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What better way to get your protein in, than beef jerky! It is savory, chewy, and portable….a perfect on the go snack!
What makes this jerky, keto? Most store bought Jerky has starchy fillers and sugar added to them. In fact, sugar is usually the second or third ingredient. That doesn’t bode well when you are trying to keep sugar out of your system and your carb count low. Making your own jerky is not only more cost effective, but allows you to add any ingredients to the meat that you want, including sugar free products and low carb flavorings…making a perfect Keto Jerky!Be sure to choose a low fat beef like Top Round Roast, Sirloin tip, or even Flank Steak. The less fat the cut has marbling through it, the easier it will dry and jerky for you. Also, the fat tends to cause the jerky to spoil faster. I watch for beef cuts to go on sale. Even at $10 a pound, it is still cheaper than purchasing jerky in the stores. If you don’t have time to prepare the meat for jerky when it goes on sale, purchase it anyway, then wrap it up and freeze it until you have the time. You will need to partially freeze it anyway before slicing it.
I use this electric meat slicer to come up with a more proportioned sliced meat, but it can gum up in the slicer wheel blade as the meat starts to thaw. I already had the electric slicer, but when I am ready to make my next purchase, I want to order this slicer. It doesn’t require a partially frozen meat or electricity and has a solid construction. Of course, if you are capable of cutting the meat thinly and evenly, then a sharp knife and a cutting board is all you need! A uniform cut is necessary for even drying.
I came up with this basic recipe to marinade your beef. Experiment with it. I like a true jerky taste, which tends to be more on the salty side, but Bragg’s Liquid Aminos is gluten free and will at least give you more nutrients than plain soy sauce. If you want it less salty, then use a low sodium soy sauce like Coconut Aminos. The Worcestershire sauce adds a savory flavor, while the Liquid smoke helps it taste like you’ve actually smoked the meat first. You can even change up the smokey flavors by trying a variety of Liquid Smoke, like Hickory, Apple wood, or Mesquite. If you like your Jerky more sweet, then add more “honey”. Be sure to use a honey substitute, so you don’t add any carbs. It will give you the sweet flavor profile of honey, without the sugar carbs. Finally, if you like a more peppery tasting jerky, add more black pepper and red pepper flakes to the marinade. You can even sprinkle some course black pepper on top of each strip, after you have placed them on the dehydrator trays. That would certainly spice things up!!!
I know individuals that have dried their jerky in the oven, but I find that it just dries them out more than jerky’s them. If you truly want to get a nice evenly dried jerky, then a dehydrator is important to have. I have an Excalibur Food Dehydrator because I like that the air blows from the backside and not from the bottom where it has to push through food to get to the top food. There are plenty of food dehydrators out there at affordable prices, just be sure it allows you to set the temperature as high as 160 degrees and has a timer that will turn it off, so your jerky doesn’t over dry.
With all the ingredients and proper equipment, you are now ready to start making your own jerky!!
Keto Beef Jerky
- 2 pounds Round Roast, Sirloin, or Flank Steak
- 2/3 Cup Bragg's Liquid Aminos or Soy Sauce
- 1/2 Cup Worcestershire Sauce
- 1 tsp. Liquid Smoke
- 1 Tbl. Sugar Free Honey Substitute
- 2 tsp. Onion Powder
- 2 tsp. Ground Black Pepper
- 1/2 tsp. Red Pepper Flakes
- 1/2 tsp. Garlic Powder
- Trim any excess fat off the beef, seal in a plastic container or bag , and freeze for at least 2 hours to partially freeze it and firm up before slicing.
- Mix all remaining ingredients and set aside.
- Remove partially frozen beef and thinly slice the meat into 1/8-1/4 inch thick, long strips. Slicing against the grain is best for an easier to chew jerky. Using a Meat Slicer will allow for a more uniform slicing.
- Place mixed ingredients and sliced beef strips into a one gallon zip top bag. Shake and mix up the bag to distribute all the ingredients evenly. Squeeze all remaining air out of the bag.
- Place the bag in the refrigerator and marinade for 6 hours or overnight. The longer you marinate, the more flavor the jerky will have.
- Remove beef strips and strain the marinade off. Pat dry and place beef strips on to food dehydrator trays. Make sure they are not overlapping or touching.
- Dehydrate at 160 degrees for 4-6 hours. Internal temperature should be 160. Be sure to check the jerky throughout the drying process to avoid over drying.
- When checking for doneness, remove a jerky strip and allow it to cool for 5 minutes. The jerky will be done when it bends and cracks, but does not break in half. It will also show white meat fibers when bent and done.
- Store in an airtight container or bag. Refrigerate up 3-4 months to maintain freshness.