Beef jerky is a tasty, high protein snack that's easy to throw in your purse or gym bag for nourishment on the go. However, if you are buying it from the store, you can easily end up eating more sugar than you'd like. Making your own gives you a lot more control over the ingredients and it can be a lot less expensive, too.
Since I already own a dehydrator, deciding to make my own jerky was a total no-brainer. (No dehydrator? Go here to see how to make jerky with just a box fan) After searching through some recipes and found one that looked pretty good here. A few tweaks later and voila! A spicy, slightly sweet jerky that can be made either paleo or low carb depending on your choice of sweetener.
I really like the peppery bite and hubby likes it too. I don't see this batch lasting long!
Sweet and Spicy Beef Jerky*
2 pounds beef round steak, London broil, flank steak or other lean cut of meat cut into thin strips. Be sure to trim off any fat. (Make strips approximately 1/8" thick. The meat is easier to slice evenly if it is a little bit frozen)
1/4 cup soy sauce or coconut aminos
3 tablespoons coconut palm sugar, splenda or honey
2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
2 tablespoons liquid smoke
2 teaspoons sea salt
1 1/2 teaspoons ground black pepper
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon onion powder
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
Mix all the marinade ingredients in a bowl or glass pan. Add the beef strips one at a time to make sure they are thoroughly coated with marinade. Cover and refrigerate for 8 hours or overnight.
Place strips on dehydrator trays, making sure the pieces do not touch. Dry on highest setting or 165º. See your user manual for approximate times.
* For a milder flavor, change the cayenne pepper to 1 tsp paprika and reduce the black pepper to 1 tsp.