You don’t need a dehydrator to make jerky at home. You can make beef jerky on your gas grill with these easy steps and our tasty recipe.
This dish was written for SABER Grills by Chef Chris Koetke of Let’s Dish.
It’s no secret that I adore the restaurant-like intensity of SABER’s heat. And I love its ability to produce sear marks on even the thinnest cuts of meat. But this post takes us to the other extreme – one where temperature control counts for everything.
We’re talking about making homemade beef jerky. Making jerky is basically a drying process as opposed to a cooking process to creates a jaw-exercising chew. So it requires low temperatures. And this is where the SABER’s versatility really shines.
In general, avoid super tough meat like shoulder, shanks, and short ribs. And leave the great tender cuts like filet, rib, and strip for prize steaks.
For jerky, pick meat that has some chew like sirloin, rump, and even round. Or my preferred cut—the flank steak. Flank steak is full flavored, easy to trim, and very easy to cut across the grain, making it great for jerky.
When cutting meat for jerky, cut across the grain for tender, chewable jerky.
You can freeze the meat before cutting it to prevent shredding the meat. Or you can use a thin, sharp knife and saw through the meat to prevent shredding. Don’t “push” through the meat because you’re likely to shred it.
The SABER® warming rack is positionable. You can put the warming rack on the roast setting right above the grates to make beef jerky on the warming rack instead of the grates. You may have to dry a smaller batch of jerky to fit all on the warming rack. OR you can cook up a larger batch and put the extra pieces on the warming rack while the bulk of the jerky dries on the grates.
You will lose some heat when you open the lid to move the jerky around on the grates. But if you notice that the temperature is rising, open your grill lid slightly to let some of the heat out. You can use a wedge to prop it open.
Add wood chips for a smoky taste. Add more wood chips for a strong smoke flavor. Mesquite, hickory and oak are stronger wood flavors that pair well with beef. Cherry, pecan and walnut wood are milder wood flavors that pair well with beef.
When you make beef jerky at home, you want to consume it without a couple of weeks.
You also want to make sure to refrigerate homemade jerky. Jerky is dried meat, which in theory means bacterial growth is minimal. But since you can’t measure the water activity at home, you want to keep it refrigerated to be safe.