Master the Art of How to Make Jerky like Jack Link’s Today!

  • By: Chester Brown
  • Time to read: 16 min.
Chester Brown
Introducing Chester Brown, the creative force behind Flying Jerky and the visionary author behind the exhilarating journey chronicled on flyingjerky.com. Chester's passion for adventure and premium jerky has converged to create a unique platform that not only celebrates the thrill of exploration but also tantalizes taste buds with the finest jerky selections.

Are you a fan of delicious and flavorful jerky? Have you ever wondered how to make jerky that rivals the popular brand Jack Link’s? Well, look no further because we’ve got you covered! In this guide, we will take you step-by-step through the process of creating homemade jerky that is just as tasty and satisfying as Jack Link’s. Say goodbye to store-bought jerky and hello to your own mouthwatering creation!

Key Takeaways:

  • Learn how to make homemade jerky that tastes just like Jack Link’s.
  • Discover the secrets to choosing the right meat for the perfect texture.
  • Master the art of preparing a flavorful marinade for your beef jerky.
  • Get tips and tricks for slicing the beef to achieve the ideal texture.
  • Explore different methods of drying your jerky, including smoking and dehydrating.

Choosing the Right Meat for Jerky Making

When it comes to making beef jerky at home, choosing the right meat is key to achieving the best results. While you can experiment with different types of meat like elk, venison, or even kangaroo, traditional jerky is made from beef. To ensure your jerky turns out tender and flavorful, it’s important to select a lean cut of beef. Opt for cuts like topside or round, which have less fat and will dry out properly during the jerky-making process. Avoid cuts with excessive fat, as fat doesn’t dehydrate well and can lead to spoilage.

The best jerky-making technique involves slicing the beef against the grain. This means cutting perpendicular to the muscle fibers, resulting in jerky that has a nice bite without being overly tough. Aim to slice the beef into 1/3-inch wide strips, ensuring that the grain runs from left to right (or right to left) across the widest part of each slice. Slicing against the grain helps break down the muscle fibers, resulting in a more tender and enjoyable jerky experience.

Properly selecting and slicing the meat sets the foundation for creating delicious homemade jerky. By choosing lean cuts and cutting against the grain, you’ll be well on your way to making jerky that rivals your favorite store-bought brands.

Making Jerky with Various Meats

While beef is the most common choice for jerky, you can also experiment with other meats to create unique flavors. For example, elk and venison produce a lean and gamey jerky, while kangaroo offers a slightly sweeter taste. The key is to choose meats that are low in fat and can be sliced thinly.

Meat Characteristics Recommended Slicing Thickness
Beef Classic flavor, widely available 1/3 inch
Elk Lean and gamey taste 1/4 inch
Venison Rich and hearty flavor 1/4 inch
Kangaroo Slightly sweeter taste 1/4 inch

“Experimenting with different meats can lead to unique and delicious jerky flavors. Just make sure to choose lean cuts and adjust the slicing thickness accordingly.”

Preparing the Marinade for Beef Jerky

In order to create the perfect beef jerky recipe, it’s essential to prepare a flavorful marinade. The marinade is responsible for infusing the meat with delicious seasoning, tenderizing it, and adding depth of flavor. With the right combination of ingredients, you can achieve a mouthwatering jerky that rivals the best store-bought options.

To prepare the marinade, you’ll need a plastic bowl to mix the ingredients. Combine soy sauce, Worcestershire sauce, brown sugar, paprika, ginger powder, salt, and black pepper. These ingredients work together to create a balance of savory, sweet, and smoky flavors. The soy sauce adds a rich umami taste, while the Worcestershire sauce enhances the overall meaty flavor. The brown sugar provides a touch of sweetness, while the paprika and ginger powder add warmth and depth. Finally, the salt and black pepper season the meat and bring all the flavors together.

Once you’ve mixed the marinade, it’s time to marinate the beef strips. Take lean beef strips, such as topside or round cuts, and place them in the marinade. Make sure each strip is fully coated with the marinade to ensure even flavor distribution. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and let it marinate in the refrigerator overnight. This allows the flavors to penetrate the meat and tenderize it, resulting in a perfect jerky texture.

After the marinade has worked its magic, you can proceed with the drying process to transform the marinated beef into flavorful, chewy jerky. Whether you choose to smoke or dehydrate the jerky, the marinade will enhance the overall taste and ensure a tender, delicious result.

