A year ago, my husband and I purchased half of a cow to feed our growing family. I was able to speak with the butcher and customize all of our cuts. It was really cool. Anyway, when she got to the round roasts, our least favorite cut, I asked her to just ground them up for ground beef. She reminded me that I was already getting a lot of ground beef and suggested that she simply prep them for beef jerky making. Great idea!
Last summer, I decided to make beef jerky for our trip to Yellowstone. I had no idea how to make beef jerky and scoured the internet for beef jerky recipes. There are a lot. Not sure where to start, I decided to contact the rancher who sold us our beef for their suggestions. He pointed me to their jerky maker and his simple tips turned out to be some pretty tasty jerky. But not until the other day.
My first batch was a beef jerky fail. Since salt was going to be my main preservation method, I did not skimp on it. I COVERED them with salt. The end result was beef jerky with lots of salt sitting on top. We had to practically wash off each piece before we could eat it. I ended up throwing it out. WAY too salty.
Today I will share with you the method I used to make the delicious beef jerky I am snacking on today. Friends, this is so simple.
First, grab a frozen round roast and set it on your counter for about 30 minutes. Slicing a frozen roast is MUCH easier than if it is thawed. Next, grab a serrated knife and slice your round roast into thin pieces. I wanted to be sure they were thin enough for the salt to penetrate the entire piece.
Next, I salted them. My husband fashioned a home made dredge to aid in the even salt distribution. It worked fantastically! Mason jar, aluminum foil with holes poked through, and the metal ring to seal.
I used kosher salt when I made this jerky. I feared that the sea salt would be too fine and I would end up with a really salty jerky. I will experiment with coarse sea salt next time, but for now kosher salt did just fine.
This time my goal was for even salt distribution. I didn't want to over salt it, but wanted to make sure that there was enough salt for preservation. The end result was well preserved, but could have been a tad saltier for our tastes.
After the jerky was salted, I placed the trays in my dehydrator and set the temperature just a tad past 105 degrees. I set the timer for 10 hours, but it was done around the 7 hour mark.
When I tested the jerky, I was looking for it to crack when I bent it, but not necessarily break. If you have thicker pieces, it may take longer to dehydrate. After snacking on a few pieces, I put the rest into an airtight container for storage.
If you do not have a dehydrator, I am sure you could use the warm setting on your oven. Keep in mind that most ovens only go as low as 170 degrees, so you won't be able to preserve the enzymes that are present in the beef. If you use your oven, I would place the beef strips on a cooling rack and then stick those in the oven. That way you will get good air flow to dry the jerky. Using an oven will probably also take less time. Check it after 4 hours or so, maybe less.
So there you have it. A beef jerky recipe that is both simple and tasty! Do you like to make beef jerky? Do you have a favorite recipe? Please share it with us!