How to Season Beef Jerky

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Slice a lean cut of beef into thin strips to make beef jerky.
Slice a lean cut of beef into thin strips to make beef jerky. (Image: beef meat image by Maria Brzostowska from Fotolia.com)

Instead of purchasing beef jerky from the store, you can make your own at home. Before you dehydrate or smoke the beef jerky, season it to prevent the meat from tasting bland. Seasoning the beef jerky allows you to create different flavors of the snack. The key to making beef jerky is to use a lean cut of beef so that the jerky will taste succulent and crisp. After you season the beef jerky, prepare it in your preferred method.

Things You'll Need

  • Knife
  • 12 oz. cola
  • 1/2 cup Worcestershire sauce
  • 1/2 cup teriyaki sauce
  • 2 tbsp. liquid smoke
  • Large bowl
  • 2 tbsp. light brown sugar
  • 1 tbsp. garlic powder
  • 1 tbsp. onion powder
  • 1 gallon sealed plastic bag
  • Colander
  • Paper towels
  • Black pepper
  • Salt

Remove all visible fat from the beef with a knife, and then discard the fat.

Slice the beef into strips 6 inches in length and 1/8 of an inch thick. Cut the beef with the grain. If you have a hard time slicing the beef, freeze it partially so that you can slice it more easily.

Combine 12 oz. of cola, 1/2 cup Worcestershire sauce, 1/2 cup teriyaki sauce and 2 tbsp. of liquid smoke into a large bowl.

Add 2 tbsp. light brown sugar, 1 tbsp. garlic powder and 1 tbsp. onion powder to the liquid ingredients. Stir until the ingredients dissolve into the liquid.

Place the beef strips into a gallon-sized plastic sealed bag. Pour the marinade into the bag to cover the beef completely.

Place the beef in the refrigerator overnight to allow the marinade to absorb.

Pour the beef strips into a colander to drain the excess marinade. Pat the strips dry with paper towels.

Sprinkle the beef jerky with black pepper or salt if you desire. Dehydrate the meat in the oven or in a food dehydrator. Drying times will vary depending on the cut of beef and the method used to make the jerky.

Tips & Warnings

  • Purchase a commercial marinade from the store if you do not have time to make your own.
  • The beef jerky needs to be cooked to an internal temperature of 160 degrees Fahrenheit before you dehydrate it.

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