Snack Attack – Beef Jerky!

I have always loved beef jerky.  Yu-uumm!  It’s not terribly lady-like, but I just love ripping off a piece of meat with my teeth.  Makes me feel powerful in some primal way, I suppose.

But have you looked at the ingredients on the bag of beef jerky at the store?


Seriously, who needs all that junk in dried beef?  This is, again, what should be a simple, real food item that manufacturers have filled with poisons.

So, I decided to make my own.

There are a ton of great books and recipes out there on how to make beef jerky; alas, most use seasonings we cannot have at the moment.

So I decided to wing it.  How bad could it be, right?

It was delicious.  This is some seriously addictive beef jerky, y’all.

Here’s how I did it:

Round steak ready to slice

I grabbed a couple packages of round steak out of my freezer.  It was the most suitable cut of beef that I had on hand, but feel free to try whatever cut you think would work best for you.  The round steak does great as far as I’m concerned.

I thawed it out to where it was still a little frozen but soft enough to cut.  Then I sliced it against the grain into fairly thin strips.  A half inch to 3/4 an inch wide, I’d say.

Sliced and ready to marinade

I threw it in a gallon ziploc bag, and into that I tossed in my garlic powder, onion powder, salt, pepper, and olive oil.

Kinda looks gross in the bag, but it will taste SO GOOD I overlook that.

Then I got to squish it all around until I’d covered all those little pieces of meat with seasoning.

I stuck it in the fridge to let it marinate for about 24 hours, then I tossed the beef on my dehydrator trays.  (The second time I made it, I let it marinade for 48 hours, and Oh My – the longer marinade is worth the time!  It made it even better.)

Laid out on the dehydrator trays

Cranked the temperature up to 155, turned the knob and let the dehydrator have at it!

I place each tray of jerky above another tray lined with a silpat. That way any drips from the olive oil catch on the silpat and don’t fall on the jerky below. It’s pretty easy to clean up that way, too.

I’m in the habit of turning on my dehydrator right before bed, so I don’t have to listen to it humming all day long.  It’s not terribly loud, but I always think my dishwasher or dryer is on overload when I constantly hear humming, and that bugs me.  So I do an overnight dry most of the time, just to avoid that.

In the morning, I checked my jerky.  It was mostly done, but I flipped over all the little pieces to let the bottoms get really done as well.  Initial drying time plus the three hours after flipping, I’d say it was about 12 hours total in the dehydrator.

The finished product – a whole bag of YUM!

Was it ever worth it!  I think we ate the whole bag in less than a day!  I really don’t think there’s a possible way for me to make TOO MUCH beef jerky in this house.

One caveat, for those who watch their weight: just for amusement, I weighed the beef before it went in to dry, and weighed it afterwards.  The dehydration cuts the weight almost exactly in half!  So this winds up being a very calorie dense food.

Right now, I get so little in the way of “make me drool, I crave this, delicious yummy treats” that I’m willing to eat fruit the rest of the day so I can gorge on beef jerky, though.  I’ll have to watch it and portion it into single serving sizes, though, when I’m back to eating normally.

Because even after the elimination diet is over?  THIS is a new “Standard Family Recipe” in my world.

Give it a shot – I promise, if you do, you’ll never eat that store bought…stuff…again!



– 1.5 pounds round steak (or whatever cut of beef you like best)
– 1/2 cup olive oil
– 1/8-1/4 cup garlic powder
– 1/8 cup onion powder
– 1/8 cup sea salt (reduce if you prefer)
– 1/8 cup black pepper

  1. Cut steak against the grain into narrow strips.
  2. Toss the steak strips, oil, and spices in a gallon ziploc bag.
  3. Let marinade in the fridge for 24-48 hours.  The longer, the better!
  4. Lay out your strips on dehydrating trays.
  5. Set temperature to 155, and let run for 8-12 hours.  If you can, flip the jerky over when it’s mostly done to ensure the bottoms get nice and dry, too.  It’s done when it’s pliable but not moist.
  6. Try not to eat it all in one sitting!


Do you have any fabulous spice mixes that you recommend for beef jerky?

This post has been shared with Allergy-Free Wednesdays, Real Food Wednesdays, Whole Foods Wednesdays,  and Frugal Ways, Sustainable Days.

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5 Responses to Snack Attack – Beef Jerky!

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