After buying a pellet grill or smoker, after conquering the brisket, and cooking the perfect slab of baby back ribs, many enthusiasts wonder how to make authentic beef jerky on their new grill. This article will walk you through the different cuts of beef that make the best jerky, as well as some marinade recipes and best practices for smoking your meat low and slow. If followed correctly, you will be making delicious, chewy, and flavorful smoky beef jerky in no time.
When learning how to make beef jerky, it is important to select the right cut of lean beef. The right cut of beef makes all the difference when making great tasting jerky.
It’s important to select a lean beef cut with as little fat as possible. Why? Because fat can ruin and spoil the jerky, and it becomes rancid over time. So, if you want jerky that will last for as long as possible without spoiling, select a very lean cut of beef.
The following cuts are the best to use for your jerky:
A good rule of thumb is that 3lbs of raw meat will yield about 1lb of dried jerky.
There are many wonderful marinade recipes for beef jerky on the internet. Some common ingredients include:
Choosing a marinade recipe just boils down to personal preference in terms of sweetness, spice, saltiness, etc.
Before you marinade, it is important to slice the beef. You can do this either by hand or with a deli slicer, if you have one handy. Remember, slicing with the grain will result in chewier jerky and slicing against the grain will be more tender. Make sure your slices are as even as possible.
You should marinade your beef in a plastic bag or bowl and set it in a refrigerator for no less than 6 hours. You can marinade the meat for as long as you would like (without it spoiling) but 24 hours should be plenty of time. If your beef is marinating in a bag, be sure to shake it every few hours to ensure the beef is sitting evenly in the marinade.
Related: Wondering which wood pellets to pair with your beef jerky? Check out our blog on The Best Pellets for Smoking.
Now that the beef has been bathing nicely in the marinade, it’s time to fire up the Louisiana Grill. If you don’t have a Louisiana Grill and you’re using a vertical smoker, or any other smoker, the same basic principles apply in terms of temperature and length of smoke.