The best way to make beef jerky at home is in an air fryer. Straightforward and easy, delicious and nourishing. A dehydrator is not necessary, which is the best part.
Depending on the jerky’s thickness, you can cook jerky in an air fryer at 60°C to 70°C for two to three hours while checking the jerky every 30 minutes.
What Beef to Use for Jerky?
Lean and flavorful beef is the best kind to use to make homemade jerky.
The best steaks are top and bottom round steaks, and I usually use those.
While a good quality tender cut is preferable for an air fryer roast, you can use a less expensive (tougher) cut of meat because the cook time is so prolonged and the temperature is so low.
Read More: 20+ Instant Pot Air Fryer Recipes
Stronger cuts result in chewier jerky. For softer, melt-in-your-mouth jerky, choose a tender beef cut. Select a beef cut that is suitable for the kind of jerky you intend to make.
How to Make Beef Jerky in An Air Fryer?
The best snack is beef jerky. It is also portable, tasty, healthy, and low in carbohydrates.
Homemade beef jerky made with air frying is fantastic! Although the preparation is quick and easy, you need to plan ahead because you need to marinate the beef slices for at least a few hours and preferably overnight in order for the flavor to develop.
Step 1: Beef must first be trimmed. Begin by removing any excess fat from the outside of the beef (this helps with the drying process)
Step 2: Cutting the beef. The beef must then be sliced very thinly—no thicker than 1/4 inch is preferred.
The beef may be easier to slice thinly after being partially frozen. You could also ask your neighborhood butcher to slice it for you.
The thin minute steak (beef prepared in the Rouladen style) has also worked well for me.
Use a very sharp knife and cut it with the grain, not against it, as you would when carving beef, if you are doing the slicing yourself.
The full-size slices can be used to make jerky, or if you prefer, you can cut them into strips or squares.
Step 3: Make the marinade. In a bowl, combine all the marinade ingredients. Add the beef strips, making sure to keep them apart and to completely cover them with the marinade.
Step 4: Marinate. The beef should marinate, so cover and put it in the fridge. It will take at least 3 hours, but it’s best to let it sit overnight.
Step 5: Drain and dry off. Take the beef strips out of the fridge after marinating them, then drain them. Before air frying, they must be completely dried.
After draining the excess marinade from the beef in a sieve, I use paper towels to pat the beef strips dry.
Step 6: Put the air fryer basket with the beef strips inside.
It is crucial that the beef does not overlap when you put it in the air fryer because it needs all of its surfaces to be exposed for the air fryer to dry it out evenly.
Use a rack to cook twice as much food at once if your air fryer is only a small size.
Step 7: Air fry the beef jerky
You must slowly and lowly cook the jerky. To air fry the jerky, you will need to set your air fryer to 210°F (100°C), and cook it for about two to three hours. In order for the beef’s moisture to evaporate and prevent the beef strips from burning, the temperature must be low.
Step 8: Examine the jerky.
When the jerky is close to two hours into the cooking process, check it every 15 minutes to see if it is finished (i.e. until all the moisture has gone, but before it chars).
Check the temperature with an instant-read meat thermometer to make sure it has reached 160°F/71°C before eating.
It can be challenging to predict how long something will take to cook because it depends on a number of factors, including how precisely the beef was cut and how effective your air fryer is. It is therefore best to keep an eye on it as the cooking time approaches.
This jerky recipe can also be prepared in a conventional oven; you will just need to turn the jerky frequently to ensure that it dries out evenly.
How to Save Homemade Beef Jerky?
If you don’t have vacuum-sealed bags and a machine to do that for you, you should store in a freezer bag that has had all the air sucked out of it. Keep it away from direct sunlight and in a cool, dark location, such as your pantry. Prior to zipping the lid shut after opening the container, make sure all the air has been expelled. That way, it could last for two months.
Can You Use An Air Fryer as a Dehydrator for Jerky?
Yes, you can use an air fryer as a Dehydrator for Jerky.
How Do You Know When Jerky is Done in An Air Fryer?
Cook beef on the steak setting at 350°F for 3 minutes, or until the center of the strips are no longer pink.
Is a Beef Jerky Dehydrator the Same as An Air Fryer?
Getting rid of the moisture is the whole point of making jerky. Both an air fryer and a dehydrator are suitable for this. Time is what makes a difference. The process is much shorter using an air fryer.