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Easy Beef Jerky for Your Next Camping Trip

Posted on June 02 2016

beef jerky

Beef jerky is one of the most popular food choices for camping and other outdoor activities. The biggest concern with beef jerky is that it can be too dry or too hard by the time you're actually ready to eat it. There are two ways to combat this all-too-common problem with one of America's favorite snacks.

Using vacuum sealer bags is one of the best ways to preserve food. By removing the air from the packaging, you increase the longevity of the already-dried out beef jerky. Another easy way to create a better snack is to make the beef jerky yourself. By using fresh ingredients and no preservatives, you are sure to have a tastier finished product.

So, try out this sweet-and-spicy beef jerky recipe next time you're in need of a camping snack:

Sweet, Hot and Spicy Jerky

Start to finish: about 5 hours (10 minute prep)

Servings: 4

Ingredients:

  • 1 pound beef sirloin tip (sliced into 1/8 inch strips)
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 2/3 cup soy sauce
  • 1/4 cup teriyaki sauce
  • 1/4 cup Worcestershire sauce
  • 1/3 cup balsamic vinegar
  • 1/2 cup pineapple juice
  • 5 tablespoons smoke flavoring (liquid form)
  • 1 tablespoon onion powder
  • 1 tablespoon garlic powder
  • Red pepper flakes (to taste)
  • Black pepper (to taste)

Instructions:

  1. In a small mixing bowl, combine onion powder, garlic powder and black pepper.
  2. Season the beef strips with your mix. Refrigerate the remaining seasoning mix.
  3. Heat the brown sugar, soy sauce, teriyaki sauce, Worcestershire sauce, balsamic vinegar, smoke flavoring and pineapple juice over medium heat. Continue until the brown sugar has completely dissolved. 
  4. Remove from the stove and refrigerate the contents of your mix until it's chilled.
  5. Pour the chilled marinade over the seasoned beef strips. Try to evenly spread over the pieces.
  6. Seal the meat in vacuum bags and refrigerate for three hours.
  7. Using a dehydrator, dry your beef strips until your desired dryness, sprinkling more of the spice mix and red pepper as the beef is dehydrating.

When you are ready to pack for your camping trip, use zipper vacuum sealer bags to keep your beef jerky strips fresh and save space!

2 comments

  • Annmarie: July 18, 2016

    If the beef is properly dehydrated with a food dehydrator (step 7) it should by OK. I found these tips on http://www.backpackingchef.com/dehydrating-meat.html.
    How Long will Dried Meat Keep? Freezing dried meat will preserve it for several years. Vacuum sealing the dried meat prior to freezing prevents freezer burn and freezing stops the clock for all biological processes. For use and storage less than a year, freezing is not required, but is still beneficial before you assemble your meals – provided you take reasonable care in drying and packing it: Dry only lean meats and blot off any oil during the drying process. It is the fat in meat that can turn rancid as it reacts over time with oxygen. Heat and light accelerate oxidation, so store in a cupboard away from heat. If storing dried meat for up to two weeks in preparation for a trip, you may store it in jars with tight fitting lids. If your trip follows shortly thereafter and is for only a few days or a week, packing the meat in zip-style bags with the other ingredients in the meals is sufficient. If use of the dried meat will occur beyond a month, or if you will be hiking or paddling in hot or moist conditions, vacuum seal the meat.

  • Greg: July 17, 2016

    Is the beef jerky safe to eat because it is not cured??

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