Oh, yes you can.  You can make beef jerky at home and it is so easy you will wonder why you haven’t done it sooner.  It’s fast, too.  And you won’t be making a big mess in your kitchen, so why are you waiting?  Give it a try.  When you see how easy it is, and how good the jerky you make at home will be, I guarantee you will be doing it again.

This is a fun, easy recipe you can make with your kids.  Now that we are back to school, life has once again resumed warp speed.  Jerky is a great on-the-go food, perfect for lunch boxes, soccer games,  or running errands.  It packs well thrown into your bag for the office or stashed in your car.  I barely got one batch of this made, and I am already excited about doing it again.  Maybe this time with a different meat, or adding a little something spicy to the marinade?

Making this at home means that you can control the sugar and salt and know that there aren’t any added chemicals or artificial ingredients. You can even buy organic meat if that suits you, and I am betting this will still be cheaper than a store bought bag of jerky.  You can also try other types of protein, like turkey or chicken, as well as other cuts of beef.   I used Trader Joe’s Soyaki and also Trader Joe’s sweet chili sauce when I made the marinade.  These are versatile, inexpensive and good to have on hand for other recipes, which is also a plus, because you are not having to buy a lot of ingredients you won’t ever use again.

I cut the original recipe in half because I wasn’t so sure about about using 2 pounds of meat to experiment with.  I used less liquid smoke, and less chili sauce because I didn’t want it to be too smoky or sweet.  My testers were more than a little skeptical about this recipe.  There is just something about jerky…   But after trying it, they were all enthusiastic about helping me make some more.

And the best part?  No mess!  I made the marinade in a large zip-top bag, and then added the meat and refrigerated.  If you line the sheet tray with aluminum foil, the only clean up will be the cookie rack.  Give that a quick scrub with a soapy sponge, rinse, and pop in the dishwasher.  This was literally effortless, because there was nothing baked on or hardened.



Store in an airtight container.  As suggested in this Bon Appétit blog, I refrigerated mine, thinking it would keep longer, but it’s already gone.

Ready to give it a try?  Here is a recipe from Al Roker (who, by the way, can cook every bit as well as he can forecast the weather), with instructions modified for an easier clean-up.    Make this now and you will be ready to show off your jerky skills just in time for the Seahawk’s game this Sunday.


Beef Jerky

1 1/2 cups teriyaki sauce
1/2 cup liquid smoke
1/2 cup sweet chili sauce
1/2 cup water
1 tablespoon onion powder
2 tablespoons brown sugar
2 pounds beef brisket, sliced 1/8” thick against the grain

Combine teriyaki sauce, liquid smoke, sweet chili sauce, water and onion powder in a large zip-top bag  Add sliced brisket strips to the marinade making sure that marinade covers all of the meat.  Refrigerate and let marinate for 24 hours.  The next day, remove meat from marinade and blot dry with paper towels.  Lay strips out on a cookie rack placed on top of an aluminum foil lined sheet pan.  Place in a 175º F oven and cook for 2 1/2 to 3 hours.  Can be stored in an airtight container for up to 3 months.







Donna Ferguson

Donna Ferguson

I love to cook, garden, and write about all the things in Vancouver and the Northwest that make life so great.

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