How Long To Marinate Jerky – Complete Guide

How Long To Marinate Jerky – Complete Guide

Are you a jerky lover? Do you have the problem of finding the jerky made right just for you? There are different ways you can get a delicious jerky in your table. One of them is the purchase online. Another way is buying it in a restaurant near you, and the third and final way is to prepare it yourself. Making a DIY jerky is a fun, rewarding and satisfying process. You need to learn it yourself. We have prepared a guide on how long to marinate jerky.

How long to marinate jerky – Complete Guide 

A DIY sumptuous treat is something no one can easily compensate with anything. Of course, you need some advice on how to do it, but the final product depends on how well you prepare and marinade your jerky. Moreover, marinade you use will affects the taste and delicacy of your jerky.  That’s why you need to know, the kind of marinade to use, how long you should marinade your jerky and the steps to follow.

In this article, we will answer some of the questions like:

  • What is the best meat cut for making a perfect jerky?
  • How should I prepare the jerky and the marinade?
  • What type of jerky marinade should I use?
  • How long to marinate jerky?

Let’s get started.

What are the best cuts for making a perfect jerky?

The jerky marinade can be made using beef, chicken, rabbit and other types of meat. Selecting a perfect cut for your jerky is the first step to making that delicious jerky. Favorite cuts include the sirloin flank and tip, brisket and the top and bottom round. For those who love commercial hamburgers, know that they are not suitable for making jerky. They have too much fat to make a perfect jerky.

A lean cut should be 5 lbs. Ask your butcher to trim all the fat before giving the meat to you. Depending on your taste, you can make sweet and sour jerky, basic beef jerky or teriyaki marinade. It does not matter the type of meat you use. Whether it’s chicken, rabbit or beef, as long as you make a tasty marinade, your jerky will always satisfy your appetite.

Time needed

This part addresses the question of How long to marinate jerky? The marinating process is the most crucial part of making a jerky marinade. The marinade mixture will determine the sweetness sourness and even that “punch’ and flavor. Of course, there are different types of marinade recipes that you can try. As long as you like the taste and do it right, nothing will go wrong. 

Regardless of the meat you choose, you should marinate your jerky for not less than 12 hours. The longer your meat marinates, the better it will taste.

After getting a lean cut of your size, the next step is slice and cleaning meat. The slicing the meat is a two-stage process. The first stage in to cut the meat into two halves. After cutting, wrap the larger pieces using a sturdy zip-lock freezer bag and a plastic wrap. Place in the freezer for one to two hours. The freezing time is to allow the meat to be firm enough for making thin slicing easier.

The second stage of the cutting process is to slice thinner trips. These strips should be 1/8 to 1/4 thick. These are the best slices for marinating and making a delicious jerky.

Marinade preparation

Preparing a sumptuous jerky depends on how you mix your marinade. Nothing keeps you wanting for more like the spiciness and sweet/savory goodness of the marinade mixture. The flavor of marinating varies depending on your taste, season and mood. A good, basic recipe is the best way to start.

Here are some ingredient you need for your marinade.

  • Flavorings, seasoning, and spices
  • Sweeteners.

Try these basic marinade recipe ideas.

Basic beef jerky recipe:

  • 1 tbsp. tomato sauce
  • 4 tbsp. soy sauce
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 2 or 3 garlic cloves
  • 1 tbsp. curry powder
  • 4 tbsp. Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 tbsp. curry powder
  • Grated and pounded fresh ginger
  • Black paper to taste

Direction for mixing the marinade

  • Uses a small bowl to mix all the above ingredients except the meaty. Make sure you mix very well.
  • Place the slice in the marinade in a large container and spoon the jerky marinade mixture on top of the meat. You can do it in several layers or just one layer depending on the size of your container.
  • Cover tightly
  • Place the container in the refrigerator for 12 hours or more and stir occasionally.
  • After 12 hours the jerky is ready. You can either enjoy it or let it sit in the refrigerator for more hours. The longer it’s refrigerated, the tastier it becomes.

Another way of mixing the strips and the mixture is pouring everything in a large zip lock bag. Give it a thorough bath and place it in the fridge for 12 to 24 hours. It will taste better and becomes tenderer.

What type of marinade mixture should you use?

The kind of marinade mixture you use depends on the various reasons. It all depends on your taste, mood and even the season. It also depends on the occasions. For instance, you cannot prepare a sour jerky when there are a lot of children around. Also, you need to prepare different jerky with a different taste of adult only occasion.

Drying the jerky

Drying the jerky is not that difficult. Using your home grill, make sure the grill is hot enough and place an aluminum foil on the grates. The foil will catch the marinade drips and also make the grates clean after use. Place your marinated meat strip on top of the foil and let it dry slowly. Turn after a few minutes until you feel it is ready.

Another way of drying your jerky is by placing it in the oven. Line the bottom part of your oven with an aluminum foil to keep it clean and catch the drips. Preheat the oven to 180 degrees and arrange the racks and take the marinated meat strips and lay them flat on the racks. Make sure there is some space between each strip for air to circulate.

Use bamboo skewers as another way of arranging the meat strips in the oven or on a grill. After arranging them, place them in the oven and allow them to dry. There is no better way of drying meat strip in an oven that using bamboo skewers. They are easy to use and can be found in almost any store near you. Try using them


Knowing how to make jerky at home is essential. The kind of jerky you desire depends mostly on the marinade and how long your marinade and refrigerate it. Proper marinating improves its flavor, firmness and overall chewiness. Once you get it right, you can make as many times as you like. The more you make it, the more marinade options you know, and the testier your jerky will become. That’s why we decided to come up with a guide on how long to marinate jerky.

Of course, the joy of eating a tasty DIY jerky is relatively satisfying. Some people would want to savor the extreme spices while others would love the traditional taste of jerky. To get the best taste, it’s essential to know the basic marinating tips are what you need to know.

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