Survival Foods: How to Make Beef Jerky

An in-depth review on how to make beef jerky. Survival Foods: How to Make Beef Jerky

There’s no possible way that you haven’t seen the news about doomsday, all the ways the world could come to a screeching halt, survival nuts, and preppers, if you’re not hiding under a rock. The thing is these preppers might just be onto something. And if they aren’t? Then, what’s the harm in getting prepared, just in case they are right.

Not only has there been a whole lot of talk about preppers lately, but there’s also been a whole lot of talk about survival food on the news as well. Food such as hardtack, biltong, and pemmican, just to name a few. What many people don’t realize, and enjoy as a treat every day, is household beef jerky. Yep, the stuff you eat straight out of the bag when you’re watching the game or hand the kids in the car to keep them quiet about being hungry on a long road trip.


Many of us already know that you can make your own beef jerky of course, but how many of us actually know how? A good rule of thumb to follow when tucking aside food in your bug out kit or in your survival shelter is that you need a minimum of 72 hours’ worth of food and water for each person who will be with you if disaster should strike. Many hardcore preppers, however, now say that you need at least 30 days or even up to three months of food stocked up should something happen. After all, the power might be back on in 72 hours or it might not be back on for months, even years, sometimes longer if you think about it.

Different kinds of jerky are one of the staples that you should think about stocking up on for your survival food needs. Not only is beef jerky something everyone loves, but it can also be added to other foods as well to keep your family fed.

Not only that but it’s easy to consume, completely portable, and has a long shelf life, not to mention it’s chockful of protein. Believe it or not, there are even prepper cookbooks you can order online with beef jerky recipes in them. The great thing is, it doesn’t have to be beef jerky, it could be any kind of jerky, from deer jerky to pemmican, another form of jerky that doesn’t taste as good, but is full of the protein and fat you need for the energy and strength to take on what you need to when it comes to a disaster, whether it’s natural or man-made.

In this blog, we are going to discuss how to make beef jerky and some of the health benefits it brings to everyone, disaster or otherwise. So, grab your dehydrator and let’s delve into our blog on survival foods and how to make beef jerky for you and the family you love. After all, if the end doesn’t come, who doesn’t love beef jerky? You can eat it as a snack when the problem has passed.


How to Make Beef Jerky

Beef jerky is amazing. It’s full of protein, has a long shelf life, can be eaten in recipes for some added protein, and eaten by itself. Many people take it on camping trips, hunting trips, car trips, and it’s great to have in an emergency situation as well. Below, you will find a way to make it without having to buy any fancy gears and gadgets and have it taste just the way it would if you bought it fresh out of the bag at the grocery store.

What You’ll Need:

  • a lean piece of beef

The first thing you want to do is go to your butcher and find the leanest piece of meat possible, because the fat on your beef jerky can destroy the shelf life, and that you don’t want to happen. Once you have the meat you want, put it in your freezer for one to two hours so it will be firm, making it easier to cut into strips.

Cut into Strips

Since beef jerky has been known to shrink to about a 1/3 of its size during the drying out period, you don’t want to cut the strips too thin, but you should be careful not to cut them to thick either. Try to stay around 1/8 of an inch with your cutting. Make sure that you look for any excess fat on the meat during the cutting and remove it, as you don’t want fat on your beef jerky at all if you can help it.

Make Your Homemade Marinade

What You’ll Need

  • 1 teaspoon of garlic powder
  • 1 cup of soy sauce
  • 1 teaspoon of onion powder
  • 1 cup of Worchester sauce

Pretty simple ingredients, huh? We told you so!

How to Make the Marinade

Once you have all of your ingredients together, you want to put them in a large bowl, cover the bowl and let the marinade sit in the fridge overnight, after putting in the meat, of course. When you pull the bowl out of the fridge take a paper towel and get as much of the excess marinade off the meat as you can, this speeds up your drying time.

Now it’s Time to Dry Your Beef Jerky

Now it’s time to dry out your beef jerky the old-fashioned way. Put the slices of meat on your oven racks, it’s okay if the sides of the meat touch, but you don’t want them to overlap. You might want to put a piece of tin foil over the oven rack, so nothing drips into your oven and makes a mess.

Once the meat is neatly placed on the tin foil, turn your heat to around 180 degrees and leave the door propped open, so some of the heat can escape. Remember, you’re drying the meat out, not cooking it.

