This peppered jerky was my second (very successful) attempt at making jerky on my newly-acquired Nesco Snackmaster Pro dehydrator. I (and my neighbors) were very pleased with the first batch which was Cajun-flavored. I followed the same simple process and in 14 hours we were all enjoying peppered jerky. The jerky had a nice light pepper flavor with just a bit of spicy kick. The pepper was not overwhelming at all, but it was there just enough to be very enjoyable. You can leave out the heat, but I always prefer a bit of kick to my jerky.
If this is your first time using your Snackmaster Pro to make jerky, here are a few things I’ve learned along the way so far. First, start with lean beef (I prefer top round). Place the beef into the freeze for about 90 minutes then slice it thin (1/4″ or slightly thinner) using a meat slicer. Second, follow the recipe below. No shortcuts. The marinade may have a strong odor at first, but that’s normal. Last, don’t over-dry the meat. Check it after 5 hours, or sooner if you cut your meat thinner than 3/16″ thick. Bend the jerky in the middle. If it just starts to tear it’s done. If it just bends, you need to dry it longer. Once you do a batch you’ll have the process down to an art!
Also try my ground beef peppered jerky.
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 from 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.
- Let cool before storing in an airtight container.