1 bottle soy sauce
1 capful liquid smoke
meat of your choice
So, OK, I know that’s kind of vague. Here is what I did for mine. I happened to have been blessed with about 50 pounds of venison a few months ago, so I used some venison backstrap. But this recipe works equally well with beef or any other meat as far as I know.
- I sliced the meat as thinly as I could. The thinner the better. I have found that it’s easier to slice meat very thin when it’s partially frozen.
- I mixed up a 15 fl. oz. bottle of soy sauce and 1 capful of liquid smoke in a plastic container that had a lid that sealed. A large ziplock baggie would work just as well.
- Put the sliced meat in the mixture. Make sure that all the meat is in the liquid. It just so happened that one bottle of soy sauce was enough for the amount of meat that I had. (See why it’s a little vague?)
My meat looked like this when I got it all in the container.
- Put your container in the refrigerator to soak for at least over night. You will need to turn it over periodically to make sure that it’s all saturated evenly. Mine actually soaked overnight, and most of the next day.
This is what mine looked like after soaking. Not a good picture, sorry. The meat soaks up the liquid and the soy sauce turns it dark.
- Take the strips and spread them out on your dehydrator trays. You might want to oil or spray the trays first. I didn’t and some of it stuck. L Make sure that the strips are as flat as possible and not overlapping. I also try to put pieces that are about the same thickness on the same tray.
- Sprinkle with lemon pepper to your liking. (I make my own lemon pepper. I’ll post that recipe too.)
My meat pieces after adding the lemon pepper. (Just nod your head and pretend that you can see it.)
- Put the trays in the dehydrator and turn it on.
My dehydrator working merrily away.
My jerky when it was done. Ta Da!
How long it takes to dehydrate depends on how thick the meat is, how humid it is, and what kind of dehydrator you have. The heating elements on mine are in the bottom, so I have to swap the trays every four hours or so to make sure that it’s drying evenly. I also consolidate the meat in fewer trays as it shrinks. I ended up with half the amount of trays that I started with. Of course, the kids were snacking on it before it was completely dried, so that might have had something to do with it. After it’s dried, let it cool and then put it in an airtight container. Ziplocks work just fine. It can also be stored in the freezer.
It’s really not that hard, but it’s definitely not a quick thing to make! And I have no illusions that it’s health food! But at least when I make it myself I know that it’s fresh, and the kids really like it.