Craft Your Own Jerky At Home
Why you should make it and how to do it right using our Jerky Crafting Kit.
Jerky is a high-protein, nutrient dense snack made by dehydrating thinly sliced beef, fish, turkey, or vegetables. This method of preservation, dating back hundreds of years, has now become the latest food trend sweeping snack shelves across the nation. While most beef jerky options out there are packed with preservatives, chemicals and an inordinate amount of flavorings to hide the terrible quality of the beef, those times have changed. High quality jerky made from well-raised beef is growing in popularity, creating a huge demand and plenty of variety in the marketplace. The downside: it’s pretty expensive, costing upwards of $60/pound retail. Thus the team at Fleishers was motivated to create a kit so you can make delicious beef jerky in your home oven for a fraction of the price.
Pick one up at your local Fleishers shop. Here’s our comprehensive guide to crafting beef jerky.
What you’ll need:
The Fleishers Jerky Crafting Kit
1 lb lean, 100% grass-fed beef
Sharp chef’s knife
Your home oven
Delicious tasting, healthy beef jerky starts with high quality 100% grass-fed beef. This is not the time for bargain meat. Buy the best you can find from a trusted, local butcher or meat counter. Ask for lean cuts, such as top round, bottom round, eye round or flank. The less fat the better as it can turn rancid and spoil the taste of your final product. When shopping for beef we’re trained to look for the most marbled steaks and roasts. But when making jerky, the leaner the better.
Conveniently, the following cuts are also less expensive because they’re lesser known and in greater quantity on the animal than the higher end steaks:
Clockwise from left: flank steak, bottom round, eye round, top round of 100% grass-fed beef.
To achieve the best texture and even doneness of your jerky, we recommend freezing your beef before slicing. This makes it easier to handle and slice evenly against the grain, creating uniform pieces.
Wrap your portioned beef in plastic wrap and place in the freezer for one to two hours.
You want it to be stiffened around the edges, but still somewhat pliable.
Using your sharp knife, trim off any visible exterior fat, tendons or silverskin.
Slicing correctly is key in jerky making. Take it slow. Slicing partially frozen beef can be hazardous, so don’t rush through this step. You’ll want to stabilize your cutting board with a damp kitchen towel. If necessary, use another clean towel to hold the meat with your off hand as it can easily slip under the knife. Always be aware of where your non-cutting hand is.
Begin slicing your meat into 1/4″ thick strips.
Now place your sliced beef in a large mixing bowl and sprinkle with one of our pre-made spice blends.
Our kit calls for 2 tablespoons for each pound.
Using your hands toss the beef and spices in the bowl to evenly coat.
Make sure each piece is seasoned evenly.
Take your mixing bowl and cover with plastic wrap. Place it in the fridge for a minimum of one hour, at most overnight.
When you’re ready to make jerky, preheat your oven to the lowest it will go, typically 200-225 F.
Place your jerky strips on the two silicone screens included with the kit. Space evenly apart for room for the air in the oven to circulate. Make sure there are no pieces folded or overlapping with others – they will take longer to dehydrate and slow down the process.
Move two oven racks to the middle of your oven.
Place the silicone screens with your seasoned beef strips directly on the oven racks.
Begin checking your jerky after one hour. Total drying time will depend on the thickness of your meat, the temperature of your oven and the ambient humidity outside. The best way to check for doneness is to feel a strip with your hands. Bend it, try tearing it. It should be pliable but offer some resistance.
It should be dry and warm with no cool, moist spots, and have a dark, leathery look and feel.
When your jerky feels done, remove it from the oven and let it rest on the counter until it comes to room temperature, about 20 minutes. Eat immediately.Stash in your purse. Bring on a hike. There’s no wrong time to eat it.
Or you can store your cooled jerky in an airtight container or zipseal bag in the refrigerator for up to one month.
Beef jerky made with flank steak has a bit more intramuscular fat and therefore we recommend devouring the same day, rather than storing for a longer period of time.
Hungry for jerky? Pick up a kit at your local Fleishers shop.