This simple recipe for my version of beef jerky is a perfect project for a weekend afternoon. It requires no special equipment or unusual ingredients and it’s very, very good, not to mention half the cost of store-bought jerky. This makes a great low fat snack for football parties.
I’ve used round steak in this recipe, but any thinly sliced, lean cut of beef works well. The meat can be purchased already thinly sliced, or if you have a good sharp knife, purchase a London Broil roast and thinly slice it yourself.
Two cookie sheets and any type of rack will work just fine here. The idea is to elevate the meat strips so they don’t “stew” in the marinade that drips off during the drying process. I line the cookie sheets with a sheet of aluminum foil to eliminate any clean-up at the end of the process.
1-2 pounds thinly sliced round steak, fat removed
½ cup light brown sugar
1 ½ cups Kikkoman teriyaki sauce
1 teaspoon red pepper flakes, optional (if a spicy version is desired)
Pat the beef dry with paper towels, remove any excess fat on the edges and slice into strips the desired width. Place in a large high sided dish for marinating.
Add brown sugar, teriyaki sauce and the optional pepper flakes if a spicy version is desired. There should be sufficient marinade to almost cover the strips in the teriyaki sauce, add additional sauce if needed. With clean hands, gently massage the meat strips to coat well and dissolve the sugar. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for two hours, turning the meat half way through.
Turn oven on to it’s lowest setting (in my oven that’s 170 degrees, but the setting on other ovens may say “warm”). Prepare the drying racks by placing a sheet of aluminum foil on each cookie sheet. Place the racks on top. Lay the strips, letting any extra sauce drip off first, in a single layer on the racks. Place the racks in the oven and prop the oven door open so that the door is opened about 2 inches.
Leave the meat strips to dry in the oven for several hours, turning them over when they have become dark brown. Continue to dry in the oven until all of the strips are thoroughly dry and almost brittle. In my oven, the entire process takes about 6-7 hours depending on the humidity in the room.
When all of the strips are completely dry remove from the oven and place on a clean baking sheet to cool completely. It’s ready to eat at this point or can be stored in a zip-lock bag or plastic storage containers at room temperature for several days. I recommend storing in the refrigerator if storing longer than 2 days. When stored in the refrigerator, the edges of the strips may become sticky in places, this is normal. To minimize that, make sure the jerky is totally cool before refrigerating.