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The DAILY DIRT - The nitty and the gritty of outdoor news

Trail Chef: World's Best Beef Jerky

Whip up a batch of this easy and delicious homemade jerky tonight!

Last fall in Olympic National Park, I had an epiphany: Beef jerky is amazing. Up until that moment, a rock-hard chunk of Jeff Foxworthy-flavored meat was the last thing I wanted on the trail (or ever, really). But once I sampled a bite of Assistant Online Editor (and blogger extraordinaire) Ted Alvarez's signature recipe, I was totally converted.
Even better than the roll-your-eyes-heavenward taste of this stuff? It's surprisingly easy to make, even if you don't have a dedicated food dehydrator in your kitchen. Here's Ted's favorite recipe—honed to perfection after months of experimentation. If I were you, I'd plan a backpacking trip this weekend just to have an excuse to make some tonight.

Ted's Herky Jerky
Makes enough for 2 jerky lovers for 2 to 3 days.

1 to 1.5 pounds flank steak
2/3 cup Worcestershire sauce
2/3 cup soy sauce
1 finely minced clove garlic (or 1 teaspoon garlic powder)
2 to 3 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper
2 teaspoons onion powder
1 teaspoon liquid smoke
1 teaspoon cayenne pepper (or red pepper flakes)

1. Trim excess fat from the steaks.
2. Place meat and remaining ingredients in a gallon-size, zip-top freezer bag. Squish everything around for about 10 minutes, until all powder clumps are broken up and ingredients are well-mixed.
3. Place in refrigerator and marinate three to six hours.
4. When you're done marinating, evenly distribute the strips of meat across the trays of your dehydrator (oven version: Put them directly on the racks, with a sheet of aluminum foil below to aid cleanup). Set the dehydrator (or oven) to 155 degrees and bake jerky for seven to 10 hours, checking and patting dry every few hours.
5. When jerky is fully dry, pack in a zip-top bag and enjoy.

Not enough jerky for you? Try your hand at these burger and Teriyaki elk versions. Have your own killer jerky concoction? By all means, share it in the comments section below.

—Elisabeth Kwak-Hefferan

Image credit: bennymoto

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geralg gleason
Nov 14, 2012

best beef jerky homemade
only $18.00 a pound

Sep 09, 2012

jerky is one of my favorite snack foods. I noticed in Tyrone's comment on the honey teriyaki flavor. I have not had that yet and look forward to tasting it some day. I have had other flavor's
like chicken jerky buffalo wing flavor from

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heres one thats similar 1/2 soy sauce 1/4 worcestshire,2 tablespoons each minced garlic and ginger,1/4 cup brown sugar,2 tablespoons honey or molasses or both ,2 teaspoons each garlic and onion powder,teaspoon cayenne, teaspoon black pepper

Apr 11, 2011

This site sells some delicious beef jerky flavors and it also has a few jerky receipes.

Tyrone Tan
Feb 16, 2011

Great Recipe! If your looking for other flavors, try We have Original, Spicy, and Honey Teriyaki.

Sep 03, 2009

I almost forgot I used top round and some Allegro spicy marinade. I only put the meat in for a few seconds, just long enough to soak up the marinade. I put it in the dehydrator for about five hours it was pretty tasty for my first try.

Sep 03, 2009

Tom, when you buy the meat tell the butcher what you're using it for he should be able to help you out, but it should be about as thin as he can make it with out shredding it.

Sep 03, 2009

you left out one critical step. how thin do you slice the flank steak?

Aug 28, 2009

This looks like the same recipe my dad used. We always used the oven, no dehydrator back then.

Aug 27, 2009

back in the 80's my pop converted an old refrigerator into a smoker. I don't know his exact recipe for jerky, but I do know: flank steak, worcestershire sauce and soy sauce were parts of it.

I think he added molasses?

oh, and liquid smoke is one of many of gods gifts to mankind.

Aug 27, 2009

Wow, great looking jerky. I hope it tastes as good as it looks. I will try. I've added a link to this recipe at:


Aug 27, 2009

When it says 2 to 3 days... does that mean 2 to 3 days of ration, or it will only last 2 to 3 days? How long will it last without refrigeration (specifically to hot and humid jungle regions?)


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