How to Make Beef Jerky in the Oven

 

How to make Beef Jerky in the Oven

Do you need a dehydrator or a smoker to make beef jerky? No, so don’t go running out and buying expensive appliances. Start with an appliance everyone already has, an oven! Using the oven to make beef jerky is a very easy, simple, and cost affective way to make great tasting jerky.

The recipe I will be using to show you how to make jerky in an oven is my Chili Lime Jerky.

1 – Start by buying a lean piece of meat, I am using flank steak for this recipe. Flank steak is not my favorite cut of meat to use, but it does work just fine. The flank steak I have access to here in Austin has a little more marbling than I like and is also about twice as expensive as my favorite cut; eye of round.

2 – Trim any visible fat from the meat. Fat will make your jerky spoil, so cut off as much as possible.

FlankTrimmed

3 – Wrap the meat in plastic wrap and place in the freezer for about 1-2 hours to partially freeze. This step is not mandatory, but does make slicing the meat at a consistent width easier. Slice against the grain at around 1/8″-1/4″ thick. When using flank steak, I have found that wider slices allow the jerky pieces to stay together better and produce better jerky.

FlankSlicedLime

4 – Place the slices of beef to the side and assemble your jerky marinade. As I mentioned earlier, I am using my Chili Lime recipe for this batch. Once you have made your marinade, place the beef slices in your marinade and make sure they are covered evenly. Marinate the jerky in the refrigerator for 6-24 hours.

ChiliLimeIngredients

5 – Cover the bottom rack of the oven with aluminum foil to avoid drippings during the drying process. It will make a mess if you do not put a layer of protection down. If you are like me, the last thing you want to do is spend an hour cleaning your oven because you skipped a 30 second step in the process!

Dry the strips on paper towels to remove any excess marinade.

6 – You can either lay your jerky pieces across the metal rack or you can use toothpicks and hang your strips. I have decided to use toothpicks to hang my strips. After drying the strips with paper towels, I slide one toothpick through one of the ends of each piece of jerky.

FlankwToothpicks

7 – Place the top metal rack on the highest slot in your oven, and hang your strips.

FlankHangingOven

8 – Turn your oven on to 160° or as low as it will go. My oven will only go as low as 170°. Prop the door open with a wooden spoon to allow moisture to escape and air to circulate during the drying process.

SpoonOven

9 – It should take between 3-8 hours depending on the thickness of the jerky. Check after 3 hours, and continue as needed. The jerky will be done when it bends and cracks but does not break in half. It took 4 hours to dry this jerky to my liking.

ChiliLimeFinished

10 – Enjoy!

8 thoughts on “How to Make Beef Jerky in the Oven

  1. Hi Will, Going to try the oven method, just wondering if using the convection option would be too fast or would it help
    dry more consistently, would I still have to vent the oven? Thanks Mike.

    • Hey Mike! I have personally never used a convection oven when making beef jerky but think that it would be a great option. Convection ovens move air around inside the oven as well as vent the air out for a dryer atmosphere inside the oven. You would not have to keep the door open when using a convection oven and your jerky would more than likely dry a little faster. So make sure to check on it a little sooner than you would in a regular oven. Let me know how it works!

  2. I just found your site and have my first batch in the oven. However, I am worried about the fat in my strips. I purchased a Flank Steak and while I was cutting it I found fat running in the middle. There is a lot of marbling and I am worried if this could ruin the jerky.

    • Cutting out the fat allows the jerky to have a longer shelf life because fat spoils quicker. It’s okay if it has some fat, just eat it within a couple of days. Also, keeping it in the fridge will help it last longer as well. It should still taste fantastic!

  3. Hi, I just found your site, very nice! I wanted to know if the marinade is necessary. I’d like to make “meat flavored” jerky, is that possible? Thanks.

    • You can keep the marinade to a minimum if you are looking for that “meat flavor”. I have never made jerky without ANY flavor, not sure how great that would taste. I would add at least some salt and pepper to the meat before drying.

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