Dehydrator Jerky

The marinade for this jerky is a standard western cowboy version that will keep you riding high in the saddle all damn day…that’s cowboy talk for it taste good. You may not know this, but the original jerky recipes were done in dehydrators, well that’s if you can count leaving raw meat out on a stone in the hot sun a dehydrator. But I digress, there are many options with this recipe, such as using Prage salt or not, using liquid smoke or not, etc. It’s your jerky, you decide.


  • 3 lbs Elk, Venison, or beef
  • Marinade
    • 3 tsp Kosher salt – has zero added Iodine
    • 0.5 cups Brown sugar
    • 1 tsp Black pepper
    • 1.5 tsp Garlic powder
    • 0.5 tsp Cayenne pepper
    • 3 tsp Onion powder
    • 3 tsp Mustard powder
    • 8 oz Red wine vinegar
    • 8 oz Ketchup or BBQ sauce
    • 1 tsp Liquid smoke – optional
    • 2 tsp Chili powder – optional


  1. Slice meat into 0.5″ strips against the grain. If you have a slicer, freeze meat for one hour before slicing, it should be firm but not frozen solid.
  2. Tenderize the meat by lightly pounding. Best to put meat between two pieces of film.
  3. Make the Marinade
    1. Mix the marinade ingredients together.
  4. Cover meat with marinade and refrigerate overnight 24 to 48 hours.
  5. Dehydrate
    1. I like my jerky to be tender and a bit moist but my son likes it dried to the point of being like sawdust, you have to decide when to stop your jerky.
    2. I keep the dehydrator temp at medium, I’m in no hurry and slower is better, as is the case for most things, if you know what I mean…

Note 1: You have to adjust for your own taste. For me, I use less Worcester sauce, more salt, and a pinch of Prague salt (has nitrates for persevering the meat so it last longer).

Note 2: If you don’t use Prague salt, you should store this jerky in the fridge or freezer. Best if you vacuum seal the storage bags.