Homemade Beef Jerky

  • PrepTime: 30 Mins
  • CookTime: 3 Hrs
  • TotalTime: 13 Hrs 30 Mins


  1. 3 pounds meat, any low-fat beef cut of your meat of choice, frozen for 1 hour prior to slicing
  2. 2 tablespoons kosher salt
  3. 1/4 cup white vinegar
  4. 2 teaspoons liquid smoke
  5. 1/4 cup soy sauce
  6. 2 dashes Worcestershire sauce
  7. 1/4 cup brown sugar
  8. 1 teaspoon ground ginger
  9. 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  10. 2 tablespoons crushed red pepper flakes
  11. 1/4 cup kosher salt
  12. 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  13. 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  14. 1/2 cup brown sugar, optional


  1. Gather the ingredients.
  2. Trim all of the fat off of meat. Fat does not dehydrate well, will create an unpleasant texture if left on meat, and can cause faster decay.
  3. With a very sharp knife, slice beef with or against the grain depending on preferred texture. Cut thinly, at least 1/4-inch thick, if not thinner. Freezing meet for 1 hour prior to slicing will make this process much easier.
  4. Mix vinegar, liquid smoke, soy, Worcestershire, brown sugar, ginger, garlic, and salt in a nonreactive bowl.
  5. Place slices of meat in bowl. Mix well, cover with plastic wrap, and marinate meat for 10 hours in fridge. Toss meat around once or twice during this process.
  6. Once marinating time is over, place meat in a colander and drain off liquid.
  7. Mix red pepper flakes, salt, garlic powder, pepper, and brown sugar (if using) in a medium-sized bowl.
  8. Once meat is drained, dip both sides of each slice of meat into dry rub. Follow instructions for oven or dehydrator method, depending on which appliance you will be using.
  9. Preheat oven to 175 F. Cover a large baking tray with parchment paper. Place a wire rack on top of the tray, then place strips of beef jerky on top. Allow excess moisture from marinade to drip off first. 
  10. The jerky will take 2 to 3 hours to dehydrate in oven depending on how much moisture the meat had at the beginning. If there are spots in oven that are hotter, turn trays around halfway through process. About three-fourths through on the drying time, take a piece of jerky and bend it. If there is any visible moisture, the jerky needs the remaining drying time. Check again at the end of the dehydration process and add more oven time if needed.


  1. Honey Pepper: Add 1/4 cup honey, 1/4 cup soy sauce, 1 tablespoon chili powder, and 2 teaspoons black pepper.
  2. Hawaiian: ​Add 1/2 cup pineapple juice, 1/4 cup brown sugar, and 1/4 cup soy sauce.
  3. Sweet and Spicy Bourbon: ​Add 1 teaspoon liquid smoke, 1 tablespoon molasses, 1/4 cup bourbon, 2 tablespoons soy sauce, 2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce, and 1 tablespoon of hot sauce.