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Homemade Beef Jerky, a Giveaway Winner…and a Revolution

Homemade Gluten-Free, Allergy-Friendly Beef Jerky.  Easy to make, challenging to photograph (in an appealing fashion anyway)! ;-)

I love beef jerky, but all too often the prepackaged variety contains wheat so therefore it is off limits to me and my brood.  I’m actually kinda thankful for that because it is not only easy to make, but costs a LOT less than the store-bought variety…and that’s with using grass-fed beef!

Check this out, a 4-pk of Oh Boy! Oberto Beef Jerky (3.25-oz. each) costs $17.95 (minus shipping).  If my math is correct, that turns out to be…$1.38/ounce of beef jerky.

The last time I checked, Grass-Fed Beef Bottom Round Roast (but any lean cut will do) was $5.99/lb. at my local Whole Foods Market.

Wanna take a guess at how much my homemade, grass-fed, “I know exactly what’s in it” beef jerky costs?

$0.38/ounce. Yep, that would be a mere 38 pennies!  Of course, you need to figure in the added time it takes to prep the beef and the marinade, but give your Texan hubby a slab of slightly frozen beef and an electric knife, and the work is as good as done!

This is a great high protein snack to keep on hand; I send it as a snack with my boys to school, I carry some in my purse (along with some nuts and a piece of fruit) and Mike keeps a jar of beef jerky in his office drawer.  Before we flew to California in February, I made up a 5-lb. batch and let me tell you, it was a lifesaver during those long layovers!  Plus it’s easy to store in hotels..no refrigeration required!

Homemade Beef Jerky

Prep Time: 24 hours

Cook Time: PT6 - 8H

Recipe adapted from The Canning Pantry to be free of gluten and corn, with suggestions for a soy-free version

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 - 2 lbs. Lean Beef, preferably grass-fed (any lean cut will do, I use either bottom round roast, London Broil or round steak)
  • 1/4 cup Gluten Free Soy Sauce (I used Braggs Liquid Aminos, or try Coconut Aminos for a soy-free version)
  • 1/4 cup Homemade Gluten-Free, Corn-Free, Refined Sugar-Free Worcestershire Sauce
  • 1 1/2 tsp. Smoked Salt (I found the original recipe's 1 Tbs. of salt to be too much for my taste, so I cut it in half. I used the smoked salt in place of the liquid smoke because we avoid caramel coloring, but sea salt works great too)
  • 1 tsp. Garlic Powder
  • 1 tsp. Onion Powder
  • 1 tsp. Black Pepper
  • 1 cup Water

Directions

  1. If your beef is fresh, stick it in the freezer for about an hour to firm up, otherwise it is next to impossible to cut it into thin enough slices. If the beef is frozen, allow it to partially thaw in the refrigerator for several hours, until it is easy enough to slice.
  2. Once you are finished slicing the beef, place the meat in a large sealable plastic bag (I use the 2-gallon size).
  3. In a medium size bowl, combine the remaining ingredients then pour over the meat in the plastic bag. Seal and shake to make sure all of the beef has been coated in the marinade. Place in the refrigerator for 24 hours, turning the mixture after 12 hours.
  4. Remove the beef strips from the marinade and lay out on dehydrator sheets, being careful that you give each slice a little room to breathe (don't line the beef up with side touching side). Follow the drying directions of your dehydrator. I have an Excalibur Dehydrator and I dehydrate mine at 155° F. for about 6 - 8 hours (I start checking on it at 6 hours).
  5. Store in an airtight container at room temperature for up to one month.
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If you do not have a dehydrator, watch a short video showing how to make homemade beef jerky in an oven.

For more Gluten-Free Beef Jerky Recipes, check out the following:

Beef Jerky from Tasty Eats at Home

Basic Jerky – Not So Tough from GNOWFGLINS

Making Snacks at Home from Creative Cooking Gluten Free

The winner of Elena Amsterdam’s new cookbook, Gluten-Free Cupcakes: 50 Irresistible Recipes Made with Almond and Coconut Flour is:

#27 Jennifer C.

Congratulations Jennifer, I will email you for your shipping information. :-D

Lastly, in case you missed the first episode of Jamie Oliver’s Food Revolution last Tuesday, it was BRILLIANT!  I cannot encourage you enough to watch it (click here to see the episode in its entirety on hulu.com).

Jamie did a few things that truly moved me, one was his heart-wrenching talk with parents (at about the 8 min, 50 sec. marker).  Second, was his beef demonstration (I will never look at ground beef the same again!) and third…Jamie’s visual aid to show the amount of sugar consumed annually in the Los Angeles Unified School District, from flavored milk alone (which I’m sure is representative of the rest of the country too).

Did you watch Jamie Oliver’s Food Revolution episode Tuesday?  If so, did anything in particular get your attention?  I’d love to hear read your thoughts! :-D

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Comments

  1. Courtney says:

    Wow, Heidi! I never realized making my own beef jerky could be so cheap AND easy! =) Also, I've been trying to find a substitute for soy sauce. We've just been going without. Do the Bragg's Liquid Aminos really taste like soy sauce? I'd love to be able to have that ingredient for things again. Thanks!

    • Hi Courtney!

      You know what? I didn't realize how much less it cost to make my own either, until I sat down and did the math last night. Truthfully, I was SHOCKED that the homemade, organic, grass-fed beef jerky cost that much less than the prepackaged version with all the additives in it.

