Getting the right homemade beef jerky marinade recipe is so important because it's the marinade that gives the beef its flavor. I guarantee that the recipe below will give you beef jerky like you've never had before and certainly infinitely superior to anything that you have ever bought commercially.
Of course it wasn't always like this. Jerky in its crudest form was beef strips, salted and dried in the sun to preserve them for when there was no meat (or indeed no food) around. It was then discovered that the whole process could be made a lot more predictable if the beef strips were thinly cut and the drying took place in a controlled manner in front of a fire rather than relying on the sun.
The finished product was then used to add to stews in order to flavor and season the stew at the same time. Placing the jerky in the stew also softened the jerky up making it a little more tender to chew on.
One last point before I go into the ingredients for this homemade beef jerky marinade recipe, use a lean cut of beef such as the round (just below the rump on the hind leg) because fatty tissues will turn rancid more quickly and taint the flavor.
The ingredients list below is prefect for 2.2lbs or 1kg of sliced beef.
1 tablespoon salt
1 tablespoon honey
2 teaspoons black pepper
1 teaspoon garlic powder
½ teaspoon liquid smoke
½ teaspoon cayenne pepper
½ teaspoon ground coriander
½ teaspoon chili powder
½ teaspoon mono sodium glutamate
4 tablespoons soy sauce
3 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
A pinch sodium nitrite (salt petre)
1 cup (240ml) apple juice
1½ cups (360ml) water
Preparation of the marinade is extremely simple in that you simply stir all the ingredients together until they are dissolved.
Add your strips of beef (see notes about how to make jerky meat slices) and marinate overnight stirring the mix every hour or so for the first few hours.
When you're ready to take the beef out of the marinade, use a sieve or colander to drain the meat but most importantly, don't rinse it.
When you've finished the marinading process the final step is the drying and you can do this either in your smoker or in your oven.