If you’re a fan of beef jerky like we are at PepperGeek, you’re in for a treat. We recently acquired a brand new dehydrator and have been experimenting with various foods and herbs. From dehydrating habaneros and bananas to homegrown basil and sage, we’ve had some tasty results. But the most delectable creation so far has been our sweet and spicy beef jerky. Get ready, because we’re about to share the mouthwatering recipe with you!
Unleashing the Flavors
When it comes to making your own spicy beef jerky, having a dehydrator puts you just a few steps away from snacking bliss. We scoured the internet for recipes, but none seemed to strike the perfect balance of spice and flavor that we were after. So, we decided to blaze our own trail.
Making beef jerky is surprisingly simple. It involves thinly slicing fresh beef, marinating it in a salty brine of sauces and spices, and then dehydrating the slices for several hours. The end result is perfectly tender and wonderfully pliable beef jerky that surpasses anything you’ll find at the store.
The Fiery Marinade
To create our spicy beef jerky, we combined our favorite Asian flavors into a marinade that will have your taste buds dancing. Here’s what you’ll need:
- 1 lb Flank Steak (or eye of round, top round, or bottom round)
- 2 tbsp Soy Sauce, low sodium
- 2 tbsp Brown Sugar
- 2 cloves Fresh Garlic, finely chopped (or 1/2 tsp garlic powder)
- 1 tsp Sesame Oil
- 1 tsp Gochujang Paste
- 0.5 tsp Cayenne Pepper
- 0.5 tsp Onion Powder
That’s it! Once you’ve marinated the beef and dehydrated it to perfection, you can enjoy your spicy beef jerky right away. Or, if you have the willpower to resist, store it in an airtight container in the pantry for up to 2 months.
To ensure your homemade beef jerky stays fresh, here are a few tips for proper storage:
- Use an airtight container like a mason jar or a well-sealed freezer baggie.
- Consider using moisture absorber packets to keep your jerky dry. You can find food-safe desiccant packets easily online.
- Store your jerky in a cool, dark place, such as the pantry. While the refrigerator is an option, it may affect the texture of the beef.
Following these guidelines will help your jerky last as long as possible. Without the use of curing powders, it won’t last as long as commercial jerky, but 1-2 months should be more than enough time to savor this tasty snack.
Contrary to popular belief, beef jerky does not require refrigeration after opening. However, keeping it in the refrigerator does increase its shelf life. Commercially-made beef jerky is cured and dried to strict standards, allowing it to be safely stored at room temperature for weeks after opening. Homemade jerky, on the other hand, should be consumed within 1 week of opening or refrigerated.
A Toast to Longevity
When it comes to homemade jerky, shelf life is a different story. Store-bought jerky often contains preservatives and comes with a desiccant packet to remove oxygen. Homemade jerky, when stored properly, can last 1-2 months.
Here are a few additional tips to help your jerky stay fresh:
- Trim away excess fat before dehydrating to prevent spoilage.
- Dehydrate the beef at 165°F to kill off any existing bacteria.
- Allow the jerky to cool completely before storing.
Remember, the drier your jerky, the longer it will last. Water, oxygen, and fat are the enemies of your jerky, so reducing their content is crucial for long-term storage.
Spoiled beef jerky is hard to miss. Look out for rancid smells or visible signs of mold. Properly dehydrated jerky should not have water droplets forming on the inside of the container. If you notice any, remove the jerky and dehydrate it for a bit longer.
With our spicy beef jerky recipe, you’re in for a fiery and flavorful snack. If you decide to give it a try, please let us know what you think by leaving a star rating and review. And remember, for all your BBQ needs, check out Rowdy Hog Smokin BBQ.