Basic Jerky Recipe

Beef Jerky
Juanmonino / Getty Images
Prep: 15 mins
Cook: 9 hrs
Total: 9 hrs 15 mins
Servings: 12 servings

This basic method for jerky will work with just about any type of meat using the dehydrator or oven.



  • 1 1/2 pounds lean boneless meat, frozen until firm but not hard
  • 1/4 cup soy sauce
  • 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 1/2 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon liquid smoke
  • 1 vegetable oil cooking spray

Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients.

  2. Cut the frozen meat into 1/8- to 1/4-inch thick slices.

  3. In a medium-size glass, stoneware, plastic or stainless steel bowl, combine soy sauce, Worcestershire sauce, onion powder, pepper, garlic powder, and liquid smoke. Stir to dissolve seasonings.

  4. Add meat and mix until all surfaces are thoroughly coated.

  5. Cover tightly and refrigerate for at least 6 hours or until next day, stirring occasionally; recover tightly after stirring.

  6. When ready to dehydrate the meat, place racks over rimmed baking pans. Evenly coat metal racks with cooking spray.

  7. Lift meat from the bowl, shaking off any excess liquid, and arrange meat strips close together, but not overlapping, on racks.

  8. Dry in the oven on lowest possible setting until pliable, but dry (about 8 to 10 hours).

  9. Remove from racks, place in a rigid freezer container and freeze for 72 hours. Then store in an airtight, insect-proof container in a cool, dry place.

Dehydrator Method

Evenly coat the dehydrator racks with cooking spray. Lift meat from bowl, shaking off any excess liquid. Arrange meat strips close together, but not overlapping. Arrange trays according to manufacturer's directions and dry at 140 F until a piece of jerky cracks, but does not break, when bent (8 to 10 hours). 

Storage Time

  • Can store up to 3 weeks at room temperature.
  • Can store up to 4 months in the refrigerator.
  • Can store up to 8 months in the freezer.

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