Table: Ingredients for the Marinade

Ingredient Amount
Soy sauce 1/2 cup
Worcestershire sauce 1/4 cup
Brown sugar 2 tablespoons
Paprika 1 teaspoon
Ginger powder 1 teaspoon
Salt 1 teaspoon
Black pepper 1/2 teaspoon

Slicing the Beef for the Best Texture

When it comes to making beef jerky at home, slicing the beef properly is key to achieving the best texture. To ensure tender and chewy jerky, it’s important to slice the beef against the grain. This means cutting the meat perpendicular to the direction of the muscle fibers. Slicing against the grain breaks up the muscle fibers and results in a more tender and less chewy jerky.

When preparing the beef for slicing, it’s recommended to choose lean cuts such as topside or round. These cuts of beef dry out properly and do not have chewy bits of fat. Fat doesn’t dehydrate well and can make the jerky spoil quickly. By using lean cuts of meat and slicing against the grain, you’ll be able to create jerky with the perfect texture.

To ensure consistent thickness, aim to slice the beef into 1/3-inch wide strips. This uniformity will allow for even drying and result in jerky that is evenly chewy throughout. It’s also important to ensure that the grain of the beef runs from left to right (or right to left) across the widest part of the slice. Following these slicing tips will help you achieve the ideal texture in your homemade jerky.

Tips for Slicing Beef for Jerky:

  • Choose lean cuts of meat like topside or round.
  • Slice against the grain to break up muscle fibers.
  • Aim for 1/3-inch wide strips for consistent drying.
  • Ensure the grain of the beef runs across the widest part of the slice.

Slicing the beef properly is an important step in the jerky making process. By following these tips, you’ll be able to create homemade jerky with a delicious texture that rivals your favorite store-bought brands.

Smoking or Dehydrating the Jerky

Once you have marinated your beef strips to perfection, it’s time to dry them out and create that delicious, chewy texture that jerky is known for. There are two primary methods for drying jerky: smoking and dehydrating. Both techniques have their advantages and can yield fantastic results, so let’s explore each one.

Smoking the Jerky

Smoking jerky adds an extra layer of flavor to your homemade creation. To smoke your jerky, you’ll need a smoker or a BBQ with low and slow cooking capabilities. Set the smoker to a low temperature between 160-180°F to ensure the beef dehydrates without cooking. Lay the marinated meat strips on wire cooling racks in the smoker, taking care not to allow them to touch. Smoke the beef strips for several hours, allowing them to absorb the smoky goodness.

Dehydrating the Jerky

If you don’t have access to a smoker, don’t worry! You can still achieve fantastic results using a dehydrator. Set your dehydrator to a low temperature of around 160°F. Place the smoked beef strips on the dehydrator trays, ensuring they are not touching each other. Leave the jerky in the dehydrator for approximately 5-6 hours, or longer if desired, until it is completely dried out. The low-temperature dehydrating process removes moisture from the meat, resulting in perfectly dried jerky.

Experiment with both smoking and dehydrating methods to find your favorite technique for creating the best homemade jerky. Some jerky enthusiasts even start the process in the smoker for added flavor and then finish it off in the dehydrator for convenience. Whichever method you choose, the result will be a mouthwatering snack that you can proudly call your own.

Smoking the Jerky Dehydrating the Jerky
Requires a smoker or BBQ with low and slow cooking capabilities Requires a dehydrator
Smokes the meat, adding a rich, smoky flavor Dries out the meat using low heat
Temperature: 160-180°F Temperature: around 160°F
Smoke the beef strips for several hours Leave the jerky in the dehydrator for approximately 5-6 hours

Smoking Process for Beef Jerky

Smoking the beef jerky adds a delightful smoky flavor to your homemade creation. The smoking process infuses the meat with a rich and aromatic taste that enhances the overall jerky experience. To smoke your beef jerky, set your smoker to a low temperature of about 140-160°F. This low temperature allows the beef to dehydrate without being fully cooked, resulting in a tender and flavorful snack.

Before you start smoking, arrange the marinated meat strips on wire cooling racks in the smoker. It’s important to ensure that the pieces of beef do not touch each other, as this allows for even smoking and drying. Once the meat is properly arranged, close the smoker and let the jerky smoke for a few hours.

