The following directions are for making this recipe in the oven. Meat dries to jerky consistency through a combination of salt drawing the moisture from the meat cells and heat continuing the drying process. Until modern times, salt was rubbed directly onto the meat. Current recipes, however, use soy sauce and Worcestershire sauce for their flavor and high sodium content.
• 4 pounds beef
• 1/4 cup soy sauce
• 1/4 cup Worcestershire sauce
• 1/2 cup ketchup
• 1 teaspoon smoke flavoring, hickory or mesquite
• 1 teaspoon garlic powder
• 1 teaspoon cracked black pepper
1. Slice partially frozen beef from which all extra fat has been removed. (Thin slices about 1/8-inch thick dry faster than 1/4-inch-thick slices.)
2. Make marinade by mixing soy sauce, Worcestershire sauce, ketchup, smoke flavoring, garlic powder and cracked black pepper.
3. Coat slices of beef with marinade by alternately layering meat and sauce, or by mixing marinade and beef. (A glass cake pan is ideal for laying the slices flat.) The beef should be coated but need not be swimming in sauce.
4. Cover pan and refrigerate for 4 hours, stirring mixture occasionally.
5. Preheat oven to 200 F.
6. Place beef slices in single layers on cooling racks, and place racks on baking sheets. Bake for 2 hours, then turn and continue baking for 2 additional hours.
7. After 4 hours, test for dryness. It is ready when meat is barely flexible.
8. Let cool for 1 hour, then store in airtight, snap-top containers or zipper-seal bags in cool, dry place for up to 3 months.
Want more jerky recipes? Read How to Make Jerky for a full array of recipes and an introduction into the world of jerky.