Homemade Beef Jerky Recipe

Beef jerky recipe and photos was shared with me by my sister-in-law, Shirley Roth.  Shirley especially made this batch for my husband, Don, as he loves her jerky and begs for it!  Because moisture and fat must be removed from the meat, beef jerky can also be a healthy source of protein.

It is easy to make, as it does not require any special equipment or ingredients (though having a food dehydrator makes the process easier), and the homemade stuff tastes so much better than store-bought.  Follow these easy steps and make your own!


Beef Jerky


Homemade Beef Jerky Recipe:
Prep Time
30 mins
Cook Time
8 hrs
Total Time
8 hrs 30 mins
Course: Snack
Cuisine: American
Keyword: Homemade Beef Jerky Recipe
  • 4 pounds whole very lean top round roast or London Broil roast*
  • 1 cup soy sauce
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 teaspoon liquid smoke
  • 1 teaspoon red cayenne pepper, ground
Homemade Beef Jerky Instructions:
  1. Place wrapped meat in to freezer approximately 1 to 2 hours to partially freeze the surface of the beef to the make it easier to slice evenly.

  2. Prepare Marinade.  Set aside until ready to use.

  3. Once the beef is partially frozen, remove from the freezer, and unwrap.  Using a sharp knife, remove all visible fat and discard (fat causes the jerky to spoil much faster).  Slice the partially frozen beef, against the grain, into long strips approximately 3/8-inch thick slices.  NOTE: Trim the fat as you go along, since fat does not dry.

  4. Add the sliced beef to the prepared Marinade, making sure all the meat slices are covered in the marinade; cover and refrigerate approximately 10 to 24 hours to allow the meat to absorb the flavor.

  5. Beef and marindade ready     Beef marinating

  6. When ready to dry the beef, remove from the refrigerator and drain off the marinade; discarding the marinade.  Using terry cloth towels, pat the meat dry.

  7. Most dehydrators will come with instructions for making jerky.  Follow those directions, as they can vary from machine to machine.

  8. Arrange the meat strips on the trays of your food dehydrator (leave enough room between pieces to allow air to flow around the meat) and dry at your dehydrator's highest setting until done to your liking.

  9. Jerky ready to dry


  11. Depending on your food dehydrator and the thickness of the meat slices, it can take from 6 to 14 hours to dry a batch.  NOTE: Rotate the trays in the top half down to the bottom in the morning and evening.

  12. Jerky Drying


  14. When your jerky is done, let it cool completely and then store in plastic zip-lock bags or air tight jars.  You can tell the jerky is done when it does not break when it is bent - this is when the jerky is done.  Properly dried jerky is chewy and leathery.

  15. Dried jerky done

  16. Store the jerky in the refrigerator or freezer.


Marinade Instructions:
  1. The marinade can be adjusted to your taste with more or less water for saltiness and more or less cayenne pepper for spiciness.

  2. In a large (approximately 9x9x2-inch) plastic container with a lid, mix together the soy sauce, water, Worcestershire sauce, liquid smoke, and cayenne pepper; set aside until ready to use.

Recipe Notes

* It is very important that you use lean meat when making jerky, as fat goes rancid in a hurry.  Marbling and fat are bad when making jerky.  Fat in jerky makes it more prone to rancidity and spoiling. Your jerky meat does not have to be completely devoid of fat, but the leaner the meat the longer the jerky will last.  Could also use venison.

Comments and Reviews

Leave a Reply