How To Make Beef Jerky in a Dehydrator. A healthier, gluten free and more economical way to stock up on Beef Jerky for lunchboxes and snacks!
One more week till school starts and I am super excited about getting back into packing #MavenLunches again for my older son. When he started Kindergarten last year, I got a lot of messages from readers about what I was packing him so I decided to start the #MavenLunch series on Instagram and you know what? Best Decision Ever.
I realized that posting pictures of his lunch every day kept me accountable to making sure his lunches were colorful and filled with a large variety of healthy gluten-free foods instead of getting stuck on the same old stuff over and over. Plus, I know that so many of you were able to find inspiration and ideas for your own kids so it turned out to be a win-win!
As we gear up for school next week, I have been getting our school lunch snack bin stocked and ready. One thing my son requested more of was Jerky. If you like jerky then you know it is so expensive. Especially the grass-fed, gluten-free variety.
When the WA State Beef Commission along with Fred Meyer asked me to partner on a Beef based back to school recipe, I immediately thought of finally tackling the challenge to make homemade jerky!
This is actually one of the coolest things about my job. Getting inspired and challenged to try new things in the kitchen. SERIOUSLY AWESOME.
I went to my local Fred Meyer and talked to the butcher about which cut to use to make homemade Beef Jerky and also bought a spiffy new dehydrator. The butcher suggested any larger cut of lean steaks or even roasts if trimmed really well.
When it comes to making jerky, you want to use a leaner cut (or really well trimmed) of Beef as the fat can turn rancid after dehydrating. I wound up getting some grass-fed filet mignon since it’s already super lean!
If you are ever confused as to which cut of Beef to use for what, bookmark the Interactive Butcher Counter as a helpful resource.
Want to find even more beef recipes? Check out the Families in Motion page. Here is a collection of kid-friendly recipes that could also find their way into a lunchbox!
Now, on to the recipe and time to make some homemade gluten-free Beef Jerky!
Alyssa Brantley | EverydayMaven
- 2 pounds grass fed Filet Mignon (see NOTES for other cuts), trimmed and and sliced 1/4" thick with the grain
- 3/4 cup gluten free Tamari (or 1 cup Coconut Aminos)
- 3/4 cup gluten free Worcestershire Sauce
- 1/4 cup coconut palm sugar
- 1 teaspoon Mexican chili powder
- 1 teaspoon ground white pepper
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
- Grass Fed Filet can be pretty pricey so here are so more options that would work really well for homemade Beef Jerky. Again, make sure all are trimmed well of any visible fat and/or silver skin and sliced WITH the grain.
- Top Round
- Eye of Round
- Sirlon Tip
- Flank Steak
- Super Lean (90 or 95%) Ground Beef (Note that you need a Jerky Gun)
- Combine all ingredients for marinade and combine until well mixed and sugar is dissolved.
- Thinly slice beef WITH the grain into 1/4" thick slices. Many butchers will do this for you. Just ask them if they will "slice the beef for Jerky 1/4" thick with the grain".
- Grab a gallon sized freezer bag and place all of the sliced beef into it. Add the marinade.
- Seal and place in the refrigerator for 24 hours.
- When ready to dehydrate the jerky, remove sliced beef from marinade and place on the drying racks. Be sure to place the beef in a single layer with no overlap.
- Set the dehydrator to 155F or the highest setting. Every dehydrator is different so it could take anywhere from 3 to 4 hours up to almost 20 hours to fully dehydrate your jerky. This means that you need to check in on it a bunch if it is your first time making jerky or using a new dehydrator. Once you learn the machine, it will be set and go.
- When it is done, remove the trays and allow the jerky to cool completely before storing. Store in an air-tight container for up to 1 month or longer in the fridge or freezer and Enjoy!
DISCLOSURE: This post is sponsored by WA State Beef commission. WA State Beef has compensated me for my time to develop this recipe. Thank you for supporting the brands that make EverydayMaven possible. All opinions are my own.