I’ve recently started making my own beef jerky at home. Aside from the hardware necessary to form and dry the meat, the recipe has been the biggest component of research over the last few months. Listed below is my current base recipe.
You will need to use ground beef for this mixture. I settled on ground beef over sliced meat for a few reasons.
1) No need to marinade. I use all dry ingredients and after mixing can start the drying process immediately. I find this to be much more convenient.
2) All dry ingredients. This means no worry about spoilage if I take a jerky hiatus for a while.
3) Better jerky texture. I hate jerky that you have to tear apart using your teeth. You should be able to just eat it (think Slim Jims).
4) Price. Ground beef is much more economical. I’ve found the Costco 88/12 to be the best and at $2.99/lb. you surely can’t beat it.
Recipe (per lb.)
15 grams of kosher salt (about 1/2 Tbs)
1 tsp. of powdered smoke (if you insist on liquid, you can use the same amount)
1 tsp. black pepper
1 tsp. onion powder
1/2 tsp. garlic powder
1/5 tsp. Prague powder or 2/5 tsp. Morton’s curing salt
Hot pepper powder to taste (start with 1/2 tsp. and add as necessary)
I recommend getting all the way up to the hot pepper and then start tasting to get the right hot pepper mix.
Just pour the mix in either together or one ingredient at a time and mix with your ground beef. If you are using any kind of potent hot pepper powder like ghost peppers, be sure to wear gloves and possibly a mast as the stuff can kick up a bit.
I prepare batches of this mix in advance and store in 3 pound kits.
There is no need to let this sit overnight though you can if you want.
Load into a jerky gun and then dry for 8-10 hours.