How to Make Low-Salt Beef Jerky


Beef jerky is usually characterized as a dried, high sodium (salt) snack. It can be simply made using an oven or a special dehydrator appliance (this article requires a dehydrator). Beef jerky is ideal for on-the-go high protein snacking especially when camping, hiking or traveling. One of the main drawbacks from eating beef jerky is the high salt content. Some brands of beef jerky can have hundreds of milligrams of sodium that adds flavor but can be detrimental to health if eaten over long periods of time.

Things You'll Need

  • Thin sliced beef (preferrably steak)
  • Low sodium soy sauce
  • Low sodium worchester sauce
  • Salt substitute (e.g. Mrs. Dash)
  • Dehydrator
  • Cooking spray
  • Large mixing bowl
  • Sharp knife
  • Measuring spoon
  • Prepare the beef by cutting into 1-inch wide strips approximately 4 inches long using a sharp knife. The beef should be no thicker than 1/4 inch.

  • Place the meat in the large mixing bowl and add an equal amount of soy sauce and worchester sauce until the liquid covers the meat. Add 2 tablespoons salt substitute and mix everything thoroughly. Refrigerate for at least two hours.

  • Spray the trays of the dehydrator with cooking spray. Drain the liquid from the beef marinating bowl and lay the beef strips on the trays with at least 1/2 inch spacing between. Most dehydrator have multiple trays. If a dehydrator is not available, apply the cooking spray to a cookie sheet and place the beef strips 1/2 inch apart.

  • Start the dehydrator and allow to run for eight to ten hours. If using an oven, set the temperature to 200 degrees and cook for eight to ten hours.

  • Turn off the dehydrator or oven and allow beef jerky to cool for one hour. Remove the strips and enjoy.

Tips & Warnings

  • Marinating the beef is important to the final flavor of the jerky.
  • For spicier jerky, add cayenne pepper to the marinade.
  • The thickness of the beef strips could affect how long to dehydrate.
  • Check the beef jerky after six hours and adjust duration accordingly.

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