Mel’s Diner

Sharp Knives, Raw Meat and Fire


I can’t seem to stay away from Michael Ruhlman’s Charcuterie!  Snooping over at his blog, I saw he had a beef jerky post from his book.  Realizing my oven has a drying setting, I figured why not try?  At the store, I had a top round roast in my hand when I went to one of the employees working the counter as she was telling another patron that the best way to make jerky was to buy one of the round roasts and have them slice thinly for her. 

“A grand idea”, I thought. 

So, when she finished with the other customer, I asked for a brisket (for corned beef – It’s St. Patrick’s Day next week!) and asked her to slice my roast for jerky.  I got the brisket and the sliced roast.  I thought they might trim the little bit of fat before slicing since it was for jerky, but they didn’t.  So, when I got home, I set about to trimming the fat from each slice.  It wasn’t too bad considering the thin, even slices I got, but next time (and there will be a next time!) I will pick out an eye of the round because that has no fat.

Michael’s post from his blog substituted chipotle powder for the chopped chipotles in the original recipe.  I happened to have some chipotle powder, along with some ancho chile powder, which is less hot and sweeter than the chipotle.  So, I modified Michael’s modified jerky recipe


  • 2 ½ ponds of lean beef (round is great), sliced thinly
  • 1 ½ Tbls. Kosher salt
  • 1 ¾ tsp. Garlic Powder
  • 1 ¾ tsp. Onion Powder
  • 1 tsp. Chipotle chile powder
  • 1 tsp. Ancho chile powder
  • 1 Tbls. Brown sugar

Cut the beef into thin strips about a 1/8th-inch thick and an inch wide (length is not critical).  Combine the remaining ingredients and toss to coat evenly.  Cover and refrigerate for 24 hours.  Place strips on a rack over a pan so that all sides dry. 


Dry the beef at 90 degrees F. for 16-20 hours.  If your oven does not go to 90 deg., try the lowest setting with the door propped open, checking every so often.  The beef should be dry to the touch, dark, and very stiff.  If completely dried and stored in an airtight container this beef jerky will keep for several months or longer at room temperature.

I added the brown sugar because almost all of the other jerky recipes had some kind of sugar in them and after tasting the beef, I felt it needed just a touch of sweetness.  I’m able to lower my oven temp to 100 degrees in drying mode, but I felt the beef would dry out better with the door cracked open, so I dried the jerky at 120 degrees for 12 hours and it was perfect!  Oh, I only “marinated” the beef for 4 or 5 hours because that’s all the time I had and I don’t believe it suffered.  In fact, it may habe been the best jerky I haave ever eaten.  I’m looking forward to many more times being a jerk!



March 8, 2009 - Posted by | Recipe

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