My kids really like beef jerky, and actually I do too. For a long time, we never had it in the house because a) it’s expensive and b) unless its full of sugars and nitrates, it is really expensive!
When a road trip left me desperate for some kind of portable protein, I tried an idea a friend had recommended: making jerky from ground beef. It was surprisingly easy, much cheaper, and the kids loved it. I now keep this on hand for daily snacks and make big batches for trips.
I’ve also found that ground venison and other game meats can be prepared this way and are excellent! Usually, we just use grass fed beef though.
The jerky will harden up more after taking it out, so don’t let it get too dry in the oven. It also shrinks a lot as the moisture leaves it, so make more than you think you will need. My kids actually like this dipped in guacamole or salsa, but we also eat it plain or with raw cheese slices.
Ground Beef Jerky Recipe
- Preheat the oven to its lowest setting. On my oven this is 170°F.
- In a medium size bowl, mix together the ground meat with desired spices.
- Using the bottom of a glass baking dish or a rolling pin, roll the meat evenly around the baking sheet to ¼ inch thickness. If it is too thick, use a second baking sheet.
- Use a butter knife to lightly score the meat to make the sizes you want for the jerky. You can also skip this step and use kitchen scissors to cut into strips when it's done.
- Brush with coconut aminos or fermented soy sauce if desired and sprinkle with a little extra sea salt.
- Place in the oven and cook for 8-12 hours or until hardened. It is a good idea to flip it once, but not necessary at all. I usually stick this in at night and it is ready to flip in the morning and done a few hours later.
- Store at room temperature for up to a couple weeks, or keep in the freezer if you aren't going to use it before then.
Ever made jerky? Were you successful? Let me know below!