Keto Beef Jerky
It seems like at least one of our friends is on the Keto Diet at any given time these days. Keto this and Keto that. It’s all the rage. I’ll be the first to admit that I know next to nothing about the Keto Diet, and even though Jen might say I could stand to lose a few pounds, I have no plans at this time of going on it.
I was thinking however that coming up with a great Keto friendly snack would be a fun challenge that is well within my limited (very limited) area of expertise. In researching ideas, many cooks go down the road of creating a Keto recipe that substitutes newfangled sweeteners and ingredients I’ve never heard of before (liquid aminos anyone?) to try to recreate a classic recipe.
My approach is to harken back to the days of the cave men or maybe cowboys on the open plains. Drying meat into Jerky was originally a technique used to preserve meat. I’m pretty sure the cave men didn’t have Teriyaki sauce or high fructose corn syrup back in the day.
Let’s get to making my Keto Beef Jerky Recipe.
Jump to Recipe
It’s All About the Flank Steak
Here’s the ingredients. It really can’t get any simpler than this – Flank steak, salt, pepper and a little garlic powder. Flank steak is a great choice for this Keto beef jerky recipe because it has much more flavor on its own than any of the cuts from the round family. Since we aren’t going to marinate it in a traditional soy and brown sugar based marinade, we’ll need that great beefy flavor to shine through. It’ll also be more tender if we slice it across the grain. Speaking of slicing…
Slice It Up
Slicing across the grain will yield more tender jerky. Pro Tip # 1: Wrap the flank steak in aluminum foil and put it in the freezer for about an hour until it’s firm but not frozen solid. This will make slicing easier.
Pound It Out
Even with the meat slightly frozen, it’s sometimes difficult to cut perfectly even slices. Pro Tip # 2: Cut thicker slices and pound them out. We’re looking for a finished thickness of about 1/8”, so cut them a little thicker than ¼” and a few taps with a meat mallet will flatten them down to size.
The Wire Rack
Arrange the slices on wire racks. I like how the shapes end up a little bit irregular due to the pounding step, but all the same thickness.
Movers and Shakers
It’s time for the seasoning. Mix up the Kosher salt, black pepper and garlic powder in your favorite shaker.
Shakers and Movers
Give the slices a liberal dusting on both sides and they’re ready for the smoker. Set up your smoker to 160° burning a mild flavored wood like apple or cherry.
The cook time will vary depending on your smoker and the thickness of the slices, but figure on somewhere between 3 to 4 hours.
How Do You Know When Beef Jerky is Done Dehydrating?
Beef jerky is done dehydrating when it bends and cracks but doesn’t break. To check for doneness, remove a piece from the smoker and let it cool down for 5 minutes before bending. If it breaks in half with a snap, you’ve gone way too far.
It’s done and ready for guilt free Keto snacking. Store in a zip lock bag in the refrigerator for up to two weeks, even though we all know it won’t last near that long. Enjoy!
Keto Beef Jerky
Keto Beef Jerky
- 1 1/2 pounds flank steak
- 1 tablespoon Kosher salt
- 2 teaspoons black pepper
- 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
- Wrap the flank steak in aluminum foil and put in freezer for about an hour until it’s firm but not frozen solid.
- Slice across the grain into ¼” thick pieces then pound to flatten them out to 1/8” thick.
- Arrange slices in single layer on wire racks.
- Dust with salt, pepper and garlic powder on both sides.
- Cook in smoker set to 160° for 3 to 4 hours, until cooled piece bends and cracks without breaking.
- Cool then store in zip lock bag in refrigerator for up to two weeks.