“The smoking process adds depth of flavor to the homemade jerky.”

After the initial smoking period, you have two options. You can either transfer the partially smoked jerky to a dehydrator to finish the drying process, or you can continue smoking it at a low temperature for the recommended time. If you decide to continue smoking, make sure to monitor the jerky closely to prevent overcooking.

Smoking your beef jerky provides a unique and delicious twist on the traditional drying process. The smoky flavor pairs wonderfully with the salty and savory taste of the marinade, creating a jerky that is sure to impress your taste buds and leave you craving more.

The following table provides a summary of the smoking process for beef jerky:

Step Instructions
1 Set your smoker to a low temperature between 140-160°F.
2 Arrange the marinated meat strips on wire cooling racks in the smoker, ensuring they do not touch.
3 Smoke the beef jerky for a few hours to infuse it with a smoky flavor.
4a Transfer the partially smoked jerky to a dehydrator to complete the drying process.
4b Continue smoking the jerky at a low temperature until it reaches the desired texture.

Dehydrating Process for Beef Jerky

To dehydrate your homemade beef jerky, you will need a dehydrator. This method ensures even drying and helps to preserve the texture and flavor of the jerky. Here’s how you can dehydrate your jerky to perfection:

  1. Set your dehydrator to a low temperature of around 160°F.
  2. If you don’t have a dehydrator, you can leave the jerky in the smoker for the total recommended time.
  3. Place the smoked beef strips on the dehydrator trays, making sure they are not touching each other. This allows for proper airflow and even drying.
  4. Leave the jerky in the dehydrator for approximately 5-6 hours, or longer if desired. The low temperature dehydrating process removes moisture from the meat, resulting in perfectly dried jerky.

Once the jerky is properly dehydrated, allow it to cool completely before storing it in a sealed container in the refrigerator. This will help maintain its freshness and extend its shelf life.

Dehydrated beef jerky is a convenient and delicious snack option that can be enjoyed on-the-go or at home. Its long shelf life makes it perfect for camping trips, road trips, or as a protein-packed treat anytime you need a quick and satisfying snack.

“The dehydrating process is crucial for achieving the perfect texture in beef jerky. The low temperature allows the meat to dry out slowly without being cooked, resulting in a chewy and flavorful snack. Investing in a dehydrator is well worth it if you plan on making homemade jerky regularly.”

Storing and Enjoying Homemade Jerky

Now that you’ve successfully made your own delicious homemade jerky, it’s important to store it properly to maintain its freshness. Follow these tips to ensure your jerky stays flavorful and ready to enjoy:

  1. Allow the jerky to cool completely before storing it.
  2. Store the jerky in a sealed container to keep out moisture and prevent it from becoming stale.
  3. For optimal freshness, store the jerky in the refrigerator. The cool temperature will help extend its shelf life.
  4. If you don’t have space in the refrigerator, you can vacuum seal the jerky and store it in a cool place like a pantry or cupboard.

When it comes to enjoying your homemade jerky, the possibilities are endless. It makes for a tasty and protein-packed snack that’s perfect for on-the-go or as a post-workout treat. You can also incorporate homemade jerky into your favorite recipes, like salads, sandwiches, or even stir-fries, to add a burst of flavor and protein. The homemade jerky you’ve made using our recipe will far surpass store-bought options in both taste and quality. So, grab a piece of your delicious homemade jerky and savor the satisfaction of creating your own delectable snack.

Tips for Enjoying Homemade Jerky:

  • Take your jerky with you on outdoor adventures like hiking, camping, or road trips for a convenient and satisfying snack.
  • Share your homemade jerky with friends and family as a unique and thoughtful gift.
  • Experiment with different flavors and seasonings to customize your jerky recipe to your taste preferences.
  • Use high-quality ingredients, lean cuts of meat, and a flavorful marinade to enhance the taste and texture of your homemade jerky.

The History of Jack Link’s and its Meat Snacks

Jack Link’s is a renowned family-owned and operated company that has transformed a beloved family recipe into the largest meat snack business worldwide. With a commitment to innovation and quality, Jack Link’s has become a leading brand in the snacking industry, offering a wide variety of jerky flavors and other meat snacks. By following our homemade jerky recipe, you can recreate the mouthwatering flavors of Jack Link’s in the comfort of your own home.

