Homemade, Gluten-Free Beef Jerky

1 Feb

If I could, I would eat beef jerky every day. As a kid it was tied with gas station nachos as my favorite food. When we bought a food dehydrator a while back, my dream had been realized; I now eat jerky nearly every morning with my breakfast, and it’s my go-to snack. What’s more, making your own jerky allows you to flavor it how you’d like, and at a fraction of the cost of store-bought beef jerky.

You might think the tag of “gluten-free” is unnecessary, but you’d be surprised by the amount of wheat found in commercial jerky and in nearly every other homemade jerky recipe. Traditional soy sauce uses wheat, so we use tamari sauce or coconut aminos. Also, worcestershire usually has some corn or soy in it, but if you shop around you can find some that is more Paleo-friendly, like this one.

You’ll need:
3 lb roast (cuts vary by tenderness and price, but “london broil” or eye of round is generally the best)
1/2 cup tamari sauce or coconut aminos
1 tbsp granulated garlic
1 tbsp coarse-ground pepper
1 tbsp sea salt
1 tbsp liquid smoke
1 tsp Worcestershire sauce
1/2 cup water

Trim the fat off your roast. If you are using grass-fed beef, you’ll want to leave a little of the fat still on the beef since it’s highly nutritious. Keep in mind that the more fat you keep, the quicker the meat will spoil. This is never an issue in my house because I usually eat everything within a week.

Slicing the meat can be problematic, but you basically have three options. The first option is to have the butcher slice the meat for you, which they will usually do for free. Secondly, you can hand-slice it yourself at home; if that’s the case, you’ll want to partially freeze the meat to help with your slicing. Lastly, we use our Cuisinart food processor, with instant results (as you can see above).

Next, you’ll want to to mix the remaining ingredients with the sliced meat. I usually put it all in a large bowl and mix it by hand to ensure the beef is evenly coated.

Place the beef in a ziploc bag and put it in the fridge for at least 3 hours, but overnight is best, especially for thicker slices. It’s always a good idea to mush the meat around every once in a while to make sure the beef is consistently marinated.

Lastly, spread the meat on your dehydrator and cook it per the dehydrator’s specifications. Ours takes about five hours for four loaded trays. I suggest rotating the trays every couple of hours so everything cooks evenly. Once the jerky is no longer squishy, turn the heat off and let the trays dry for about 30 minutes before bagging it up, wrapped in paper towels. I also don’t seal the bags for the first day or so to make sure no moisture gets trapped in there.

The beef jerky should keep for about 2-3 weeks on a shelf, and a couple months in the fridge. Three pounds of raw meat should yield about one pound of jerky.

I’ve heard that you can make jerky in an oven on its lowest setting with the door cracked for circulation (which makes sense, since most ovens have a lowest temperature of 170 and we dehydrate at 160 degrees). I may try that in the future just to see how it turns out.

18 Responses to “Homemade, Gluten-Free Beef Jerky”

  1. Marcy February 18, 2011 at 4:40 pm #

    FYI, Worcestershire sauce usually contains wheat. A good alternative is fish sauce.

    • Russ Crandall February 18, 2011 at 5:13 pm #

      Hi Marcy,

      In most brands I’ve seen, the only baddie (and a bad one at at that) in common brands of Worcestershire sauce is HFCS. There are some that have only tamari as the only questionable ingredient.

      That’s a great idea about fish sauce, though. I am definitely going to try that next time.

  2. mandy January 6, 2012 at 3:22 pm #

    Do you partially freeze the roast before you put it in your food processor?

    • Russ Crandall January 6, 2012 at 3:36 pm #

      I do, but only about 20 minutes just to make sure it’s nice and firm. Your best bet is to cut it into chunks that’ll fit perfectly in the food processor (and be sure that the food processor cuts it against the grain of the roast!)

  3. Beth March 27, 2012 at 11:23 pm #

    Lee and Perrins Worchestershire sauce is gluten free

    • Russ Crandall March 28, 2012 at 6:24 am #

      Hi Beth, you’re absolutely right. From the looks of it, Lea & Perrins is a great choice for Worcestershire sauce, other than its use of a little sugar – but we’re talking about several pounds of meat vs 1 tsp of sauce, so I don’t consider the sugar amount to be very detrimental. Thanks for the heads up!

      Ingredients: Distilled White Vinegar, Molasses, Water, Sugar, Onions, Anchovies, Salt, Garlic, Cloves, Tamarind Extract, Natural Flavorings, Chili Pepper Extract.


  4. Ashley January 22, 2013 at 10:18 pm #

    Last time I checked Worcestershire sauce was not gluten free?

  5. Leslie J. February 16, 2013 at 2:03 pm #

    This sounds delicious, and I don’t have a food dehydrator so I use my oven and it depends on if you like any moisture in your jerky or if you like it totaly dried. I don’t keep the oven door propped open the whole time, I alternate every 30 min. closing the door all the way and propping it open, and I used a wire rack for cooling cookies and place that wire rack on top of a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper to catch any drippings. I don’t have an exact time, I go by how the looks and a taste test. :-) and I use close to the lowest temp.

    • Russ Crandall (thedomesticman.com) February 16, 2013 at 8:43 pm #

      Leslie, thanks for the oven tips! Sounds like you have the system down to a science :)

    • TJ November 9, 2013 at 8:59 pm #

      I have a convection oven that I set at 150 with the fan on, and it makes the drying process incredibly fast. I also use the cookie rack on the baking sheet to keep the oven clean.

  6. rose December 6, 2014 at 1:11 pm #

    Hi, just wondering what temperature you set your dehydrator at? I’m going to give this a go – thanks for the recipe!

    • Russ Crandall December 7, 2014 at 12:21 am #

      Rose, it’s been a while since I made a batch but I believe I make my jerky at 155F.

      • rose December 7, 2014 at 6:20 am #



  1. Sephardic Jewish-Style Eggs (Huevos Haminados) « The Domestic Man - April 3, 2012

    […] I usually eat a combination of meat (homemade jerky, smoked salmon, sardines, or uncured deli meat) and fruit (berries, banana) for breakfast during […]

  2. Paleo Recipe Blogs - December 4, 2012

    […] http://theascentblog.com/crossfit-2/august-paleo-challenge/ http://thedomesticman.com/2011/02/01/homemade-gluten-free-beef-jerky/ […]

  3. Gluten Free Paleo Friendly Beef Jerky Recipe » The Homestead Survival - January 26, 2013

    […] http://thedomesticman.com/2011/02/01/homemade-gluten-free-beef-jerky/ […]

  4. Paleo Burning Man | Paleo Bug - September 7, 2013

    […] Snacks: Gelatin Fruit Snacks,┬áJerky, and a good friend made our crew a ton of cookies for our tea parties on the […]

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s


Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 57,120 other followers

%d bloggers like this: