Michigan State University Extension
Preserving Food Safely - 01600480


1. Slice 5 pounds lean beef (flank steak or similar cut)
into strips 1/4 to 1/2 inch thick, 1 to 1 1/2 inches wide,
and 4 to 12 inches long. Cut with the grain of the meat;
remove the fat.

2. Lay meat out in a single layer on a smooth clean
surface (use cutting board, counter, bread board or cookie

3. If smoke flavor is desired, brush each strip of meat
with 1/2 teaspoon liquid smoke in 2 tablespoons water.
Sprinkle strips liberally with salt on both sides. Add
pepper to taste and garlic salt or powder if desired.

4. Place strips, layer on layer, in a large wooden bowl or
crock and place a plate with a weight on top.

5. Let stand refrigerated for 6 to 12 hours. Stir

6. Remove strips and blot dry with clean paper toweling.

Oven Drying:
Remove racks from the oven and stretch meat strips across
the racks. Allow the edges of the meat strips to touch, but
not overlap. Leave enough space free on the racks for air
to circulate in the oven.

Set the temperature at 140 degrees Fahrenheit and let
strips dry for about 11 hours. Check early in the drying
process for excessive drip. This drip can be caught on
aluminum foil on a rack placed near the bottom of the oven.
Lower the temperature of the oven until it feels warm, but
does not cook the meat.

Keeping the oven door ajar will facilitate drying, as will
the use of an electric fan placed in front of the open oven

Dehydrator Drying:
Place sheets or trays in the dehydrator. Set the
temperature control at 140 degrees Fahrenheit. Dry for 4 to
5 hours and test for dryness. Jerky is ready when the dried
meat is dark in color, fibrous and bends without breaking.

Finished jerky can be stored at room temperature in air
tight containers. Freeze for long term storage.

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