How to Make Beef Jerky

Preserving meat is one of the most important skills for a survivalist to possess. This short tutorial provides easy-to-follow steps on how to make homemade beef jerky at home, giving you an excellent backup plan if you ever find yourself in a disaster scenario or lost in the wilderness without any food.

Beef Jerky is a popular snack that can be made in the oven. This article will show you how to make beef jerky in the oven. Read more in detail here: how to make beef jerky in oven.

Homemade beef jerky in measuring glass.

Note from the editor: The following is an extract from Tim Ferriss’ latest book, The Four Hour Chef. 

An Overview of Food Dehydration

The removal of water from meals is what causes dehydration. This aids in the preservation of the food (bacteria need water) as well as the concentration of flavor. It’s a popular misperception that dehydrating food requires heat. However, it is low humidity, not heat, that causes dehydration. Warming the air around the food helps it stay dry, but if the air doesn’t move, the food will remain damp. As a result, while dehydrating food in the kitchen, be sure that air can move freely around it.

Side note: You may prevent dehydration by leaving the water in the meal but making it inaccessible to germs. Simply add chemicals that attach to water molecules and lock them away, such as sugar and salt. Because of this, lox (salt-cured salmon) and salted butter may be kept at room temperature, while unsalted butter cannot.

The World’s Finest Jerky

A survival skill isn’t always about preparing for adversity. While writing about apocalypse-proofing your life in his book Emergency, six-time New York Times best-selling author Neil Strauss discovered this. Yes, knowing how to preserve meat was beneficial. Learning to taste meat, on the other hand, was a skill.

He surveyed everyone in pursuit of the ultimate marinade: hard-core survivalists, friends’ grandfathers, chefs, and beyond. The best and simplest recipes that didn’t need a smoker or a food dehydrator were then split-tested. At a time, he buried almost identical pork pieces in 2–5 containers of marinade. He experimented with various brands and amounts of teriyaki sauce, as well as unexpected ingredients like truffle oil and mustard. It became a bit of a compulsion.

The following recipe came out on top in every tasting test.

This recipe is meant for home use, not for use in the wild, but it may be tweaked to suit your needs.

Hands-on Experience

1 hour 15 minutes

Time allotted

15 minutes + 24 hours marinating time, plus up to 24 hours drying and chilling time


  • Knife
  • Large lidded container
  • Foil made of aluminum
  • Serve with a wooden or plastic serving spoon.

Ingredients (for a 2.3kg (5lb) serving)

  • Lean brisket, 2 kilogram (5 lb)
  • Kikkoman soy sauce, 470 mL (2 c)
  • 2 c Worcestershire sauce (470 mL) (Neil likes Lea & Perrins)
  • 2 c. rich, delicious teriyaki sauce (470 mL) (Kikkoman Takumi Garlic & Green Onion or, Soy Vay Veri Veri Teriyaki)
  • 240 mL (1 c) liquid smoke (any brand will suffice since liquid smoke isn’t always simple to come by)
  • 120 mL (half a cup) Dark corn syrup Karo (you can also try blackstrap molasses)
  • 3 teaspoons garlic powder
  • 3 tablespoons onion powder
  • 3 tablespoons sesame seeds
  • 3 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon cayenne


00 To make slicing simpler, place the meat in the freezer for an hour. Slice the meat as thinly as possible across the grain (less than 0.6 cm or 14′′). Call the butcher ahead of time and ask him to slice 2 kilograms (5 lb) of lean brisket at this thickness if you’re lazy or don’t know how to use a knife. The jerky will be nicer and last longer if the beef is thinner.



00 Combine 470 mL (2 c) soy sauce, 470 mL (2 c) Worcestershire sauce, 470 mL (2 c) teriyaki sauce, 240 mL (1 c) liquid smoke, and 120 mL (1/2 c) dark corn syrup in a large mixing bowl.

01 Combine the 3 tablespoons garlic powder, 3 tablespoons onion powder, 3 tablespoons sesame seeds, and 3 tablespoons brown sugar in a mixing bowl. 1 teaspoon of cayenne pepper If you prefer it hot, add more, but a little goes a long way. Note that cayenne pepper is also effective in stopping bleeding from cuts and does not hurt.

Homemade beef jerky seasoning meat in large bowl with spatula.

Make sure the meat is well immersed in the marinade before serving.

02 Combine all of the ingredients in a large mixing bowl, then add the meat to the marinate. Your meat should be completely immersed in water.

03 Optional: I’ll sometimes use a smaller container to experiment with a different marinade, using other oils, spices, and notes (even soda, wine, or beer) in the same basic marinade. For a batch of experimental jerky, I’ll add a bit of the sliced beef.

04 Refrigerate for at least 24 hours after closing or covering the container(s).

05 It’s time to dry the meat once it’s been marinated for a while: Aluminum foil should be used to line the bottom of your oven. Things will become a jumble.

Homemade beef jerky meat for drying in over on top rack.

The higher the oven racks are situated, the better.

06 Place the meat on the oven racks, one on top of the other (see pic above). The higher the oven racks are situated, the better. You may wrap the meat with aluminum foil or hardware cloth if you like.

07 Preheat the oven to 70°C (160°F), or 80°C (180°F) if you’re in a hurry. Stick a wooden or plastic serving spoon at the top of the oven door to crack it open. A crumpled beer can is used by Steve Rinella. The idea is to dry the meat as much as possible without cooking it.

08 Allow 3 hours for the jerky to dry before turning it over. It should be finished in another 3 hours. The overall cooking time, on the other hand, is determined by the thickness of the meat and the oven temperature. When the jerky is dry enough to peel off a piece easily but not so dry that it breaks when bent, it’s ready.

09 Allow meat to cool in the open air. It’s now time to eat. It will get drier the longer you leave it out to chill. Store it in sealed Ziploc bags after no more than 24 hours. It will keep for 4–6 months if not refrigerated.

Do you have any further jerky-making suggestions? Please share them in the comments!

Do you have any further jerky-making suggestions? Please share them in the comments!

The Four Hour Chef by Tim Ferriss isn’t simply a cookbook (though there are plenty of recipes in it, like this one for beef jerky), and it’s out today. It’s a how-to book for learning anything (like cooking) as rapidly as possible using a basic approach Ferriss devised for mastering a variety of abilities.



Watch This Video-

The “how to make beef jerky in air fryer” is a step-by-step guide on how to make and cook beef jerky.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the best method for making beef jerky?

A: This is an individual preference. The best method for making beef jerky is to marinate the meat in a mixture of equal parts soy sauce, Worcestershire sauce and liquid smoke. Allow it to rest for 10 minutes before moving on with the process. Grind up some onions, garlic and salt into a fine paste then stir that paste into the ground beef along with your other ingredients as you add them together until they are well combined. Finally form 8-10 small patties using your hands then place them on metal racks or slotted spoons while they dry out at room temperature during 2-3 hours

Is beef jerky cooked before it is dehydrated?

A: No, beef jerky is not cooked before it is dehydrated.

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