Beef jerky is delicious, healthy, and high in protein, not to mention convenient, making it a great snack to reach for when you’re on the move or need just a bit more energy to get through the rest of your day. And while store-bought jerky can be a great option, making your own jerky means you get to create a delicious snack that’s perfectly suited to your tastes.
Making Your Own Whiskey Beef Jerky
This beef jerky recipe is perfect for anyone who loves to kick back and savor the smokey, malty flavors of a glass of good whiskey. The marinade pairs whiskey with hickory-flavored liquid smoke, soy sauce, and brown sugar for a sweet, savory, and smokey flavor that’ll have you daydreaming about backyard barbeques and summer nights spent on back porches, slowing sipping at a glass of great whisky.
The process is a little time-intensive, as making this jerky can take up to 32 hours, but most of that time goes to marinating and then dehydrating your jerky. You’ll spend relatively little time on the hands-on portions of the jerky-making process, all of which are simple and easy to complete, even if you’ve never made your own jerky before.
To get started on this recipe, you’ll need to gather a few ingredients and jerky-making supplies. These include:
- 1/2 cup of whiskey
- 1 tablespoon of Worcestershire sauce
- 1/2 cup of brown sugar
- 1/4 cup of apple cider vinegar
- 1/2 cup of soy sauce
- 4 drops of hickory-flavored liquid smoke
- 1 pound of London broil strips
- Wooden toothpicks
- A large Ziploc bag
- A cooling rack
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Step One: Preparing Your Marinade
Retrieve a Ziploc bag to mix your marinade in. You’ll be marinating your jerky in this bag, as well, so make sure it’s large enough to hold your pound of London broil strips. Pour ½ cup of whiskey into the Ziploc bag, then add 1 tablespoon of Worcestershire sauce, ¼ cup of apple cider vinegar, ½ cup of soy sauce, and 4 drops of hickory-flavored liquid smoke. Once the liquid ingredients are combined, add ½ cup of brown sugar and stir until everything comes together. Then seal the bag and allow your marinade to rest for 10 minutes.
Step Two: Marinating Your Jerky
After the marinade rests, add your London broil strips to the bag and mix them around until each strip is thoroughly coated with the marinade. Squeeze as much air out of your Ziploc bag as you can before sealing it. Then, place the bag in your fridge and let your jerky marinate for up to 24 hours.
Check on your jerky periodically during the marinating process. Each time you do, remove the bag from the fridge and mix around the strips inside so that the marinade becomes fully incorporated into each one.
Step Three: Prepping Your Oven
You can easily use a dehydrator to make this jerky, but if you don’t happen to own one, your home oven will also work. Start by removing one of the racks from your oven and setting it to one side. Then place another rack at the lowest level and cover it with aluminum foil. You’ll be dehydrating the jerky by hanging it inside the oven, and the tin foil saves you from messy clean-up afterward.
Step Four: Prepping Your Meat
Retrieve your marinade bag from the fridge. Remove each strip of meat and insert a toothpick through one of their ends. Then, using the toothpicks to support them, hang each of these strips from the oven rack you set aside earlier. Once the oven is up to heat, gently insert this rack back into the top-most rack position of your oven so that the meat strips are left hanging down between the top and bottom rack to dehydrate.
If you’re having trouble hanging the jerky from the oven rack and then placing it in the oven, you can also leave the oven rack in the top position and then hang the jerky from it once the oven comes up to temperature.
Step Five: Dehydrating Your Jerky
With your jerky inside the oven, leave the oven door open slightly so that air can circulate during the dehydration process. Otherwise, your meat will cook inside the oven instead of dehydrating. Check on your jerky after 4 hours and then every hour after that. Depending on the thickness of your slices, they could take anywhere from 4 to 8 hours to finish dehydrating. Once your jerky dehydrates to the point of bending and cracking but not breaking, it’s done.
Step Six: Storing Your Jerky
After removing your jerky from the oven, let it cool on a rack for at least an hour. Then, you can either eat your jerky immediately or store it for snacking later. When stored in an airtight container, homemade jerky should last for about one to two months. If you happen to own a vacuum sealer, vacuum sealing your jerky is also a great way to ensure that it keeps tasting great for as long as possible. You can also store your jerky in Ziploc bags, but make sure to squeeze all the air out of them before sealing, and keep in mind that your jerky will only stay fresh for about one to two weeks this way.
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