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A pile of beef jerky on a table.

How to Make Beef Jerky in the Oven

Author: Victor
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  • 3 lb meat (93% lean or higher)

For the marinade:

  • 1 tsp red pepper flakes (plus more to taste)
  • 1 Tbsp garlic powder
  • 1 Tbsp onion powder
  • 1 1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 cup Worcestershire
  • 1 cup soy sauce (regular, not low sodium)
  • 1 Tbsp liquid smoke (optional; use if you want to add smoky flavor)
  • 1/2 tsp Cure #1 (heaping; optional but strongly recommended)


  • A lot of beef cuts come with a fat cap. Trim the fat off and cut the meat into manageable pieces that will be easy to slice. Then put the meat in a plastic bag and put in a freezer for a few hours. Freezing will firm it up and make it a easy to slice evenly.
  • When the meat is firm, slice it about 3/16" - 1/4" thick. Thinner sliced meat tends to come out dryer and less chewy. Thicker will take a long time to dry.
  • To make the jerky chewy, slice it along the grain.
    Beef jerky made in the oven - delicious, chewy and addictive. | Taste of Artisan
  • To make the jerky less chewy, slice it across the grain.
    Beef jerky made in the oven - delicious, chewy and addictive. | Taste of Artisan
  • Combine all the ingredients for the marinade in a large Ziploc bag and shake.
  • Add the meat slices, shake and massage the meat really well.
    Beef jerky made in the oven - delicious, chewy and addictive. | Taste of Artisan
  • Refrigerate for 24 to 48 hours, flipping the bag and massaging the meat every 6-8 hours. Strictly speaking, marination is not necessary, but it makes jerky much more flavorful inside out and tenderizes tougher beef cuts.
  • Remove one rack from the oven so you can start hanging the meat slices on it. Meanwhile, preheat oven to 300F.
  • Hang the meat on the oven rack. The most efficient way is to hang the meat slices vertically, as shown on the picture below. This way you can have about 5 lbs of meat on one rack, properly spaced out.
  • Once the oven is preheated to 300F, bring the meat in, close the oven door, turn the temperature down to 275F and bake the meat for 10 minutes. This will bring its internal temperature to the safe level of 160F.
  • Drop the temperature further to the lowest setting your oven can go, e.g. 170F. Crack open the oven door and insert a thick wooden spoon to secure it in that position.
    Beef jerky made in the oven - create air flow for better drying. | Taste of Artisan
  • After about 30 minutes, when the temperature in the oven has stabilized at its lowest setting, turn on the convection fan, if you oven has it. It will expedite the drying process. You will have to find a creative way to keep the button down to activate convection.
  • Continue drying jerky until it's ready. The jerky is dry enough when it bends without breaking, while surface develops cracks when you bend it. This will take anywhere from 4 to 8 hours, depending on whether you use convection and the thickness of meat slices.
    How to make beef jerky in the oven - bend test for readiness. | Taste of Artisan


For safety considerations I always use Cure #1, but I made it optional in the marinade recipe. You decide for yourself. Not only does it make jerky safer to eat, but it also improves its color and enhances the flavor.