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Survival, Wellness / March 5, 2017

How to make Jerky, Alaska Style

Written by: Renee Howard

Have you ever been blindsided by the exorbitant cost of eight ounces of “gourmet” beef jerky? If you know how to make homemade jerky, you know how obscene these prices are. And if you don’t… get ready to bloody your un-calloused hands with freshly butchered meat and this homemade jerky recipe. 

I prefer wild game like moose or caribou, but this recipe will work for venison, elk, or that awesome hunk of beef you brought home from the farmer’s market. Whatever meat you do it with, you’ll find life is much richer when you know how to make jerky at home. 

Ingredients:

  • 1lb boneless roast (top round or London broil)
  • 2 cups cheap white wine (Franzia!)
  • 1/4 cup soy sauce or Tamari
  • 1/2 diced onion
  • 4 cloves fresh pressed garlic
  • 3 tbsp. Worcestershire sauce
  • 2 tbsp. liquid smoke
  • 2 tbsp. crushed red pepper
  • 1 tbsp. fresh ground black pepper
  • 2 tsp. kosher salt

You don't have to harvest the meat yourself, but it helps. Photo by Renee Howard.

World-class jerky can actually be smoked in any oven. Photo by Renee Howard.

The biggest difference between this jerky and the store-bought stuff? It's cheaper. Photo by Renee Howard.

Prep:

  • Combine all ingredients except the meat into a brine in a glass or ceramic container and set aside. Never use metal to marinade meat.
  • Thaw your roast out and slice it against the grain into 1/4-1/2 inch strips. This is much easier if the meat is still partially frozen.
  • Place the sliced meat into the brine and let sit in the refrigerator for 6-12 hours. (Brining longer will make your jerky saltier and stronger in flavor. It takes a little experimenting to determine what you like.)
  • Take the meat out of brine and pat dry with paper towels.

 

Smoking: 

  • Preheat your oven to 200 degrees, or fire up your smoker if you have one.
  • Grease the racks in your oven or smoker with cooking spray. If using your oven, place foil in the bottom so you don’t smoke everyone out of the house!
  • Evenly space the meat on the racks. Make sure none of the meat overlaps—this will make the drying process inconsistent.
  • Bake (or smoke) for 4-6 hours until the jerky is dry but not crispy.
  • Remove the jerky and let it cool for several hours.
  • Store in a Ziploc or sealed container in the fridge (one month) or freezer (6 months).

Do you know how to make homemade jerky, but use a different technique? Email [email protected] to teach us your way. 

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about the author

Renee Howard

Renee is a photographer and writer based out of South-central Alaska. Her interest in bridging gaps between all manner of outdoor sports, philosophy, folk culture and backwoods artistry is a significant motivation for her work.

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