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Appalachian Trail jerky

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Appalachian Trail Jerky

Beef jerky is soooo dang expensive but it packs a caloric wallop, so here's DIY version that will keep your hikers from gettin' hangry. And, look, no dehydrator needed!
Course Side Dish, Snack
Cuisine American
Keyword backpacking, dairy-free, dayhike, egg-free, hypoallergenic, lactose-free, no dehydrator, no shellfish, no tree nuts
Servings 12 people
Calories 127kcal


  • cookie sheets
  • wire cooling racks


  • 2 lbs flank steak

for the marinade:

  • cup teriyaki sauce
  • 2 Tbsp liquid smoke
  • ¼ cup low-sodium soy sauce
  • 2 Tbsp Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 Tbsp garlic powder
  • 2 tsp black pepper
  • 2 tsp crushed red pepper flakes
  • 2 Tbsp brown sugar


  • Trim fat from the steak and slice with the grain in ¼ x 1½-inch strips. Cut out any major veins of gristle, too.
  • Combine the marinade ingredients in a large mixing bowl. Add the beef and stir to ensure all of the beef if coated in the marinade. Cover with plastic wrap and let marinate overnight.
  • Heat an oven to 150 degrees. While heating, line cookie sheets with aluminum foil. Place a cooling rack atop each sheet and cover each rack with slices of meat, laying each piece flat and with a bit of space between one piece and the next.
  • Bake for 10 to 12 hours. You can reduce the cook time by cracking the oven door open a tiny bit and turning on a range fan THAT VENTS TO THE OUTSIDE. Alternatively, you can use a dehydrator set to 150 degrees for around 7 hours.
  • Remove the trays and allow the jerky to cool. When fully cool, store in zipper lock bag in the freezer.


If you don’t have enough cooling racks, you can cut the pieces of beef long enough to lay  across the tines of your oven rack. Just be sure to center them all above a foil-lined cookie sheet. Also, if using a dehydrator, it’s not a bad idea to put a drip tray below the trays bearing meat. Note that you can also dry the jerky in a smoker, leaving out the liquid smoke from the marinade. Alternatively, you can cold-smoke the dried jerky, again leaving out the liquid smoke from the marinade. It’ll only take an hour in a cold-smoker to impart plenty of smoke flavor.


Calories: 127kcal | Carbohydrates: 5g | Protein: 17g | Fat: 4g | Saturated Fat: 2g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 2g | Cholesterol: 45mg | Sodium: 564mg | Potassium: 330mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 3g | Vitamin A: 103IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 27mg | Iron: 2mg

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