Make your own delicious beef jerky in a food dehydrator or oven at home, for a fraction of the cost of purchasing it!Make your own delicious beef jerky in a food dehydrator or oven at home, for a fraction of the cost of purchasing it!
Have you ever wondered HOW to make really great tasting beef jerky for a fraction of the price of store bought?  Well, if you like to snack on this chewy treat and want to know how to make your own in a food dehydrator OR in your oven, read on!

Over 20 years ago I bought a food dehydrator (see photo below) for about $25. I have used that thing a LOT ever since. It is a real “workhorse”, and I have used it for making my own beef jerky (as well as many varieties of dried fruits, spices, veggies, etc.) ever since!

That original $25 I spent was a great investment. (The photo below is to show you my little 5 rack machine – drying mint leaves and cherry tomatoes from our garden). I’ve also dehydrated lots of fruits and veggies, too!

Food dehydrator with herbs inside

Scroll Down For A Printable Recipe Card At the Bottom Of the Page

How To Make Beef Jerky

Making beef jerky is very easy, actually. Very thin strips of beef are marinated overnight (or a minimum of 4 hours), then placed in the dehydrator or oven and “dried” until the strips of meat are moisture free and pliable.

Here’s how you make beef jerky (with only 4 ingredients!)  The basic mix is 3 parts soy sauce, 1 part brown sugar, and 1 part Liquid Smoke (the picture shows what kind I use – found at grocery store).  Mix it up in a medium bowl.

Photo of bottle of concentrated Liquid Smoke flavoring

The meat (I like to use London broil or flank steak) is sliced into very thin 1/8″ strips (it is easiest to cut if meat is partially thawed after being frozen).  If you are using London Broil, cut slices WITH THE GRAIN.

If you will be using Flank Steak, cut slices AGAINST THE GRAIN. Beef jerky meat is then marinated in sauce for a MINIMUM of 4 hours in refrigerator. Refrigerate the meat (overnight is BEST), in a covered container.

Raw beef strips for beef jerky, marinating in bowl.

When the meat for the beef jerky is done marinating, lay the beef strips on paper towels to absorb excess sauce. Pat lightly dry.

Marinated beef jerky strips draining on paper towel.

Dehydrating The Beef Jerky

Place strips of beef onto dehydrator racks leaving space for air to flow between each piece. If you are using an oven, place the strips onto aluminum foil covered baking sheets.

Strips of marinated beef in dehydrator

If you are using a food dehydrator, dry the beef jerky strips for between 3-4 hours, turning strips over about halfway through drying process. When done the beef jerky should be fully dry, but still pliable.

If Using An Oven To Make Beef Jerky

If using oven, dry the jerky on the lowest setting your oven will go (usually between 150 and 170 degrees). The beef jerky will need to dry in oven for 8-10 hours, so it’s easy to put it in oven at night and have it done the next morning.

Storing Beef Jerky

The finished beef jerky will have a very nice smoky, slightly teriyaki taste, and boy, is it GOOD! Remove the strips from the dehydrator or oven, and let them completely cool.  Keep any leftover beef jerky stored in an airtight container or sealable bag.

I’ve made my own beef jerky for over 20 years now, and it is always a big hit with my husband and our sons… and given the price of a bag of jerky at the store (whoa!), making it at home is a real money saver!

Pieces of beef jerky on paper towel

Hope you will consider trying this easy recipe for beef jerky… it’s never failed me yet!  Have a fantastic day! Please come back again soon, for more yummy recipes.

Looking For More SNACK Recipes?

You can find all of my recipes in the Recipe Index, located at the top of the page. I have quite a few recipes for some yummy snacks, including:

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Recipe Source: My Mr. Coffee Food Dehydrator Owner’s Manual (really, really old)

0 from 0 votes
Beef Jerky DIY!
Prep Time
4 hrs
Cook Time
4 hrs
Total Time
8 hrs

Make your own delicious beef jerky in a food dehydrator or oven at home, for a fraction of the cost of purchasing it!

Category: Appetizer/Snack
Cuisine: American
Keyword: beef jerky
Servings: 25 slices (approx.)
Calories Per Serving: 35 kcal
Author: JB @ The Grateful Girl Cooks!
For marinade:
  • 3/4 cup soy sauce
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup Liquid Smoke
For meat:
  • 1 pound London Broil or flank steak
  1. Slice meat into 1/8 inch wide strips (TIP: meat will cut BEST if you use slightly thawed, but still partially frozen meat).
  2. Combine marinade ingredients in medium sized bowl. Add meat strips to marinade. Coat all meat with marinade. Cover bowl and let marinate in refrigerator at LEAST 4 hours (or overnight-BEST!).

  3. When ready, lightly pat dry meat strips (place strips on paper towels). Lay strips on food dehydrator racks OR place strips on baking sheets lined with aluminum foil. Leave space between each piece so air can circulate.

  4. If using dehydrator, dehydrate at 145 degrees for approximately 3-4 hours, until dry but pliable. If using oven, turn oven to lowest setting (150-170 degrees). Let jerky bake for 8-10 hours until dry, but pliable.

  5. Remove beef jerky when done. Let cool completely. Store in airtight container. Enjoy!
Recipe Notes

Try to use meat with a limited amount of fat present, for best results. *The amount of marinade used will vary depending on how much meat you are using to make jerky. You will need to have enough of the sauce to marinade all strips of beef. 

Nutrition Facts
Beef Jerky DIY!
Amount Per Serving (1 piece)
Calories 35
% Daily Value*
Cholesterol 11mg4%
Sodium 406mg18%
Potassium 85mg2%
Carbohydrates 2g1%
Sugar 2g2%
Protein 4g8%
Calcium 7mg1%
Iron 0.5mg3%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

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Beef Jerky DIY!

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