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Chef D’s Beef Jerky

Homemade jerky in an attractive jar makes a great gift (Eoban Binder/WFIU)

Making your own jerky is a great way to preserve venison or beef, and makes a satisfying, high-protein snack. When you make it yourself, you can avoid the preservatives, and customize the flavor, as Chef Daniel Orr does here. Be sure to choose a low-fat cut of meat, and cut off any fat that remains.

This recipe includes Chef D’s favorite flavors, but feel free to adjust and make it your own.
You’ll never go back to gas station jerky after this!

In the dehydrator, be sure to leave plenty of space around each slice of marinated meat, to allow the air to cirulate evenly (Eoban Binder/WFIU)

Chef D’s Beef Jerky


  • 1 pound of very lean meat (beef or venison) sliced very thin, against the grain
  • 1/4 cup soy sauce or tamari
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 1 tablespoon garlic powder
  • 1 tablespoon chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon liquid smoke
  • 1 teaspoon turmeric
  • 1/4 cup sesame seeds
  • 1/4 cup seaweed powder (made from nori)
  • hot sauce, to taste.


  1. Mix the thinly sliced meat with the marinade ingredients.
  2. Allow to marinate in the fridge for an hour or so.
  3. Arrange slices in a single layer on the trays of a dehydrator.
  4. Set dehydrator to the setting for meat and allow to dry for 24 hours or so, check every so often, to make sure some pieces aren't getting too crispy. You'll want them to be leathery--fully dry, yet still pliable.
  5. Store in a glass jar (in the fridge for a longer shelf life).

Kayte Young

Kayte Young discovered her passion for growing, cooking, foraging and preserving fresh food when she moved to Bloomington in 2007. With a background in construction, architecture, nutrition education and writing, she brings curiosity and a love of storytelling to a show about all things edible. Kayte raises bees, a small family and a yard full of food in Bloomington’s McDoel Gardens neighborhood.

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