Smoky And Savory: Beef Jerky Recipe With Liquid Smoke

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Beef jerky is a delicious and convenient protein snack that’s perfect for hikers, backpackers, or anyone who wants a healthy, on-the-go option. It’s surprisingly easy to make at home, and with the help of liquid smoke, you can achieve that classic smoky flavor without needing a smoker.

This guide will walk you through everything you need to know to create your own batch of delicious homemade beef jerky, complete with ingredients, directions, and even nutritional information. So, grab your lean cuts of beef, fire up the oven, and get ready to experience jerky magic!

Doc’s Best Beef Jerky


2 pounds lean beef (flank steak, round steak, or sirloin are good choices)

  • 1/4 cup soy sauce
  • 1/4 cup Worcestershire sauce
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon liquid smoke
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper (optional, for a kick)

  • Directions:

    1. Prep the Beef: Slice the beef against the grain into thin strips, ideally around 1/4 inch thick. This ensures even drying and prevents chewy jerky.
    2. Marinate the Beef: In a large bowl, whisk together the soy sauce, Worcestershire sauce, brown sugar, liquid smoke, garlic powder, onion powder, black pepper, and cayenne pepper (if using). Add the beef strips to the marinade and toss to coat evenly. Cover the bowl and refrigerate for at least 6 hours, or ideally overnight, for maximum flavor absorption.
    3. Dehydrate the Beef: Preheat your oven to its lowest setting, which is usually around 150°F (65°C). Line a baking sheet with wire mesh or parchment paper. Arrange the marinated beef strips in a single layer on the prepared baking sheet, ensuring no pieces overlap for even drying.
    4. Dry, Low and Slow: Place the baking sheet in the preheated oven and leave the door slightly ajar (prop a wooden spoon in the hinge) to allow moisture to escape. Dry the jerky for 4-8 hours, depending on the thickness of your strips and your oven’s specific settings. You want the jerky to be dry and slightly flexible, not crumbly or completely brittle. Check on the jerky periodically throughout the drying process and remove any pieces that are finished earlier.
    5. Bend Test: Once most of the jerky seems dry, remove a piece and let it cool slightly. The jerky should be bendable but not tear easily. If it’s still too soft, return it to the oven for further drying. If it snaps when bent, it’s overdone and may be quite chewy.

    Nutrition Facts (per 1 ounce serving):

    Calories: 120

  • Fat: 7g
  • Saturated Fat: 3g
  • Cholesterol: 80mg
  • Sodium: 650mg (be mindful if you have sodium restrictions)
  • Carbohydrates: 1g
  • Sugar: 1g
  • Protein: 20g

  • Conclusion:

    Homemade beef jerky is a fantastic way to enjoy a delicious and nutritious snack. By controlling the ingredients and drying process, you can customize your jerky to your preferred flavor and texture. So next time you’re craving a protein boost, skip the store-bought options and whip up a batch of your own smoky, satisfying beef jerky!

    After the Jerky Fun: 5 FAQs

    1. Can I use a different type of liquid smoke?

    Sure! Different brands of liquid smoke can vary slightly in flavor. Experiment with a few options to find your favorite. Hickory smoke is a popular choice for beef jerky, but mesquite or applewood can also add unique flavor profiles.

    2. How long will my homemade jerky last?

    Properly dried and stored jerky can last for several weeks at room temperature. However, for optimal quality and safety, it’s best to store your jerky in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 2 months, or in the freezer for up to a year.

    3. What can I add to the marinade for extra flavor?

    The possibilities are endless! Try adding a teaspoon of ground ginger, a pinch of red pepper flakes, or a tablespoon of your favorite BBQ sauce to the marinade for a flavor twist. Just be sure to adjust the amount of salt and sugar based on the additional ingredients you use.

    4. Can I dehydrate my jerky in a dehydrator instead of the oven?