Sweet & Spicy Teriyaki Beef Jerky that Jaeger LOVES

(This recipe was adapted from this one on Food.com based on how much meat I had and the ingredients I didn't have and the addition of the coca cola that I saw on a different recipe in a magazine, and my small oven.): http://www.food.com/recipe/the-best-teriyaki-beef-jerky-387062

Ingredients

  • 3 lbs London Broil (or Top Round/Bottom Round – London Broil is good shape/thickness)
  • 1/2 cup Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 cup Yoshida’s Gourmet Sauce (Costco)
  • Smoke flavor – Recipe called for 3 teaspoons liquid smoke but I used 3 pinches of a smoke-flavored dry seasoning from Trader Joes… not sure how critical the smoke flavor is.
  • 1 cup soy sauce
  • 1 cup cola
  • 2 teaspoons garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon cayenne powder
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • 2 teaspoons red pepper flakes
  • 3 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • 2 tablespoon maple syrup
  • See note below

Note: Recipe also called for 2 teaspoons of black pepper, and 2 teaspoons of onion powder, but I had neither, so did not use. (I know – can you believe I didn’t have PEPPER?)

Directions

Slice & Marinate – 30-40 minutes of mix & slice, then 8 hours of marinating

  1. Freeze beef for 20 minutes or so while you’re mixing up the marinade so it’s easier to cut.
  2. Mix/whisk all of the ingredients together until well blended.
  3. Slice beef in approx 1/8" – 1/ 4" thick slices (assuming 1”-1 1/2” London Broil thickness of the piece of meat, if you have a thicker piece, cut down to 1"-1 1/2"). Trim off as much of the fat as possible.
  4. Put slices of beef in a Ziploc, pour the marinade in the Ziploc, and refrigerate for about 8 hours or overnight.

The DRYING – about 4 hours

  1. Drain marinated beef in a colander, and then pat dry all the pieces as much as possible with paper towels.
  2. Lay out beef slices on some sort of rack (like a cake rack) or on skewers directly on your oven racks. The goal is to allow air to circulate all around the pieces of meat.
    NOTE: I have a very small oven. I used some chicken wire that I had and made a rectangle “rack” that JUST fit in the oven, and laid out all the pieces of the beef on the rack, as close as possible to use all the space but not touching. (Some of mine were touching, but they shrink down pretty quickly).
  3. If you have enough oven racks, cover the bottom one with a piece of foil to catch drippings. (The meat will drip a lot initially… see below).
  4. Oven Temp – I started out too high, like around 200° that many recipes said to use. It heated the meat up too fast and it really dripped all over the place. (Although not sure if that was from the heat being too high, or if that is just what the beef is going to do to release that initial moisture). After the initial “crap that’s too hot and it’s dripping all over the place,” I turned down the oven to Warm (whatever temp that is), but it still seemed to be too hot. I tried opening the oven door, but it kept cycling up the oven temp. Finally I started alternating between having the oven on warm, and then turning it off for a while. I just kept checking the temp to make sure that the meat was drying, but not “cooking” or “baking.” That seemed to work fine. I have an old, small, crappy oven, so that may have been most of my problem.

More notes:

  • I used 3 pounds of meat because that was the size of the London Broil I bought. It ended up being about 1.5 pounds of Jerky. 3 lbs of sliced meat BARELY fit in my oven at one time (but again, my oven is small – seriously, I can't even fit a Costco pizza in there to bake … oh, and I only have two racks). So – adjust your meat poundage and the recipe accordingly if you want more or less and can accommodate it.
  • FOOD SAFETY – Since I am putting this online, I must say that beef should be heated to at least 160° F to kill any bad little buggers and bacteria. I Googled about it and you can boil the meat before or heat it at a higher temperature after to ensure "safety" of the meat. I didn't do this part. I will let you know if I get sick ;). Anyone who makes jerky at home should exercise common sense and Google more details about killing off the buggers if you want.
     

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