Homemade Paleo Beef Jerky

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Homemade Paleo Beef Jerky

homemade paleo beef jerky

Stu: I’m a big fan of beef jerky as it makes a tasty, nutritious snack. However, most store-bought varieties are loaded with crap with ingredients that read like a science experiment. This homemade jerky recipe from Emma at Primal Life ticks all the boxes and doesn’t have an e-number in sight :)

Emma: This is a very tasty, high protein snack-on-the-go. I am not an expert on making jerky but this recipe has served me well so far:

  • Prep time: 3 – 4 hours (includes some freezing time)
  • Cook time: 3 – 6 hours
  • Yield: I do about 1 kg of meat at a time
  • Equipment needed: a dehydrator but this can also be done in the oven

Step 1

beef jerky step 1

  • Buy about 1kg of beef casserole or blade steak
    (cheap cuts are great for making jerky).
  • Cut fat and sinew from meat

Step 2

beef jerky step2

  • Freeze for approx 2-3 hours until firm but not frozen
    (this will help you to cut it into even slices)

Step 3

beef jerky step3

  • Cut meat into 5mm strips ACROSS the grain
    (if you cut it along the grain it will be VERY chewy)

Step 4

beef jerky step 4

  • Make your choice of Marinade(s):
  • Ginger and Chilli:
  • 4 Tbs Tamari soy sauce*
  • 1 Tbs finely grated ginger
  • 1 Tbs finely grated garlic
  • 1/2 tsp pink salt
  • 
1/2 tsp pepper
1 tsp curry powder
  • 2 finely chopped hot chillies (can leave out)
  • Herb Garlic and Pepper:
  • 4 Tbs Tamari soy sauce*
  • 1 Tbs fresh thyme leaves chopped (1tsp dried)
  • 1 Tbs fresh oregano leaves chopped (1tsp dried)
  • 1/2 tsp pink salt
  • 1 tsp pepper
  • 1 Tbs finely grated garlic
  • Harissa:
  • 4 Tbs Tamari soy sauce*
  • 1 tsp ground coriander
  • 
1 tsp ground cumin
  • 
1 tsp ground caraway (can use fennel)
  • 
1 Tbs finely grated garlic
  • 1 Tbs chili flakes

*You can substitute the Tamari for Red Wine.

Step 5

beef jerky step 5

  • Coat meat in marinade, cover and refrigerate for at least 6 hours or overnight

Step 6

beef jerky step 6

  • DEHYDRATOR: Place flat on dehydrator trays – I lined mine with baking paper to minimise mess.
  • OVEN: Lay strips of meat on top of oven trays (good idea to put a baking tray on the next rack down to catch any drips, or line the bottom of your oven with foil)

Step 7

beef jerky step 7

  • Dry at 60c.
  • Check after 2-3 hours - Take a piece of jerky and bend it, if it bends easily or feels juicy it needs more time.
  • The time will depend on how much you have made and the thickness of the meat
  • When it starts to stretch or tear the fibres when you bend it it is near done (see picture)
  • You can let a strip cool out of the oven for 10 minutes and do this test again. When warm the jerky is easier to bend, so cooling it first can let you know if it is dry enough

Step 8

  • Remove the jerky from the dehydrator or oven and leave to air-dry for 24 hours before storing in an airtight container in the fridge. 
It should easily keep for as long as it take you to it.
  • If you aren’t going to get through it fast enough place into ziplock bags and freeze.

You can follow our friends at Primal Life here ;)

Let us know if you have found a healthy store-bought version.

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    2 Responses to Homemade Paleo Beef Jerky

    1. Tony Lai
      February 14, 2015 at 8:58 am

      What’s the shelf life

      • Emma
        February 16, 2015 at 10:01 am

        I would keep it for a couple of weeks in the fridge.

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