It's not always easy to find a good beef jerky to use. Many recipes require dehydrators or smokers, which many beef jerky lovers simply may not have at home. But did you know that you can make beef jerky in a convection oven? We have looked into the best recipes to do this, and in this post, we will share one with you.
Here are the steps for making beef jerky in a convection oven:
- Gather and prepare ingredients
- Cut the beef
- Marinate the beef
- Prepare the baking sheet
- Place beef in the oven
- Set a timer for frequent checks
- Remove from the oven
Before preparing beef jerky, it's important to know that there is a risk of foodborne illness when dealing with raw beef. That being stated, it's always important to handle raw beef properly and thoroughly sanitize any utensils that have made contact with it. Continue reading to learn steps to make beef jerky in a convection oven.
Steps To Make Beef Jerky In Convection Oven
Things you'll need:
- Worcestershire or soy sauce
- Meat tenderizer
- Flavored seasonings
- Chef's knife
- Aluminum foil
- Oven timer
- Baking sheet
- Wire rack for baking sheet
- Cutting board
1. Gather and Prepare Ingredients
Gather all of your seasonings, beef, and cooking utensils and place them on your preparation counter.
2. Cut The Beef
Next, place the beef on top of your cutting board and cut it into thin, even strips. Depending on the type of beef cut you have, you may want to start cutting from either the top or the side. You can also flash freeze the meat for about a half-hour to make it easier to cut. Always go against the grain and try to cut the slices to about 1/8-inch thick. This will ensure that the beef is tender enough to chew when it dries.
Check out this cutting board on Amazon.
3. Marinate The Beef
If you want your beef to be tender and have flavor, you'll need to marinate it. There are many different recipes to follow, but the key ingredient for a good marinade is salt. You can use a store-bought marinade or create your own with Worcestershire or soy sauce and other seasonings. The amount of time that you marinate your beef will depend on your personal flavor preferences.
Read more about this beef marinade on Amazon.
4. Prepare The Baking Sheet
Grab a sheet of aluminum foil and cover your baking sheet with it. Next, grab your wire rack and set it on top of the baking sheet. Ensure that the aluminum foil covers the baking sheet completely, as this will be where the juice from the beef drips into.
Check out more details about this baking sheet on Amazon.
5. Place Beef In The Oven
Next, set your convection oven to 175 degrees Fahrenheit. Place the sliced beef on top of the sheet and bake it for two to three hours. If your jerky cuts are thick or if your oven is slow, you may need to bake it for an additional one to three hours longer. Lay the beef strips in a single layer on the wire rack and make sure that there is space between each of them. Bake, flipping and checking them every 20 to 30 minutes.
6. Set A Timer For Frequent Checks
It's always a good idea to set a timer when baking beef jerky, as it doesn't take much to overcook it -- which would make it too hard to chew. Set a timer to check on the beef about every 20 to 30 minutes.
Learn more about this cooking timer on Amazon.
7. Remove From The Oven
Once the beef is done, remove it from the oven and store it in a jar at room temperature for up to one or two weeks.
How Do You Make Jerky Tender?
The key to making beef jerky moist and tender is soaking it in a good marinade and heating it in a dry environment at the right temperature. You'll also want to make sure that the beef is completely submerged in the marinade. The longer the beef is in the marinade, the more tender it will be.
It's also important to set the oven temperature at a low setting, below 200 degrees, so that the heat from the oven can dry out the beef instead of burning it from high temperatures. Making beef jerky tender is a slow cooking process, so it's important to check on it periodically to ensure that it reaches the level of tenderness that you are looking for.
For How Long Should You Marinate Beef Jerky?
It depends on the type of cut that you have and the type of marinade that you use. Many chefs recommend marinating beef jerky for at least 12 to 18 hours for tender and flavorful beef jerky. This gives the beef enough time to absorb the salt and flavor from the marinade so that it's moist once it's done cooking. The maximum time for beef jerky to marinate is usually 24 hours.
What Is The Best Cut Of Meat For Beef Jerky?
There are several different cuts of meat that you can use to make beef jerky. Choosing the best meat will depend on the texture that you prefer and, to some degree, the flavor as some cuts have more fat than others. Let's look at six of the best options for beef jerky.
Bottom round is a great choice for making beef jerky. It comes from the outer top muscle of a cow's hind leg, which means it is very tender. This cut is also fairly lean, super flavorful, and it's one of the most inexpensive cuts that you can purchase.
If you want to make fancy beef jerky, you can also use sirloin tip cut. You'll find that these cuts are more expensive as they are very tender and lean. When cutting sirloin tips, it's best to slice the tips against the grain to ensure that they remain tender as you took them. Sirloin tip cuts are tasty and easy to slice when compared to other types of cuts.
Eye of Round
Eye of round is probably the most commonly used beef cut for beef jerky. The reason is that it is the most tender cut that you can get. Eye of round comes from a single over muscle and the cow's hind leg, which is trimmed before it is sold at the butcher shop. It contains very little interior fat, and the grain runs in the cut's length, which makes it easy for slicing. Not to mention it's one of the most inexpensive cuts of beef that you can buy.
Brisket is often used for barbecue but can also be used for beef jerky. It has a tough and fatty texture that can make for interesting beef jerky if you have a good marinade. The slower you cook brisket, the more tender your beef jerky cuts will be. You'll also want to make sure that you heavily line your baking sheet with aluminum, as this fatty meat will drip a lot of oil.
Another great beef cut to use for jerky is steak flank. This cut has a considerable amount of fat, which will require trimming, but it makes for a flavorful and moist beef jerky option. It's important to marinate this cut thoroughly before cooking it, as it can be tougher than other cut options.
Beef loin is one of the most expensive beef cuts that you can purchase. So to say, it's best to have some experience with making beef jerky if you're going to choose this cut. However, it's well worth the money. This cut is flavorful, lean, and makes wonderful jerky.
Wrapping Things Up
Beef jerky is one of the tastiest and satiating snacks that you can carry with you on the go. When cooking beef jerky in a convection oven, it's important to marinate the beef thoroughly and set it at a low oven temperature to ensure tenderness.
Before you go, be sure to check out our other posts:
Do Convection Ovens Cook And Bake Faster? [Including Typical Cooking Times For Common Dishes]