If you like beef jerky, you will love this recipe. It's really quite simple, and you won't be able to stop eating it once you have a bag full of it in your pantry.
Grass Fed Beef Jerky
I adapted the marinade from an Alton Brown recipe. He likes to use flank steak for his jerky recipe, but I prefer a nice, big sirloin tip roast. I find the roast is easier to carve up nice and thin and it's more cost effective. But any cut of beef will do, as long as you trim off the excess fat. Don't get me wrong, I love the fat in grass fed beef. But in the case of beef jerky, it can make it go rancid quickly. So start out with a lean cut of beef (i.e. Sirloin Tip Roast, Rump Roast, Round Roast, Round Steak, Flank Steak) and make your life easier.
I like to use Organic Tamari instead of regular soy sauce because it is wheat free and contains no MSG. Wheat-free tamari can be used by people with gluten intolerance. According to Wikipedia, Tamari is the "original" Japanese soy sauce, as its recipe is closest to the soy sauce originally introduced to Japan from China. For the liquid smoke, I recommend CedarHouse brand as it has no artificial flavors, colors, preservatives or MSG. If you can't find it locally, you can buy it from Amazon
2 to 3 lbs of beef, sliced thin (we use sirloin tip roast)
2/3 cup Worcestershire sauce
2/3 cup Organic Tamari Soy Sauce
1 tablespoon honey or brown sugar
2 tablespoons freshly ground black pepper (adjust to taste)
2 teaspoons red pepper flakes (adjust to taste)
2 teaspoons onion powder
1 teaspoon liquid smoke (CedarHouse Ultra-Premium)
Make your marinade by thoroughly combining all the ingredients in a large zip-top freezer bag.
Trim your beef of any excess fat and slice it thin (but not too thin). Adjust the thickness to your liking. The thicker the slice, the longer it will take to dehydrate. I like to cut a variety of thicknesses so I can enjoy the differences in texture. It involves a little more work because I have to check the dehydrator every hour to remove the thinner pieces so they don't get over done, but it's worth it.
Add the sliced beef to the marinade and let it marinade in the referigerator for a minimum of 4 - 6 hours. Make sure you move the beef around to even distribute the marinate.
If you have a dehydrator, simply place your slices of beef on the trays and put in your dehydrater for 2 - 5 hours on 165 degrees F. The thin slices are sometimes done as quickly as 2 hours, while the thicker slices can take upwards of 5 hours. After the first 2 hours, I usually check hourly so I can pull off the pieces that are done while letting the thicker pieces cook longer.
We use an Excalibur Dehydrator which we think is simply the best dehydrator there is on the market. If you don't have a dehydrator, you can also use your oven as long as it allows you to set a low enough temperature setting. Our oven actually has a dehydrate setting. Just set it to 165 F and rotate your trays regularly to get even doneness.