No dehydrator? No worries! Make your own mouthwatering beef jerky right in your oven! Once you see how easy homemade beef jerky is, you'll never want to buy it from the store ever again! This healthy, low carb, Paleo & Whole30 snack is way better than the overpriced store bought stuff. Thin slices of lean beef are marinated in coconut aminos, "everything bagel" seasoning and liquid smoke before being baked low and slow in the oven. Flavorful, tender and preservative-free -this homemade beef jerky recipe can't be beat!
Let's face the facts. Not only is store bought jerky incredibly overpriced, it's also usually cured with sugar and other questionable ingredients. Homemade jerky is inexpensive to make and uses minimal ingredients. All of those times I spent way too much money on Whole30 compliant jerky, I was shooting myself in the foot! I could have been making it myself all along! When you see how simple this process is, you'll never make the same mistake I did!
- Kitchen Essentials for Homemade Beef Jerky
- Keto, Paleo & Whole30 Beef Jerky Ingredients
- Choosing the Best Cut of Meat for Beef Jerky
- What are Coconut Aminos?
- Choosing the Best Liquid Smoke for Homemade Jerky
- Venison Also Makes Delicious Homemade Jerky
- Making Homemade Keto, Paleo & Whole30 Jerky
- Marinating Meat for Homemade Beef Jerky
- "Dehydrating" Beef in the Oven to Make Jerky
- How to Store Homemade Beef Jerky
- Recipe Tips
- 📖 Recipe
Kitchen Essentials for Homemade Beef Jerky
Don't own a dehydrator? Great! Me either (nor do I know anyone that does)! This jerky is made in the oven, so obviously you're going to need an oven. You'll also need:
- 1 (maybe 2) baking sheets and 1 (maybe 2) cooling racks: the meat needs to be placed in an even-layer, so you may need more than one baking sheet and cooling rack depending on their size and how much jerky you're making.
- parchment paper or foil
- 1 gallon-size plastic resealable bag
Keto, Paleo & Whole30 Beef Jerky Ingredients
Have you ever read the ingredients on a package of beef jerky? There's usually no less than 20! This recipe only has four! VIRTUAL HIGH FIVE! Here's what you'll need:
- 2 pounds of lean beef
- ¼ cup coconut aminos
- 2 tablespoons "everything bagel" seasoning - I'm a HUGE fan of the seasoning from Trader Joe's. I've said this before, and I'll say it again and again -I put that sh*t on everything.
- ½ teaspoon liquid smoke
Choosing the Best Cut of Meat for Beef Jerky
First and foremost, make sure the cut you select is fresh! I usually dig towards the back of the grocery store shelves for the freshest cuts of meat. For homemade beef jerky, the best cuts are eye of round, beef top round, beef bottom round and beef flank steak. These cuts are lean, flavorful and relatively inexpensive! Before doing my research on the art of jerky making, I always assumed it was made from more expensive cuts of meats like filet and ribeye because of how expensive the store bought stuff is. Nope! The cheaper the cut, the better. In fact, using a more expensive cut with visible marbled fat is a sure shot way to ruin your jerky!
What are Coconut Aminos?
For anyone embarking on a Whole30/Paleo journey, coconut aminos are a pantry stable! So what is it exactly? Don't quiz me on the science behind it, but it's a sauce made from coconut sap that is very similar to soy sauce in consistency and flavor. It's a great soy and gluten-free replacement for soy sauce in many recipes! That being said, if you aren't avoiding soy or gluten, you can absolutely swap the coconut aminos for soy sauce.
Choosing the Best Liquid Smoke for Homemade Jerky
Once again, don't quiz me on the science-y stuff, but liquid smoke in it's purest form is simply the flavor of wood-fire smoke condensed into water. This stuff is a great way to add that outdoorsy, campfire flavor to food without stepping foot outdoors. A good liquid smoke will list just one ingredient, "natural liquid smoke." Many brands have a million ingredients, but there are a few on the market that are as pure as can be! I've been using Lazy Kettle All Natural Hickory Liquid Smoke for years, and I swear by it! Be sure to read your labels and find one that's literally just smoke (otherwise it's probably not Whole30 compliant)!
Venison Also Makes Delicious Homemade Jerky
I tested this recipe with a beef eye roast and a venison roast. The venison roast was collecting dust in my freezer, so I figured I'd put it to good use. To be honest, I could hardly tell the difference between the two! They both turned out flavorful and tender. If you have access to venison, go for it!
Making Homemade Keto, Paleo & Whole30 Jerky
I always assumed making jerky was some sort of daunting task to leave for the experts, but it's so simple! It's a great DIY weekend project! While time consuming, there's very little hands-on work leaving you to do whatever else you like doing on the weekends. Let's take a quick walk through the process:
- Unless you have a commercial meat slicer on hand (I'm assuming you don't), slicing thawed raw meat isn't exactly easy, so you'll want to slice the meat when there's still a bit of frost on it. If you're working with an already frozen cut of meat, simply thaw it in the fridge until it's still firm to the touch but you can still see the ice crystals. If you're starting with a fresh cut of meat, simply freeze it until it becomes firm to the touch and ice crystals begin to form.
