If you’ve ever bought jerky, you might have had a shock at the cash register. It can be expensive for not very much jerky at all.
Luckily, making jerky at home is very easy—and you don’t need a dehydrator like many people think. You can make it in your oven! For this version I made a slightly spicy homemade turkey jerky that’s addictive and delicious.
To slice the turkey, start with a boneless, skinless breast that’s about two pounds. Freeze it for 30 minutes to firm it up a bit and then use a very sharp knife to slice it into thin strips. Try to make them as uniform as possible.
Combine these slices in a bowl with all the other ingredients. Lots of flavor there!
Stir this all together and let it chill in the fridge for at least four hours, but overnight is best.
When you’re ready to make jerky, strain the turkey slices in a colander to drain off any extra marinade.
Then lay out two wire racks on a few baking sheets and lightly oil the racks. Lay out the turkey strips carefully on the rack so there’s no overlap.
Bake these strips at 175ºF for FOUR hours at a minimum. The very low temp will basically slowly cook the turkey, but mostly just dry it out—which is exactly what you want.
After two hours in the oven, flip your turkey strips so they cook evenly.
It’s a waiting game, but luckily not hard. It’s pretty much impossible to overcook them.
After four hours the jerky strips will be dark brown and really chewy. If you want your jerky chewier, you can bake it for another hour or so. You can also pull off pieces that are done and cook any thicker pieces longer.
Theoretically, this jerky would be fine in an airtight container at room temperature since it’s cured and dried, but I recommend storing it in the fridge just to make sure it’s safe to eat.
It won’t last long either. It’s so delicious, I find myself grabbing a piece or two every time I open the fridge!
Nick thinks store-bought jerky is a ripoff! Check out his blog, Macheesmo, and follow him on his Tablespoon profile.