The basics to beef jerky include using beef that is sliced very thin and a good marinade.
For the beef, I use eye of round. It has slight marbling for flavor, but not so much that fat gets in the way of the jerky’s beefiness. You can slice it yourself, especially if you have a meat slicer. It slices best when it’s partially frozen. Or, you can ask your butcher to slice it. They’ll take care of it for you while you shop for everything else.
While I was roaming the store, waiting for my beef, I knew I wanted to make bulgogi jerky, but I planned to make my own bulgogi marinade. Then, I came across a pre-made marinade called “We Rub You.” I thought the name was cute and the ingredients sounded good, so I decided to take a shortcut with this recipe.
You’ve probably had teriyaki beef jerky. It’s made with – wait for it – a teriyaki marinade. Bulgogi marinade is really similar but has the addition of apples and sesame.
The marinade comes in plain or spicy and is made with soy sauce, sugar, vinegar, onion, garlic, apple juice, spices and sesame seeds. Those are basically all the ingredients in my sauce. The spicy version has a ground red pepper for a little kick.
I recommend going with the spicy. When making jerky, you need powerful, concentrated flavors to end up with a savory bite. My mother-in-law, who can’t eat spicy foods, loved this jerky.
The process is so easy. You place the sliced beef in a zip-top bag, pour in the bottle, seal and massage. Then, refrigerate overnight.
The next morning, pat the jerky dry and place it on cookie racks on a 180F-degree smoker. Smoke it for about 4 hours. I usually check it at the 3-hour mark. Some of the thinner pieces may be done by that time. You want the jerky to be firm with a little chew.
One other thing that’s cool about this sauce is that the company donates 10% of its profits to organizations that support survivors of human trafficking. This company is also owned by two women – Ann and Janet Chung #GirlPower.
Bulgogi Beef Jerky
Making beef jerky doesn't have to be hard. With the help of your butcher and two ingredients, you could be enjoying bulgogi beef jerky tomorrow.
Ask your butcher to slice the eye of round against the grain into 1/8 to 1/4-inch thick slices.
Place the meat in a zip-top bag. Pour in the marinade. Seal tight and massage the marinade into the meat. Refrigerate overnight.
Heat the smoker to 180 F degrees.
Arrange the beef onto wire racks. Place the racks onto the smoker and smoke for 3-4 hours.
Thicker slices may take up to 5 hours to smoke, while thinner slices may be done in 3 hours.When you pick up the slices, you want them to be stiff. If they bend, they need more time.Refrigerate for up to one week.