How to Make Beef Jerky

If you crave a juicy steak but are short on time, this guide will show you how to cure and dry your favorite meats and enjoy them on the go.


Up next in Snacks for the Big Game (13 videos)

Score a touchdown with your Big Game party guests when you serve these winning snacks and appetizers.

You Will Need

  • 2 lbs. red meat
  • ⅔ c. Worcestershire sauce
  • ⅔ c. soy sauce
  • 2 tsp. black pepper
  • 2 tsp. onion powder
  • 1 tsp. liquid smoke
  • 1 tsp. red pepper flakes
  • 1 tbsp. honey
  • 2 re-sealable plastic bags
  • A cooling rack
  • Tin foil
  • A baking pan
  • An oven or food dehydrator


  1. Step 1

    Trim fat and freeze

    Trim as much fat from the meat as possible to prevent it from getting rancid after it is cured. Then freeze it for at last an hour before slicing.

  2. Use the leanest red meat you can find, such as flank steak or brisket, although wild game, like venison or bison, works well too.

  3. Step 2

    Cut into strips

    Slice the meat into thin, ¼-inch strips as uniformly as possible to make for even drying.

  4. Step 3

    Mix brine

    Combine all of the ingredients in one of the re-sealable plastic bags and mix well. Then add the strips of meat and refrigerate the bag overnight.

  5. Marinate for as little as 3 hours for a lighter flavor or for as many as 24 hours for stronger flavor.

  6. Step 4


    Drain the meat and place it on a cooling rack over a foil-lined baking pan. Let the meat warm to room temperature before curing.

  7. Step 5


    Cure the meat in the oven at 200 degrees until it's dry and chewy -- about an hour and a half -- or cure it in a food dehydrator according to the manufacturer's directions.

  8. If you're using an oven, prop the door open to allow excess heat to escape to avoid cooking the meat.

  9. Step 6

    Cool and store

    Allow the jerky to cool before placing it in the other resealable bag and storing in a cool, dry place.

  10. Retail sales of meat snacks like jerky and beef sticks more than quadrupled between 1995 and 2006.