Company Headquarters Brands
Jack Link’s Protein Snacks Minong, Wisconsin Jack Link’s, Lorissa’s Kitchen, MATADOR Jerky, Golden Island, BiFi, Peperami

Based in Minong, Wisconsin, Jack Link’s Protein Snacks is the global leader in snacking and the number one meat snack manufacturer worldwide. The company also has a corporate hub in Downtown Minneapolis, Minnesota. With a diverse portfolio of brands, including Jack Link’s, Lorissa’s Kitchen, MATADOR Jerky, Golden Island, BiFi, and Peperami, Jack Link’s Protein Snacks is dedicated to delivering exceptional products and nourishing the journey of those who drive progress.

The Legacy of Jack Link’s

Jack Link’s Beef Jerky has gained immense popularity among jerky enthusiasts. Each bag of Jack Link’s jerky features the iconic logo and offers a delectable blend of flavors. With its low fat and high protein content, Jack Link’s jerky provides a satisfying and nutritious snack option. Customers rave about the taste and quality of Jack Link’s jerky, making it a go-to choice for jerky lovers everywhere.

“By making your own jerky using our guide, you can recreate the flavors of Jack Link’s at home.”

About Jack Link’s Protein Snacks

Jack Link’s Protein Snacks is a global leader in the snacking industry, known for its high-quality meat snacks. With headquarters in Minong, Wisconsin, and a corporate hub in Downtown Minneapolis, Minnesota, the company has established itself as the number one meat snack manufacturer worldwide. Jack Link’s Protein Snacks is committed to delivering awesome products that fuel the journey of those who move things forward.

Under its diverse portfolio of brands, Jack Link’s offers a wide range of protein-packed snacks to satisfy every taste. The flagship brand, Jack Link’s, is renowned for its delicious beef jerky, available in various flavors and package sizes. Whether you prefer classic Original, zesty Teriyaki, or bold Peppered, Jack Link’s has a jerky flavor to suit your palate.

In addition to Jack Link’s, the company’s portfolio includes other popular brands such as Lorissa’s Kitchen, MATADOR Jerky, Golden Island, BiFi, and Peperami. Each brand offers unique and delectable meat snacks, providing options for different preferences and dietary needs.

Jack Link’s Protein Snacks has gained a loyal following thanks to its commitment to quality, taste, and innovation. By bringing the flavors of Jack Link’s into your own kitchen through our homemade jerky recipe, you can experience the same deliciousness that has made Jack Link’s a household name in the snacking world.

Brand Key Products Flavors
Jack Link’s Beef Jerky Original, Teriyaki, Peppered, and more
Lorissa’s Kitchen Premium Protein Snacks Ginger Teriyaki, Korean Barbeque, Sweet Chili, and more
MATADOR Jerky Beef and Pork Jerky Original, Sizzlin’ Bacon, Sweet & Spicy, and more
Golden Island Grilled Barbecue Pork Jerky Korean BBQ, Chili Lime, Mongolian, and more
BiFi Meat Snacks Original, Hot, and XXL Chili
Peperami Original Salami Sticks Original, Hot, and Firestick

Product Information and Reviews

Jack Link’s Beef Jerky is a popular and widely enjoyed snack. Each bag of jerky features the iconic Jack Link’s logo and contains a delicious blend of flavors. The beef jerky is low in fat, high in protein, and has a satisfying chewiness. Customers rave about the taste and quality of Jack Link’s jerky, making it a go-to snack for many jerky enthusiasts. The product is available in various flavors and package sizes to suit individual preferences.

When it comes to reviews, Jack Link’s Beef Jerky receives high praise from customers. People love the savory flavors and the tender texture of the jerky. Many customers appreciate the convenience of the individual packaging, making it easy to enjoy on the go. The versatile flavors offered by Jack Link’s, such as Original, Teriyaki, and Peppered, cater to different palates. It’s no surprise that Jack Link’s is a trusted and beloved brand in the world of beef jerky.

“Jack Link’s Beef Jerky is my favorite snack! The bold flavors and perfect texture make it a real treat. I always have a bag handy for those moments when I need a protein-packed pick-me-up. It’s the best jerky I’ve ever tasted!” – Sarah

To summarize, Jack Link’s Beef Jerky is a top-quality product that delivers on taste and texture. With its wide range of flavors and convenient packaging, it offers a snack option that satisfies cravings and provides a protein boost. Whether you’re a long-time jerky lover or new to the world of beef jerky, Jack Link’s is a brand worth trying.