Now, you want to leave the meat drying for several hours. There’s no set time because it depends on the temperature of your oven and the thickness of your meat – so keep an eye on it. When you can bend the jerky a little, it’s easy to tear apart, and it feels dry to the touch, you’ve made your very own beef jerky! Of course, you can always use a dehydrator to dry out your jerky as well, but if you don’t have one and can’t afford the expense, this is the perfect way to do it.

Now, that we know how to make beef jerky, let’s look into some of the benefits and not so great things of eating it below.


Benefits of Eating Jerky and Some Downsides as Well

There are many benefits out there to eating beef jerky, especially in survival situations, but there are also some downsides that you need to be aware of as well.

Low in Calories and Fat

While in an emergency situation you’re not quite as worried about fat and calories, it is a great benefit that jerky of any kind is low in both. During the drying process, the fat in the meat tends to drip off, leaving it much better for you.

It’s Full of Protein

Most beef jerky carries at least 10 grams of protein, something you’re going to need when you’re in a survival situation for the strength to get moving.

It’s Convenient and Portable

Jerky is a quick, portable, and easy-to-grab healthy snack once it’s made. It’s also extremely portable and has a long shelf life, making it perfect for survival situations or just to have as a snack when you’re feeling peckish and need something healthy to snack on.

It Fills You Up

One of the best things about jerky for a survival situation is that it is a nutrient dense food, which means it fills you up. It’s also a great way to burn off unwanted body fat.

The Downsides of Jerky

Of course, as with anything in the world today, there are downsides to jerky as well. We will talk about a couple of them below.

It’s High in Sodium

Because of the way jerky is prepared, it is full of sodium. Why? Because it takes salt to dry out the jerky. Too much sodium can cause you to retain water, which isn’t a good thing when you’re on the trail during an emergency, and isn’t good for your health, to begin with.

It’s Expensive

Unless you make it yourself, as we showed you in the recipe above, jerky can be quite expensive. With prices ranging from $2 to $6 per ounce.

The truth is that the pros well outweigh the cons of beef jerky when it comes to survival situations or even just as a healthy snack for the family. Beef jerky has a long shelf life, is portable, fills you up, is full of protein, and actually tastes good! Flavor and taste are something that often gets left out of survival foods, so this is a big plus, wouldn’t you think?

Now that we know everything there is to know about beef jerky and how to make it for a survival situation, let’s talk about some of the foods out there that will survive any apocalypse, meaning they are foods that you should stock up on now if you have decided to prep for the future. Ready? Then, let’s get started.

Foods That Will Outlive the Apocalypse

Believe it or not, there are quite a few foods that will outlast the apocalypse, in whatever form it rears its ugly head. Below we will go into a few of those foods together.


Believe it or not, honey is essential to survival. It’s been used for centuries, but when it crystallizes people tend to throw it away. No need, making it perfect for a survival situation. If you warm the honey up, then stir it up, the crystals will disappear, making this one of the prime foods you need to stock up on.



Of course, everyone knows that you need salt to cook, even after the apocalypse, so start stocking up now. Salt never goes bad and has an infinite shelf life. The only salt that doesn’t have an infinite shelf life is seasoning salt. However, it does last for over a year, so stock up on it as well.


Most people already know that rice is something you should stock up on in huge amounts if you have a place to store it. It’s filling and can be used in so many different things, it’s hard to name them all. It’s cheap and white rice has a long shelf life, as long as you’re careful to keep pests out of it. One quick thing to remember though, only white rice has a long shelf life, brown rice has oils in it that will make it go rancid after a little bit of time has passed.

Other Foods that will Outlast the Apocalypse

  • Cornstarch
  • Sugar
  • White vinegar
  • Vanilla extract
  • Liquor
  • Maple syrup, which you can even make at home on your own!

These are just a few of the foods that will survive any apocalypse and keep you and your family fed during a survival situation. If you have space, then it’s a good idea to start stocking up on them now, as once something happens, these will be the first things to disappear from the shelves of grocery stores everywhere.

This concludes our blog on everything you need to know about beef jerky and how to make it as well. We also went into a few of the foods that will outlast the apocalypse and might just save your family from starving, if you stock up now. Until next time, stay safe, everyone!


  1. Survival Life: 9 Foods that will Outlast the Apocalypse
  2. Survival Life: Making Beef Jerky at Home
  3. Homestead and Survival: How to Make Beef Jerky