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Making Great Jerky
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5 from 1 vote

Making Great Jerky

There are many types of jerky that you can consider making along with several different seasoning choices. In fact, you can even miss it up and make several at the same time.

Prep Time15 mins
Cook Time8 hrs
Course: Snack
Cuisine: American
Keyword: beef jerky
Servings: 1
Calories: 410kcal


  • Smoker
  • Cherry and hickory wood
  • Sharp Knife
  • Drying Pan


  • 2-3


    Beef flank steak


  • Dr. Pepper

  • sliced jalapenos

  • Worcestershire sauce

  • Kosher salt

  • Black pepper

  • Garlic powder

  • Onion powder


  • The first step in making jerky is to slice the meat.

  • Cold meat is easier to slice, so refrigerate the meat for at least two hours before attempting to slice it.

  • Start by cutting off any fat that you see on the meat as it will make it go rancid sooner.

  • I like a more tender jerky, so I make sure to slice it with the grain.

  • If you like jerky that you have to gnaw on a little bit to eat, then slice it at a diagonal across the grain.

  • You should cut the meat so that it is about 0.25 inches thick.

  • Combine one cup Dr. Pepper, 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce, 1 tablespoon kosher salt, 1 teaspoon black pepper, 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder and 1/2 teaspoon onion powder in a pan.

  • Thinly slice one-half jalapeno and add to the pan.

  • Bring it to a boil over high heat. Reduce the heat to low and continue cooking until the mixture reduces by half. 

  • Cool the marinade completely before continuing to the next step.

  • Pour the marinade into a non-reactive metal pan.

  • Place the meat into the marinade and let it sit in the refrigerator for at least eight hours.

  • You may also choose to pour the marinade into a plastic bag and add the meat. 

  • Make sure that the meat stays covered with the marinade. 

  • You can marinade the meat for up to 36 hours.

  • Place a cookie sheet or other pan on a flat surface and cover it with paper towels. 

  • Remove the meat from the marinade and lay it on the paper towels.

  • Cover the top of the meat with more paper towels.

  • Press down to remove any moisture from the meat.

  • Depending on the cut and weather, you may need to remove the paper towels and add more to absorb all the moisture.

  • I usually flip my meat over and press it from both sides.

  • Prepare the smoker with your favorite wood. 

  • Do not add any water to the water pan.

  • You want to smoke the meat at the lowest temperature possible.

  • Try not to let it get over 140 degrees as you want to smoke the meat long and slow.

  • You will want to smoke the meat for at least three hours.

  • Try to keep the temperature below 140 degrees.

  • After three hours, open the smoker and test a piece of meat.

  • It should bend in the middle, but not crack.

  • Depending on how evenly you were able to slice your meat, some pieces may be done before others.

  • Remove the pieces that are done. It may take up to five hours for all the meat to cook properly.

  • Once you remove the meat from the smoker, place it in a plastic bag.

  • Seal the bag most of the way, but leave a hole for steam to escape.

  •  Until the meat is completely cooled, it will continue drying out.

  • When all pieces will bend without breaking, then divide the meat into smaller amounts if desired.

  • Place the bags in the freezer to keep the meat from going bad.

  • When you are ready to enjoy your jerky, remove a bag from the freezer. 

  • Place it in a plastic bag with air holes poked into it.

  • If you want the meat to last longer without being frozen, then insert a 20 to 50 cc oxygen absorber into each bag when you take it out of the freezer.


Serving: 100g | Calories: 410kcal