Recipe Recap and Nutritional Information

Now that you’ve learned the art of making jerky like Jack Link’s, let’s recap the recipe and take a look at the nutritional information. By following these steps, you can create a perfect jerky recipe that will impress your taste buds and provide a protein-packed snack.

To start, slice a lean cut of beef against the grain into 1/3-inch wide strips. This technique ensures the jerky has a nice bite and isn’t tough. Next, prepare the marinade by combining soy sauce, Worcestershire sauce, brown sugar, paprika, ginger powder, salt, and black pepper. Let the beef strips marinate in this flavorful mixture overnight, allowing the flavors to penetrate the meat.

Once the beef is marinated, you have two options for drying the jerky: smoking or dehydrating. If you choose to smoke the jerky, set your smoker to a low temperature of about 140-160°F. Lay the marinated meat strips on wire cooling racks in the smoker, making sure they don’t touch. Smoke the beef strips for a few hours to infuse them with a delicious smoky flavor. Alternatively, you can use a dehydrator set to a low temperature of around 160°F. Place the smoked beef strips on the dehydrator trays, ensuring they are not touching. Leave the jerky in the dehydrator for approximately 5-6 hours, or longer if desired. Both methods will result in perfectly dried jerky.

Now that your homemade jerky is ready, let’s take a look at the nutritional information. Each serving of this delicious beef jerky contains approximately 80 calories and 11 grams of protein. It’s a nutritious and flavorful snack that will keep you satisfied throughout the day. So go ahead and enjoy your homemade jerky, knowing that you’ve created a protein-packed snack that rivals the best brands on the market.

Calories Protein
80 11g

Conclusion

Now that you have learned how to make your own homemade jerky, you can enjoy the delicious flavors and chewiness that rivals even the best brands on the market. By choosing the right meat, preparing a flavorful marinade, and using the proper drying method, you can create the perfect jerky recipe.

Experiment with different flavors and techniques to customize your jerky recipe to your liking. Whether you prefer a smoky flavor from smoking or a fully dehydrated texture, the possibilities are endless. With high-quality ingredients and a little bit of practice, you can master the art of making jerky like Jack Link’s.

So why not start your homemade jerky journey today? Impress your family and friends with your culinary skills and enjoy a protein-packed snack that is both nutritious and flavorful. Make your own delicious jerky using our guide and savor every bite of your perfectly crafted homemade jerky. Now, it’s time to unleash your inner chef and create the perfect jerky recipe!

FAQ

What is the history behind making jerky?

Drying and curing meat to make jerky is an age-old method of meat preservation.

Where does the word “jerky” come from?

The word “jerky” comes from the South American tribe called Quechua.

What is the purpose of drying meat to make jerky?

Drying the meat removes moisture and creates a flavorful and chewy snack.

Can I use meats other than beef to make jerky?

Yes, you can experiment with other meats like elk, venison, or kangaroo.

Why is it important to choose a lean cut of meat for jerky?

Lean cuts like topside or round are ideal for jerky because they dry out properly and don’t have chewy bits of fat.

What should I consider when marinating the beef for jerky?

Marinate the lean beef strips overnight to allow the flavors to penetrate the meat and tenderize it.

Why is it important to slice the beef against the grain for jerky?

Slicing against the grain ensures that the final jerky has a nice bite and isn’t overly tough.

What are the different methods for drying jerky?

The two main methods are smoking and dehydrating.

How do I smoke jerky?

Set your smoker to a low temperature and smoke the marinated meat strips for a few hours to infuse them with a smoky flavor.

How do I dehydrate jerky?

Set your dehydrator to a low temperature and leave the smoked beef strips in it for approximately 5-6 hours, or longer if desired.

How should I store homemade jerky?

Store the jerky in a sealed container in the refrigerator or vacuum seal it and keep it in a cool place.

What are some variations of Jack Link’s beef jerky available?

Jack Link’s offers a variety of jerky flavors and package sizes to suit individual preferences.

How many calories and protein does homemade beef jerky contain?

Each serving of homemade beef jerky contains approximately 80 calories and 11 grams of protein.