- When slicing the meat, be sure to slice it against the grain. Slicing the meat against the grain will result in tender, easier to eat jerky. The slices don't need to be perfect, but the closer they are in thickness the more consistent the texture will be for each strip of jerky. Aim for ¼ inch thick slices.
Marinating Meat for Homemade Beef Jerky
For the marinade, simply mix the coconut aminos, "everything bagel" seasoning and liquid smoke in a small bowl. Put the sliced meat and the marinade in a plastic resealable bag, press out as much of the air as possible and seal the bag. Toss and turn the bag a few times to evenly coat all of the meat with the marinade. Place the bag in your fridge and leave it be for 12 to 24 hours -the longer the better! I usually start marinating the meat Saturday morning and then finish the jerky on Sunday!
"Dehydrating" Beef in the Oven to Make Jerky
Once the meat is marinated to your liking, go ahead and preheat your oven to 170 degrees or as low as it will go. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or foil and position a cooling rack on top. Place the marinated sliced beef in an even-layer onto the cooling rack (see photo bel0w). Now all you need to do is put it in the oven and wait for the magic to happen.
Start checking the texture of the jerky after about 3 hours. When it's firm to the touch but still bendable, it's done! Depending on how low your oven will go, this will take anywhere between 3 and 6 hours. Just keep in an eye on it. It's pretty obvious when it's reached the right texture. You don't want to leave it in the oven too long though. We're making beef jerky, not beef crackers.
How to Store Homemade Beef Jerky
If stored properly in an airtight container, homemade jerky will last at room temperature for 7 -14 days or in the refrigerator for at least a month. You can also freeze it for 6 months. Keep in mind that we didn't use any harsh chemicals to preserve this jerky (unlike it's store bought counterpart), so I strongly recommend storing it in the fridge or freezer to be on the safe side!
- Be sure to trim away any visible fat from the cut of meat. Jerky with any marbled fat does not preserve well and tastes awful.
- Many butchers will slice the meat to your desired thickness for no extra cost. It never hurts to ask.
- I used the "everything bagel" seasoning from Trader Joe's for this particular jerky because (like I mentioned earlier) I put that sh*t on everything, but feel free to use your favorite seasoning blend! These simple instructions are just a starting point! There are no rules when it comes to flavoring homemade beef jerky!
So there you have it! Homemade beef jerky -the epitome of a low carb, primal snack! I hope you give this jerky making method a shot! By choosing the right ingredients, giving the meat enough time marinate and really absorb the flavors and baking the beef low and slow -you will have delicious, inexpensive jerky all in a weekend's work! Get creative! If you try this recipe, I'd love to hear all about it in the comments, and don't be shy -tag me in your recipe recreation photos all over social media @paleoishkrista with #paleoishkristaeats! Happy snacking!
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Everything Bagel Homemade Beef Jerky | Keto, Paleo & Whole30
- 2 pounds beef eye of round, beef top round, beef bottom round or beef flank steak
- ¼ cup coconut aminos
- 2 tablespoons "everything bagel" seasoning
- ½ teaspoon liquid smoke
Slicing the Meat for Jerky
- To make the meat easier to slice, start with a slightly frozen, firm to the touch cut of beef. If frozen, defrost the beef in the fridge until firm to the touch with ice crystals still visible. If fresh, freeze meat until it is firm to the touch and ice crystals become visible.
- Using a sharp knife, trim any visible fat from the cut of meat. Slice the meat against the grain into ¼ inch thick slices (the thinner the better).
Marinating the Meat
- To make the marinade, mix together the coconut aminos, "everything bagel" seasoning and liquid smoke in a small bowl.
- Add the sliced beef and the marinade to a resealable bag, push out as much air as possible and seal the bag closed. Toss and turn the bag a few times to completely coat the beef in the marinade. Place the bag in the fridge and marinade for 12 to 24 hours (the longer the better).
Making Jerky in the Oven
- Preheat oven to 170 degrees (or as low as your oven will go). Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or foil. Place a cooling rack above the lined baking sheet. Arrange marinated beef in a single layer onto the cooling rack.
- Bake in preheated oven for 3 to 6 hours or until beef becomes firm to the touch but still bendable.
- Starting with a somewhat frozen, firm to the touch cut of meat makes it easier to slice. To save time, ask your butcher to slice the meat for you!
- If your oven will not go as low as 170 degrees, 180 to 200 degrees will work as well but the cooking time may vary.
- Store jerky in an airtight container in the fridge for a month or freeze in an airtight container for up to 6 months.
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