make beef jerky

Make Beef Jerky on a Gas Grill

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.

Choosing Beef to Make Beef Jerky

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.

Tips Making Jerky at Home

When cutting meat for jerky, cut across the grain for tender, chewable jerky.

slicing flank steak for 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.

dry beef jerky on grill warming rack

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.

homemade beef jerky on the grill

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.

Ingredients

  • 2 pounds meat
  • 1 cup soy sauce
  • 1/3 cup Worcestershire sauce
  • 7 tablespoons brown sugar
  • Pepper, onion powder, garlic powder, ground chilies, cumin and curry to taste
  • Wood chips

Directions

  • Trim the beef by removing any visible sinew and fat.
  • Cut across the grain to slice the meat into 1/4-inch slices.
  • Mix the soy sauce, Worcestershire sauce and brown sugar. Add other spices and herbs to personalize the flavor. Taste test as you add.
  • Put the meat in the marinade and let it sit covered in the refrigerator for about 6 hours.
  • After 6 hours, remove the meat from the marinade and pat dry with paper towels.
  • Turn on and preheat grill with all burners on high. Let it heat for about 10 minutes.
  • After 10 minutes, turn off the grill and let the grates cool until they're warm to the touch.
  • Add 1 or 2 small handfuls of wood chips to one grate (far left or right but not centered). Turn on the burner below this grate on low.
  • Lay beef slices on the grates where the burners are off.
  • Position a thermometer probe inside the grill to constantly monitor the temperature. You want to keep it between 160°F-180°F. If it gets above 180°F, the meat will start to cook instead of dry.
  • Dry with the lid closed. During the drying process, move the pieces of meat around the grill occasionally.
  • The jerky will take around 4-5 hours to dry. You know it’s done when it becomes chewy. If you like, you can dry it until it is almost hard.

make beef jerky gas grill

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