Make Your Own Beef Jerky

Beef jerky is one of those snacks I used to think of as terribly unhealthy. I didn’t see how it could come from anything but a plastic bag full of CAFO meat and synthetic dyes and flavors. Add to that, it seemed ridiculously expensive. Come to find out, healthy beef jerky is really easy to make. It’s a high protein, nutrient-dense, portable, cost effective snack that takes about 5 minutes of prep time!

Rolling out the ground beef

Rolling out the ground beef

Ground Beef in our Nesco Dehydrator

Ground Beef in our Nesco Dehydrator

Beef Jerky Ready to Eat

Beef Jerky Ready to Eat (the white spots are fat)

Beef Jerky

Ground beeflow fat content (5-10%) works best
About 2 tsp/lb Salt
Seasonings of your choice – chili powder, cumin, red pepper flakes, smoked paprika, and black pepper are all favorites at our house


  1. Thoroughly mix the beef and your seasonings, by hand or with a stand mixer.
  2. Roll it out, about 1/4″ thick.
  3. Put it on your dehydrator trays.
  4. Set your dehydrator to 165 F, and run it until it’s completely dry (probably about 4-5 hours, but check it after about 2 hours).

That’s all there is to it! You can store it in the cabinet, or in the fridge for a longer shelf life. At our house, it disappears before we have anything to worry about!

This post is part of Freaky Friday, Fresh Bites Friday, Fight Back Friday, Friday Food Flicks, Make Your Own Monday, and Fat Tuesday, Frugal Days, Sustainable Ways, Gluten-Free Wednesdays, Healthy 2Day Wednesdays, Allergy Free Wednesdays, Wildcrafting Wednesday, Allergy Friendly Lunchbox Love.

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