      From what I can remember (I've been missing my taste buds for nearly a year now), the Bragg's Liquid Aminos (which is soy-based) DOES taste like regular soy sauce. As for the coconut aminos, I can't tell you how it tastes first hand because the first time I could it was just a couple of months ago, but several of my friends (who I've had try it) say it's very similar to soy sauce.

      Hope that helps somewhat! :-D

  2. Laurel says:

    You definitely have our attention now. My husband facebooked about it. I told him he was on just as soon as he found us some grass fed beef.

    Sorry about the cupcakes. My VitaMix is apparently DOA (they're sending me a shipping label, great service). So that means I can't make any almond flour and nor do I have a bag of the fine stuff. Boo, those over risen failures made me a great breakfast.

    Many congratulations Jennifer, hours of fun in the kitchen, yum.

    • Laurel,

      Gotta love those Texan boys, so predictable when it comes to good beef, LOL!

      So tell me about your Vitamix, what happened?

      I bet those cupcake "muffins" made for a mighty fine breakfast, they're perfect double duty morsels, aren't they?

      xo,
      Heidi

      • Laurel says:

        I was making nut milk, turned around to load the dish washer, sound change. There is milk all over the counter, the cabinets, in the drawers under the counter, the floor, all the other appliances – everywhere. Checked the lid, nope still on. Lifted the blender jar and it came apart in two pieces. It had apparently high speeded itself into its constituent parts. Vitamix said oh that's an easy fix, the nut was loose – we'll send you a special tool to tighten it. Yeah, sure. Do you guys know I have adrenal burnout and its all I can do to get into my kitchen ONCE a day? Anyway a lovely new neighbor of mine came over and cleaned it all up. When we turned the unit back on its feet (because milk had gotten inside everywhere) more spilled out. I called VitaMix again and asked if the stuff hadn't got into the housing and how was I to clean that? They sent me a mailing label. Seriously great service but I'll be doing a lot of fasting until I get it back. My neighbor said she'd had hers for 7 years, 4 children and not one problem. Anyway I found out I had a wonderful, charitable new neighbor and she got a bouquet of flowers so I guess everything worked out well, sorta.

        Oh and the muffins,yeah great double duty. I just treated them as if they were oatmeal (I'd put 3/4 C of chia gel because I thought the coconut needed all that liquid). Still they were very tasty and full of protein and minerals and I'd even make them wrong again for another good breakfast. :-)

  3. healing says:

    Beef Jerkey, brought to tears,,, my teen boys would go crazy. An opportunity to say , "yes, you can have that" . Great ideas.

    I would be interested in other ideas you have used the dehydrator.

    I never would have thought of purchasing one, but now I am giving it great thought. Often, when I look for dried fruit, it is made on machines that also process wheat. Thanks again, will let you know when I make it.

    • Don't you just love being able to say YES? I never knew that word could bring so much joy for seemingly "little" things in life, but I think it is also much, much sweeter, don't you?

      I just got finished making a batch of sweet potato chips in my dehydrator (I also make apple cinnamon chips) and I've also made fruit leather, I've dehydrated veggies to make my own "cup o' soup," I've made crackers…the options are limitless! Outside of the initial cost of buying the machine, I save so much money (not to mention that I know my jerky, chips, etc. are 100% safe), that the dehydrator has probably already paid for itself. There are less expensive dehydrators on the market (my first one was a Nesco), but I like the Excalibur because the fan is at the back of the unit (vs. the bottom of the Nesco), so I don't have to rotate the trays, etc. I also think the Excalibur is quite a bit faster too.

  4. So, I used to make this all of the time….years ago. I do not know why I have not made it since. I guess that is about to change. LOL Time to pull out that dehydrator again! My boys will be absolutely thrilled with this! I do not know what I have been thinking by not making my own. Thanks for this great recipe! Who knew? Grass Fed Organic Beef Jerky! Yeah baby!

    xo

    k

    • Kim,

      My little guys LOVE the beef jerky (and I love it because it takes them a little while to chew an entire piece of it…a guaranteed 5 minutes of peace and quiet, LOL!).

      xo,
      Heidi

  5. Alta says:

    I make homemade beef jerky all the time for my husband. So not difficult, and so tasty!

    • Alta, Alta, Alta…

      I definitely have YOU to thank for this post. I used to have a Nesco dehydrator, but after I saw your beef jerky post, I finally broke down and bought the Excalibur. Boy am I glad I did, such a difference it has made, thank you! :-D

      xo,
      Heidi

  6. Christine says:

    I'm definitely going to have to show my brother this recipe – he's a huge beef jerky fan for his hikes and trips in the summer but is allergic to all the preservatives they put in the store bought stuff!

    • HI Christine!

      I was really pleased with this recipe. I found it after trying numerous other versions and this was by far the most similar to the beef jerky I remember eating as a kid…straight forward, nothing fancy, but loads of flavor. I've been making it for about 2 years now and everyone who's tried it, really enjoys it…hope your brother does too! :-D

  7. Melissa says:

    Oh, YUM! I will definitely be trying this.

  8. Sounds so easy — how could I have missed this all these years???

  9. Nancy says:

    Thanks for a very informative article, glad I found your blog. I will probably read more articles, there are so many! It's quite true that beef jerky is easy to make. I'm always searching for new and different recipes though…yours sounds delicious!

  10. Jeff says:

    How long would this store in vacuum seals bags?

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