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woman holding beef jerky strips closeup

How to Make Beef Jerky

  • Author: Melissa Griffiths - Bless this Mess
  • Total Time: 14 hours
  • Yield: About 4 cups of jerky 1x


Ever wondered how to make beef jerky!? It's actually a pretty simple, straightforward, and FUN DIY project you can do anytime and get flavorful, salty, chewy beef jerky to snack on!


  • 2 pounds round or flank steak
  • 1/2 cup low sodium soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 tablespoon real maple syrup
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1 teaspoon season salt
  • 1 teaspoon liquid smoke


  1. Using a sharp knife, cut the steak into 1/8-inch thick pieces. This can be made easier by placing the steak in the freezer for 20 minutes first. (It firms the meat up and makes it easier to slice.) You can slice it with the grain (this will result in chewier jerky that stays together better) or against the grain (this will result in tender jerky that tends to break into pieces easier). If there is any fat or tough pieces, feel free to discard them.
  2. Place the sliced jerky in a medium airtight container with a lid or in a large zipper-topped plastic bag.
  3. In a small bowl combine the soy sauce, Worcestershire sauce, maple syrup, garlic powder, onion powder, season salt, and liquid smoke. Stir to combine.
  4. Add the soy sauce marinade to the meat and stir to combine. If your meat is in a container, press it down so that most of it will be submerged in the marinade. If you are using a plastic bag, remove as much air from the bag as possible, and pat it down a bit so the meat is well covered. Seal the bag or put a lid on the container and store it in the fridge.
  5. Let the marinade meat rest for 8 hours to 12 hours (overnight works great).
  6. When the marinating time is over, place the meat on the racks of your dehydrator so that it's in an even layer and not touching. Use as many dehydrator racks as you need. (See notes if you don't have a dehydrator.)
  7. Place the racks on/in your dehydrator, turn it on, and cook according to your dehydrator's manufacturer instructions for cooking jerky. (The booklet that came with the dehydrator will normally have a chart to follow for temperatures and times for cooking jerky.) I cooked mine at a medium-low heat for 4 hours (it was very thin) and most will tell you to cook yours at medium to medium-low for 4 to 8 hours.
  8. The jerky will be done when it is dry but still a little bendy.
  9. I like to remove my jerky in batches as it cooks. The thinner pieces will cook faster, so I'll remove them first and leave the rest to dehydrates as needed. I generally start checking at the 3 hour mark and check/remove done pieces about every hour after that. This helps ensure a more uniform jerky in the end.
  10. When all of the jerky is dried to your liking, remove all from the dehydrator and store in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 2 weeks or in the freezer for up to 2 months.


  • It's very easy to mix up the flavor of your jerky by changing a few things. If you like it spicy, feel free to add 2 teaspoons of chipotle chili powder to the marinade. If you'd like it peppered, simply sprinkle the raw meat with freshly ground pepper once you have placed it on the dehydrator racks.
  • No dehydrator? No worries! You can line a rimmed baking sheet with foil and then place a wire baking/cooling rack inside the pan. Simply place your meat on the wire rack and bake at 175 degrees for 2-5 hours. Flip the jerky over on the rack after an hour or so (about half way through your baking time). Again, pulling off the jerky as it's done will lead to the most consistent results.
  • Prep Time: 30 min
  • Cook Time: 3 hours
  • Category: snack
  • Method: dehydrator
  • Cuisine: American

Keywords: how to make jerky, beef jerky, jerky recipe, beef jerky recipe