Out of all the things one could possibly make in a dehydrator, beef jerky is probably what I fantasized the most about. My husband and I love beef jerky but the ingredients in store bought versions are so gross that I can not bring myself to spend a lot of money on a low quality product. I almost ordered beef jerky from our farmer but I could not justify spending the money on such a little amount of jerky.
So I waited… and I waited.. and I waited patiently — Until I got one for my birthday!
You can bet your buns making beef jerky was on the top of my long “TO MAKE” list. I got in touch with the farmer I get my meat from and they said top sirloin was the best cut for making beef jerky. It’s important to source local, pastured meat because it has the most nutrient content and is the best for you and the environment! My husband found a marinade online and I revamped it to fit our real food style — the original recipe called for vegetable oil… Yuck!
We used a sharp knife to cut the meat but honestly, if you see yourself making lots of beef jerky in the future, a meat slicer is definitely recommended. I think we’ll end up buying one because they are versatile. The purpose of the meat slicer is to get the strips of meat evenly sliced and as thin as we prefer — something we were not really able to do with a knife.
Regardless, the jerky was very tasty and I’ll be making more soon! I hope ya’ll enjoy the recipe 🙂
- Dehydrator (where to buy)
- A very sharp knife or meat slicer
- Unbleached & chlorine free parchment paper
- Gallon Ziplock bag
- 2-4 lbs grass-fed/finished top sirloin
- ½ cup expeller pressed coconut oil, melted** (where to buy)
- ¼ cup naturally fermented soy sauce (where to buy)
- ¾ cup balsamic vinegar
- 4 small garlic cloves, minced
- 1 Tbl unrefined kosher sea salt (where to buy)
- 1 tsp freshly ground black pepper
- ½ Tbl cayenne pepper
- Cut parchment paper to fit dehydrator racks
- Cut meat "against the grain" in as thinly sliced strips as you can -- having a meat slicer would work wonders for this!
- Remove any excess fat pieces
- In a large bowl, whisk together all the ingredients until well incorporated
- Put the meat slices and marinade into a gallon zip lock bag, close it and sort of, "massage" each piece to get the juices in the meat
- Place in the refrigerator for up to 24 hours to let marinade
- Once the marinade is complete, shake excess marinade off, lay the pieces of meat on top of parchment paper and place on the dehydrator rack. You'll notice white chunks on the meat in the photos below. Those are just chunks of coconut oil that had hardened in the fridge. You can keep them on the meat or take them off, whatever you prefer.
- Turn the dehydrator heat to 155° and set the timer for six hours*
- You'll know the pieces are done if they crack when you bend in half but do not break all the way
- Place in an air tight container like a recycled jar and put in the cupboard
- *Time may vary depending on where you live, use your best judgement.