Homemade Beef Jerky, In Progress

Jerky In Progress

One of my favorite foods has always been jerky, like the strips of chewy, salty venison jerky stored in a bucket & hung from the roof of  my grandfather’s whiskey shack (which is a little outbuilding with a porch and smokehouse).   The thought of it now makes my mouth water.  Pre-paleo, I’d buy bags of jerky, those Jack Links beef nuggets, and even Slim Jims.   But despite being a member of the Jerky Appreciation Society, I’ve never made jerky myself.

Finally, I was driven this week by frustration, to try it.  The frustration arises out of the ingredient list from the jerky at the grocery store.  The ingredients come right out of the list of items to be avoided on the paleo diet (or any number of diets geared at promoting for optimum health):  MSG, sodium nitrate, wheat gluten, soy, sugar, high fructose corn syrup…

Right now, my house smells like beef jerky.  In a few more hours, I’ll know whether the experiment worked, or whether I’ve ruined $11 of meat.

I bought lean beef steaks, pre-sliced very thin.  I marinated them in the juice of two limes, tamari (because I seem to be out of coconut aminos, but note that while tamari is gluten free, it does contain soy),  and dried spices (mainly garlic and onion powders, with a little cumin and paprika).

I spread out the marinated beef on cooling racks, over parchment lined baking sheets. They’re in the oven at about 170 degrees, with the door cracked to promote circulation.  Two+ hours in, it’s starting to look jerky-ish! The photo above was taken after the first hour, when I flipped the beef over.

I’ll report back once it’s done and I’ve taste-tested the product.  In the meantime, any jerky suggestions will be happily accepted.

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