A friend of mine recently let me sample some of his homemade beef jerky. I thought it was the best jerky I’d ever had, so I picked his brain and found out that he used a Nesco Snackmaster Pro dehydrator for making all of his jerky. That of course meant that I needed a Nesco Snackmaster Pro, so I got one and a few packets of pre-made jerky seasoning and got to work! I started with AC Legg’s Cajun-flavored jerky seasoning, and boy, was I (and my neighbors) impressed! In about 14 hours we were all chowing down on perfectly-dried, lightly spicy Cajun beef jerky. Fantastic!
This was my first time making jerky on my dehydrator, so I made sure to take very good notes for future batches. I’ve made teriyaki and black pepper jerky on my smoker before with great success, but I found that the Nesco Snackmaster Pro made the process 100 times easier. And although I usually prefer making my own spice mixes, I’ve opted to stick with pre-made flavorings for now.
Check out my guide to using the Nesco Snackmaster Pro. You will be making fantastic jerky at home in no time at all!
- Place beef in a resealable bag or container.
- In a small bowl whisk together the seasoning, red pepper flake if using, curing salt and water. Pour over the meat and seal. Shake to coat.
- Refrigerate the meat for up to 8 hours, shaking or massaging every hour or so to get the marinade distributed and absorbed evenly.
- Remove meat from the marinade and place flat onto Nesco trays. Do not overlap meat.
- Add the dehydrator top, set to maximum temperature setting and dehydrate for 5 hours, rotating the trays bottom to top every 2 hours or so.
- To test for doneness remove a piece and let cool slightly. Try to bend the meat. If it gives and starts to tear at the bend it is done. If it bends without tearing return to the dehydrator and let it run another 15 minutes and test again. If the meat is crunchy it is overdone but still good. It's really personal preference as to how you like your jerky. Soft, chewy, crunchy. There's no wrong here.
- Let cool before storing in an airtight container.