For thousands of years now, humans have been drying lean meat for preservation purposes. Your favorite beef jerky is one example of dried meat. Did you know that a piece of this leathery snack yields 7 grams of superb quality protein? Certainly, munching on a handful of beef jerky is good for maintaining and building muscles.

However, beef jerky is notorious for packing staggering amounts of sodium! We all know that excessive amounts of sodium can increase the blood pressure and put you at risk of having heart disease, heart attack and stroke.

But it’s not just sodium that can be found abundantly in beef jerky, but also saturated fat. It is definitely a bad idea to opt for a diet that’s high in saturated fat, which is something that can increase bad cholesterol levels and leave your arteries all clogged up. Truckloads of sodium and saturated fats can definitely wreck your health!

Oh, it’s not just excessive amounts of sodium and saturated fats in beef jerky that you should be concerned about. There are many other chemicals added to beef jerky to make it look and taste more appetizing. Corn syrup, refined sugar, monosodium glutamate (MSG), soy sauce, maltodextrin, potassium sorbate — these and many others can be found in every serving of supermarket-bought beef jerky. Just check out the list of ingredients!

So how can you take advantage of the protein content of beef jerky without subjecting your body to loads of sodium, saturated fat and other nasty things? By making your own beef jerky at home! And if the kind of beef jerky you adore is spicy, you’re in luck — the simple recipe below will instruct you to whip up hot and spicy beef jerky!

Let’s not keep you waiting!

Ingredients:

  • 2 kilograms of your preferred lean beef cut (brisket, flank or sirloin)
  • 1 cup of apple juice (unsweetened)
  • 1/2 cup of balsamic vinegar
  • 1/4 cup honey (unpasteurized)
  • 1/4 cup of Dijon mustard
  • 3 tablespoons of garlic powder
  • 3 tablespoons sesame oil
  • 2 tablespoons of fish sauce
  • 2 tablespoons of black peppercorn (crushed)
  • 2 tablespoons of chili pepper flakes
  • 2 tablespoons of smoked paprika
  • 1 tablespoon onion powder
  • 1 tablespoon of sea salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon of ground clove

Procedure:

  1. Get rid of any visible fat on the meat. Afterwards, stash it in the freezer for an hour to an hour and a half. This will make it easier for you to cut the meat into strips.
  1. Take the meat out of the freezer and start cutting it into strips using a sharp knife. If you want the resulting beef jerky to be easy to chew, slice against the grain. Otherwise, slice along the grain.
  1. Inspect the strips of meat and remove any remaining traces of fat. Afterwards, place the strips in a re-sealable plastic bag or a glass bowl with a lid. Set aside.
  1. In the meantime, let us whip up the marinade. All you have to do is combine all of the ingredients in a large measuring cup. Make sure that you stir very well.
  1. Pour the marinade over the strips of meat. See to it that each and every piece is covered. Seal the plastic bag or cover the glass bowl and keep in the fridge. Let everything set overnight.
  1. The next day, remove the marinated strips of meat from the fridge.
  1. Cover the bottom of your over with aluminum foil. Neatly place the strips of meat on the oven rack. There is no need to get rid of excess marinade — just allow it to drip.
  1. Set your oven to 170°F — yup, we don’t need a lot of heat. Also don’t close the oven door all the way by jamming it with a wooden spoon. This will allow some of the heat to escape, causing the strips of meat to dry without cooking them.
  1. Allow the strips to dry in the oven for 3 hours. Flip over then let them dry for 3 more hours.
  1. Remove the strips of meat in the oven and allow them to cool to room temperature. Transfer to a resealable plastic bag. Enjoy your healthy homemade beef jerky!
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