A Beef Jerky Marinade Recipe for Your Dehydrator or Smoker

It’s difficult to point out any beef jerky marinade recipe, and hope that everyone in your family will call it their favorite. However, you’ll see how easy it is to prepare your homemade jerky, and get all of the delicious varieties you’ve ever wanted.

Many times, you’ll buy a beef jerky dehydrator, and see that it comes with beef jerky mix and cure packages. Once you see how easy it is to make your own homemade beef jerky recipes, you’ll likely want to take it up a notch and create your own for health and flavor.

Beginning with a beef jerky recipe

Beef jerky marinade will give all of your seasonings, sauces and spices a chance to absorb and concentrate into your meat. For some beef jerky marinade recipes, salt is also used to draw out excess moisture during a meat curing process, for a dryer result, rather than for seasoning.

Let’s keep things simple with a teriyaki beef jerky recipe, and then move onto more advanced waters. A basic beef jerky recipe might include:

  • beef
  • ginger
  • garlic
  • soy sauce
  • Worcestershire sauce
  • brown sugar
  • honey
  • corn starch
  • water
  • limes
  • orange juice

Combine your spices, sauces and sweeteners with water, and cook over medium heat. Meanwhile, whisk water and cornstarch in a small, and add it to thicken your teriyaki sauce.

Optionally, create a fruit puree using peeled limes and orange juice. Add ingredients into your blender, using fruit juice as necessary to create a thick, yet liquid puree.

Now that you have your sauce, place it in a seal-able, zip-lock bag with your cuts of meat (and fruit puree). Get as much air out as possible to ensure freshness, and marinade for at least 6 hours, or overnight.

It’s also recommended to have something to tenderize your meat when making homemade beef jerky. You could whack it out with a metal tenderizer mallet, and you could also use beer, wine, or an acidic tenderizer like apple cider vinegar, fruit juice or fruit powder.

Creating a jerky marinade and seasoning recipe

A jerky dehydrator can give you advantages for health, flavor and convenience. For example, you may wish to cut out carbs or enjoy a low sodium beef jerky alternative.

You might replace your soy and Worcestershire sauce with a homemade, low-sodium alternative. You could create a vegan honey garlic recipe by replacing honey with grade b maple syrup for their natural enzymes, energy and flavor.

You can make use of your home, garden-grown ingredients all year round by dehydrating and storing them in vacuum-seal containers. When you’re ready to use them, you can take out portions, grind them up and add them to your beef jerky marinade recipes as needed.

Remember that any ingredients you use in your beef jerky recipe will concentrate during the drying process. Dehydrating is a process of reducing moisture, not heat and taste, so experiment conservatively at first to gauge your desired proportions.

How to make a beef jerky marinade for your smoker

Using a smoker for your jerky recipe will often result in meat that’s moister in the middle, than when using a food dehydrator. For this reason, it’s often useful to cure your meat before marinating.

For a dry meat cure, you can lightly coat your beef in a layer of coarse salt, and vacuum seal it in your refrigerator overnight. This will draw out moisture without sodium seeping into your meat. Afterward, wipe off the salt, and marinade after if desired.

A wet meat cure (beef jerky brine) generally just adds water to the curing process, which leads to more absorption of seasoning. Large cuts of meat are often injected with jerky brine as well, to ensure a thorough cure.

The curing process is a lot more complex than presented here. This should give you a general idea of how far your beef jerky marinade recipe can go.

A beef jerky maker is an efficient and breathtakingly simple way to make use of all of your beef jerky marinade recipes.


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