It’s a simple way to incorporate protein-packed nutrition into an active lifestyle. But the jerky game has changed, and today you can find an array of surprising dried-meat players that are ready to jump in!
Jerky’s origins date back to the early 1550s in South America, where native tribesmen and women would pound alpaca and llama meat thin, salt it, and either sun dry it or smoke it slowly over a fire. Over time, this technique spread and its popularity grew! Jerky offered communities the ability to preserve precious meats, prevent spoilage, and benefit later when food was scarce.
You can make your own jerky easily at home when you combine thinly sliced top round beef with:
- Soy sauce
- Brown sugar
- Red pepper flake
- Garlic powder
- Onion powder
- Liquid smoke
- Worcestershire sauce
- Black pepper
Marinate overnight and then place slices of beef (discarding marinade) in a dehydrator on medium heat for 8 hours. You’ll have your very own jerky that can be stored in an airtight container for 2 weeks.
Did you know?
Meat isn’t the only way to enjoy jerky! You can feast on the savory snack in an array of meatless varieties too, like jackfruit, seitan, coconut, eggplant and mushroom.