Place wrapped meat in the freezer for approximately 1-2 hours to partially freeze the surface of the beef to the make it easier to slice evenly.
Once the beef is partially frozen, remove from the freezer, and unwrap. Using a sharp knife, remove all visible fat. You can either cut it with the grain for a chewier, tougher texture or against the grain for an easier texture, which is what I prefer. I have a comparison shot at the end of this post. Slice the partially frozen beef into 3/8 inch thick slices, trimming the fast as you go.
- 1 cup Soy Sauce
- 1 cup Water
- 1 tbsp Worcestershire Sauce
- 1 tsp Ground Red Cayenne Pepper or Chili Flakes
- Pinch of Salt
Remove the marinated beef from the refrigerator and drain off the marinade. Using paper towels, pat the meat dry. Arrange the meat strips on the trays of your food dehydrator, leaving enough room between pieces to allow air to flow around the meat.
Depending on your food dehydrator and the thickness of the meat slices, it can take from 6 to 14 hours to dry a batch. Mine took 12 hours, but read the directions for your own dehydrator because it can vary between different machines. Rotate the trays from the top half down to the bottom a couple of times through the drying time, to let everything dry evenly.
When the jerky is dry, you should be able to bend a piece and see no moisture inside, but it shouldn't be so dry that it will break. You want it to be chewy and leathery. Remove the jerky to a paper towel lined plate and allow to cool completely. It may still be fairly warm when you take it out of the dehydrator.
Here is an example of jerky being cut against the grain (left) and with the grain (right). I tried out both to see how we liked it, and we preferred it against the grain. It isn't as tough, but still have a great chewy texture.
When the jerky is completely cool, store in an air tight jar. Plastic zip-lock bags can produce moisture and are not recommended, unless you plan to eat it very soon. Store the jerky in the refrigerator or even longer in the freezer.
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