My family loves beef jerky, but the good quality stuff is really expensive! I also want my jerky to be free of soy, gluten and sugar, plus I prefer meat that is organic and grass fed. So, I looked for recipes to make my own. Not a problem, but I found it to be too much of a process for a snack that gets devoured in less than 48 hours! Traditional jerky requires you to slice the meat, let it marinade, and dehydrate before you can enjoy it—it takes the better part of a day. Not cool. Tastes good, but not worth ALL THAT WORK!
One day going through our freezer, and seeing some packages of ground bison, I wondered if ground meat could be used for jerky. I did a quick google search and found a couple recipes. The ones I found required soy sauce and sugar, so I came up with my own recipe that is sugar and soy free, yet still delicious! So here you go.
This ground meat jerky recipe tastes great using ground bison, elk, or beef. You just want to make sure that the meat is pretty lean, so if using beef, try to find a leaner blend (90/10). If you do use regular ground beef, the final product will certainly work, but it may be a little greasy.
You can choose to make snack sized jerky pieces or jerky strips.
Can be made using a food dehydrator (recommended), or oven.
1 lb ground bison, elk, or lean beef (85–90% lean)
3 TBS coconut aminos
2 tsp. salt
½ tsp. ground black pepper
½ tsp. garlic powder
½ tsp. onion powder
Makes 1/3 to 1/2 lb. of jerky
In a large bowl, combine all ingredients thoroughly. There’s two ways to form the jerky—either in little “patties” or in large, thin sheets that can be cut later. For the snack-sized patties, use hands to make small, flat pieces about 1/8 or slightly thicker. I like to make them about 2 or 3 inches in size. Lay them onto your dehydrator tray (or baking sheet if using oven). It’s ok if they are very close together because they will shrink.
For jerky strips, press the meat mixture onto a ventilated dehydrator tray (the mesh one) in one even layer about 1/8 in. thick.
Put the tray(s) in the dehydrator and turn to 160˚F for 3-4 hours. The thinner the pieces are, the faster it will be done. I personally like my jerky o the thinner side, but it’s up to you.
If you don’t have a dehydrator, place the jerky on parchment paper on a baking sheet. Turn oven on to lowest temperature (or 160˚F) for about 3 hours. Adjust oven time accordingly depending on the lowest temperature setting on your oven.
Remove from dehydrator or oven and allow to cool before storing. Lasts about a week at room temperature or in the fridge for a 2 to 3 weeks.
After you’ve tried the recipe, share your pics! Tag me on Instagram @cindy.hilliard.nutrition
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