YOUR version of beef jerky. I like my dry but flexible. Some like it dry enough to crack when you bend it; some like it softer. Choose your spices and choose your drying method.
  11. Put it out and let folks grab a piece, or two. Enjoy.
  12. Keep the faith, and keep cooking.

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About Snacking Essentials: Beef Jerky – Three Ways

Course/Dish: Other Snacks
Main Ingredient: Beef
Regional Style: American

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