Did you know you can actually make beef jerky in the oven? You don't really need any special tools — just a pan fitted with a rack of some sort. This Father's Day, you can treat Dad to an edible gift of homemade beef jerky. Pick one flavor, or make them all to create a variety pack.
Start by trimming all the fat off a couple of steaks that are 1 inch to 1-1/2 inches thick. It's easiest to prep the meat if it's slightly frozen.
Next, slice the steaks into strips less than 1/4 inch thick. The width of each strip will depend on the thickness of your steaks. Mine were 1 inch thick. Try to slice against the grain, meaning cutting through the little lines running side to side in the meat with each slice.
Mix your marinade, and soak the meat in it for 4 to 12 hours in the fridge. The longer the meat soaks, the stronger the flavor it will have. I used reusable food storage containers, but you can also use zip-top plastic bags, squeezing out all the air.
Line a baking pan or rimmed sheet pan with foil, and place a rack in the pan. Spread your marinated meat out on the rack in a single layer. If you prepared a variety like I did, you may want to use a permanent marker to write down the different flavors on the foil next to each section.
Turn the oven to its lowest temperature, warm or up to 200 degrees F. Cook the meat for 4 to 8 hours, until it has dried out but still seems a tiny bit chewy.
Keep the jerky in a Mason jar with the lid off. You can keep it on the counter safely for a few days or in the fridge for up to 6 weeks.
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