Being gluten free sucks. I hate that people act like it’s just some fad choice I’m making and it really irritates me when waitstaff doesn’tt take the fact that when I say I want gluten free I mean it. And they don’t seem to realize that if they give me something different, I’m going to figure it out. “Excuse me, are you sure this English muffin is gluten free?” “I am positive.” Boy, oh, boy do they not realize am I going to figure it out. And you know what else? Who cares if it is just a choice or a health issue. People should get what they want and if somebody who can tolerate gluten chooses not to, for whatever reason take in gluten, then that should be respected just like a vegetarian chooses not to eat meat based off of their choice.
Now I’m definitely not a vegetarian (these days, at least) and one of my fave foods is beef jerky. But if you pay attention to labels, you’ll notice that I can’t have very many commercially made varieties and that stinks. And jerkies that don’t appear to have wheat or gluten in them probably have it lurking in the soy sauce used since MOST soy sauces contain more wheat than actual soy I don’t eat anything with soy sauce ingerdients EVER. So when I found myself majorly jonesing for some jerky I asked my dad for a good dehydrator recommendation since I remembered he purchased one last year.
When Rob and I went to visit, Daddy and I made a batch of the BEST beef jerky. Unfortunately when I texted for the recipe it wasn’t anything he could send to me, I found myself making 3 (yes THREE) batches of jerky until I got a recipe that Sweet Rob and I adore. It’s tasty, it’s way less expensive to make than buy and it’s always gluten free.
Homemade Beef Jerky
This recipe is a great base you can change or add to for the flavor of jerky that you love. This recipe can use lots of cuts of beef (or bison) and come out really well. So far we have tried taco meat, pictured above and our least favorite due to weird texture, milanesa,pictured below out our very favorite, and London Broil sliced thin which was A-OK.
- 2 pounds of thinly sliced beef
- 1/2 cup Worcestershire sauce
- 1/2 cup soy sauce (I used gluten free tamari)
- 1/2 cup water
- 2 tablespoons liquid smoke
- 1/3 cup dark brown sugar
- 1 teaspoon to 1 tablespoon paprika
- 1 teaspoon to 1 tablespoon onion powder
- 1 teaspoon to 1 tablespoon garlic powder
- 1 teaspoon to 1 tablespoon black pepper
- 1 teaspoon to 1 tablespoon cayenne (optional)
- Food Dehydrator – I went with this Nesco from Amazon
- If beef is not already sliced thin, place in the freezer for a few hours and slice from the frozen state for the thinnest pieces. You can also ask your butcher to slice the meat thinly for you. I opted for the milanesa cut which is simply a thin cut of beef.
- Place all wet ingredients in a gallon sized zipper bag.
- Add in dry ingredients and incorporate well. Feel free to use less, or more of each seasoning depending on your family’s tastes.
- Add meat and marinate 4-24 hours. The longer it marinates the stronger the flavor.
- Place meat in a single layer across food dehydrator trays and dehydrate to your machine’s specifications.
- Store jerky in an air tight container (a zipper bag works well) and throw out at the first sign of mold.
In the end we LOVE this jerky and have even more milanesa in the fridge for a fourth batch! It’s sooo good and I never, ever get sick. Huzzah!