Tuesday, August 23, 2011

How-to: Beef Jerky at Home.

There are a few different cuts of meat you can use for Jerky but I use Eye of Round. It is one of the leanest muscles
on the steer and has a nice shape when cut. You want to use the learner cuts of beef because any fat will go
rancid sooner than the meat will and the name of the game with jerky is shelf-life. If done properly, beef jerky can be stored for months in a simple plastic bag.

You'll also need Kosher salt, Chipotle chilis packed in Adobo, Garlic Powder and Onion Powder (I did all this prep-work early in the morning, so I needed some coffee, too). 

Use about a half a can of the chipotles, chopped fine. Mix in ~TBLS of Garlic Powder, ~TBLS Onion Powder and
~2 ounces Salt. Mix the ingredients in a bowl and set aside. 

This guy weighs about two and a half pounds. To make cutting uniform
medallions, freeze the meat for an hour or so. 

Trim away all excess fat. 

Cut the roast into medallions about 1/8-1/4" thick, try to be as
uniform as possible. 

Mise en Place.

Transfer meat and chipotle paste in a large enough bag to hold comfortably.  Manipulate
the bag until the meat is coated evenly.

Here's the fun part... It's August in Texas. It's hot. Hot enough during the day to make a proper batch
of beef jerky without any other heat source (I noticed one day that my grill was hovering around 150F during the day).
In the off-set smoke box on my grill I had a small bed of coals going for the first few hours - just enough to make wood chips smoke. This picture was taken around 7:30PM. 

This is what the jerky looked like at 7;30AM the following morning. I had been tending the coal/smoke situation for most of the evening and into the night. I flipped the meat a couple of times when the temperature was high. 

Here's the bagged-up Jerky after I took it off the grill at around 8:00PM. 

All in all, this process took 2 days. Each of the steps are incredibly simple and the result is fantastic! Never again will I buy store-bought Jerky. 


  1. Hey Bubba,
    Nice. You should try putting some of that No-Brew in the marinade... make you some breakfast jerky! Oh yeah, I think I saw a commercial fridge for sale on craigslist (it's one of those free standing soft-drink coolers with glass doors so you can ogle your curing meat; about twice the size of a fridge). I'll check it out and let you know at work tomorrow.

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