As heavenly as it is healthy, there’s little wonder why beef jerky is a convenient snack food. Originating in South America, where it’s referred to as “ch’arki” (dried, salty meat), this tasty treat is enjoyed by people all over the globe. Why do we love it so much? Could it be its delicious taste or the fact that it has a long shelf life for us folks always on the go? Whatever the reason, it seems that we can’t get enough of it – it’s even estimated that Australia’s jerky market is worth $40 million AUD.

If you are one of the many who can’t get enough of beef jerky, we’ve got just the recipe to teach you how to make it. But first, a little bit of nutritious information to get your mouths watering.

Just how healthy is beef jerky?

Beef jerky is packed with nutrients, such as potassium, magnesium and niacin. And it’s also a great source of iron. For those on low carb or paleo diets, it ticks the approved box as beef jerky is low in carbs but high in protein.

However, that store-bought beef jerky that you love so much is generally high in sodium content. But don’t give up on your favourite snack just yet: why not learn how to make beef jerky – the healthy way? By making it at home, it’s a good way to control the amount of sodium that you use.

There’s two ways that you can make it: with or without a dehydrator. Here, we’ll show you both methods.

How to make beef jerky with a dehydrator

You will need:

  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 2 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • ¾ cup Worcestershire sauce
  •  ¾ cup soy sauce
  • 1 kilogram top round steak (lean)

Method:

  • After slicing the beef into thin strips, mix it in all the herbs and spices
  • Leave to marinate overnight
  • Pat the jerky strips dry to remove any excess marinade
  • Turn your dehydrator on to 160 degrees Celsius
  • Layer the strips evenly on your dehydrator trays
  • Let it run for about 4-5 hours

How to make beef jerky without a dehydrator

Using the same ingredients as before, simply:

  • Slice beef into thin strips and mix in the herbs and spices
  • Marinade overnight
  • Pat the jerky strips to remove any excess marinade
  • Preheat the oven to 100 degrees Celsius
  • Line a baking sheet with aluminium foil and place a wire rack over the foil
  • Arrange beef slices on the baking sheet in an even layer
  • Bake beef in the oven until dry and leathery (this should take 3-4 hours)

Et voila! Now you have your own delicious beef jerky to take with you wherever you go – to the cinemas, hiking or even in your office. Ready to get started? Ask us about the best recommended beef cut for your recipe.

For more delicious beef recipe ideas, browse our blog.