- Yield: 1.25 lbs.
- Prep Time: 15 minutes
- Cook Time: 2h 00 min
If you do nothing else on your smoke vault or pellet grill, you have to make a batch of homemade jerky. Seriously. It's easy, delicious, and loads cheaper than buying a bag of mystery-ingredient jerky you'll find at the gas station. Store-bought jerky, generally speaking, has much more sugar and salt than what you need in homemade jerky. Control what goes in your food while still enjoying incredible jerky flavor with this recipe. Convinced yet? We'll tell you how to do it.
- Eye of round roast, sliced to 1/4 - 2 lbs
- Worcestershire sauce - 3/4 cups
- Soy sauce - 3/4 cups
- Honey - 1 T
- Coarse ground black pepper - 2 T
- Garlic salt - 1 t
- Onion powder - 1 t
- Curing salt - 1 T
Keep in mind that jerky shrinks up quite a bit, so a 2 lb. piece of meat will get you about a pound of jerky.
Start by getting eye of round roast; it’s a great combination of muscle and marbled fat. Most good butcher shops will slice the roasts for you if you tell them you're making jerky. If they don't, you can slice the meat yourself into 1/4-inch thick slabs for thicker jerky or 1/8-inch thick slabs for thinner jerky. Either way, you want to try to be as consistent as possible so you can cook all your beef jerky for the same amount of time. You don't want to overcook super thin pieces while you're waiting for thick pieces to finish. From there, slice the slabs into strips, preferably against the grain (this makes it easier to eat).
Next, combine all ingredients besides the meat in a mixing bowl.
Place the meat in a gallon freezer bag and pour in the marinade mixture. Seal the bag and massage the meat until all the slices are evenly coated. Refrigerate for at least 4 hours. It’s not a bad idea to take the bag out on occasion to “knead” or mix the meat and marinade around.
After a good chill, take the meat strips out of the bag and lay them on a couple of jerky racks so none of the slices are touching. Place them around the center of the racks so no pieces get overcooked on the edges. You can sprinkle extra pepper or seasonings on at this point if you'd like.
Heat your smoker or pellet grill to 225° F, and smoke the jerky for 2 or 2 1/2 hours. Our smoke vaults come with one jerky rack, but you can buy others to maximize your cooking space.
When the jerky is done, it will be dark in color and tough to the touch. You can use the "Bend Test" to make sure each piece is finished: try bending one piece of jerky in half; the piece shouldn't break or fray, but it shouldn't feel flimsy. If your jerky is somewhere in that sweet spot between brittle and flexible, it's ready. Turn the smoker off and let everything cool for 10 minutes.
You can either enjoy your jerky right away or store it for later. To store for a short time, place the warm jerky into a new gallon bag and seal it. It will keep the remaining moisture inside the meat so your jerky doesn't get rock hard.
This recipe works great with your typical beef, as well as wild game like deer and elk. Just because beef jerky is something you've always purchased at the store doesn't mean you can't make it yourself. Fire up your smoker, and get cooking today.