Beef Jerky, Cowboy Style Beef Jerky

"A story about beef jerky - Real tradition cowboy type beef jerky was the meat pulled from the side of a cow and meat scraps leftover from butchering (hence the toughness), thick meaty cuts were cured in a salty brine with whatever herbs or spices they had on hand, often it was twisted and tied into knots and then hung on tree limbs and such in direct sunlight until dried or in a smokehouse if they were so lucky. It was a good source of protein on cattle drives, other than beans and hard bread, maybe an occational rabbit or squirrel it was often what they nibbled on most of the day. I use brisket for it's toughness (cowboy style) but use whatever cut you wish. We don't sun dry anymore because of flys and bugs and such. My beef jerky recipe is also excellent for deer meat, buffalo and such, just make sure it is very lean with little or no fat. Deer made this way is my favorite."
photo by Chipfo photo by Chipfo
photo by Chipfo
Ready In:
6hrs 45mins




  • In a very large bowl mix up all ingredients except the meat and set aside.
  • If using a whole brisket separate the flat half and the point half, put the point half away for another use (like smoking it). Trim all the fat from the flat half, it needs to be very lean (You butcher may do this for you, along with slicing it).
  • You can partially freeze this for easier slicing, slice into 1/8 or slightly thicker. If you need to, cut in lengths to fit your dehydrator. Or use a gas oven set on 145°F.
  • Add slices to bowl with the marinade, with clean hands make sure all the meat is coated without any "dry spots". Press down the meat to remove air and bring marinade to the top.
  • Allow to marinade for about 4 hours, stirring the meat a few times during this period to keep the meat coated. I use my hands, washed of course, then press the meat down again.
  • If you need more marinade just scale down the recipe and make a little more.
  • Place slices in the dehydrator and dehydrate according to manufacturers directions.
  • If using a gas oven (I didn't like the results from an electric oven), place several sheets of foil across the bottom of oven, do not cover the heat vents, heat to 145 F, place slices directly on oven rack and close door.
  • Allow to dry for 6 to 8 hours. The jerky needs to be dry but still pliable, NOT crunchy. It will bend but not break.
  • Store in an airtight container after it has cooled completely.
  • When you are eating this pretend your a cowboy on horseback in a cattle drive, all you have to eat everyday is beans, hard bread and beef jerky, tear off a piece with your teeth, jam in down between your cheek and gum, suck on it for a minute or 2, then slowly start chewing the edge until it is gone. LOL, or just enjoy it however you like.
  • I call this jerky "Cowboy Style" because it is very tough and chewy, if you do not like tough jerky then use whatever meat you prefer. Round roast works well, just make sure the cut you use is very lean and trimmed of all fat. Fat can turn rancid.

Questions & Replies

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  1. I have not tried your recipe yet, but I have made jerky in the oven before and if you put toothpicks in one end of the jerky and hang it from your racks in the oven it does a very good job.
  2. Friends and family love it! Making it for the 5th time!
  3. I have purchased cowboy jerky in Bishop and was happy to find this recipe. It is outstanding. My gas oven doesn't go lower than 170 so I cooked the meat for 5 hours. I purchased the meat at Costco (which is the best and uniformly cut). I did not use the pepper flakes and used Greek seasoning because that is what I had. I can't believe how good it is. It bendable and not hard to chew. Thank you for saving me $39.00 a pound.
  4. This is a great recipe. I had used it before, printed it and lost it. I got a new dehydrater and need to break it in right so I looked you back up. I am using a 4.5 lb rump roast this time. Thanks for this recipe
  5. Thank-You loved it..... Was GREAT ....



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