Sugar-Free Homemade Beef Jerky (gluten-free, ACD)

I whipped up a batch of this beef jerky to take along camping with me this week, and had to keep myself from eating all of it before I left.  In fact, I'm in the woods RIGHT NOW at the Traditional WAys Gathering and far away from computers.  But I love all of you so much that I scheduled this to post while I was away.  Sorry, no photo -  I forgot to take a picture while making it and now the beef jerky is all packed away in my car and I'm not going back for it. I'll take a photo of the beef jerky in the woods (where I believe its natural habitat is anyway), and upload when i return!

This jerky is easy to make, addictively delicious, and much more affordable and allergy-friendly than buying it pre-made. You need a food dehydrator for this recipe, although you could probably make it in an oven as well, but I've never tried that. It makes a ton, and is perfect for quick snacks on the go, camping, bike rides, or any time you need easy protein.  

Just imagine me learning how to do old-fashioned things and munching away at beef jerky on the shores of Lake Superior. Huzzah!  I can't wait to share my experiences with all of you when I return home and get back to the world of technology.  Well, if I return, that is...I could see myself wanting to stay up there until I run out of jerky and need to start hunting down wild game with my homemade carved arrows that I'm probably learning how to make...


Homemade Beef Jerky

yield about 20 oz jerky

Adapted from Mary Bell's Complete Dehydrator Cookbook.  The spices and flavorings are very adaptable, feel free to customize to your liking. 


  • 2 pounds lean ground beef (grass-fed if possible)




  • 1/2 cup Coconut Aminos, South River azuki tamari, wheat-free tamari (contains soy) or Bragg's Aminos (contains soy) 
  • 1/2 cup filtered water
  • 2 Tbsp fresh garlic cloves, peeled crushed and minced
  • 2 tsp smoked sea salt or regular sea salt
  • 1 tsp anchovy paste (optional, but adds a great flavor)
  • 2 tsp gluten-free spice mix of choice (I used my Dad's homemade mix), or 1 tsp paprika, 1/2 tsp cumin, 1/4 tsp coriander, and 1/8-1/4 tsp cayenne pepper 
  • 1/2 tsp ground mustard
  • 2 tsp onion powder


Mix together marinade in a small bowl.  Place ground beef in a large bowl or container, and break up into small pieces. Then pour marinade over meat, and using clean hands mix until totally combined.  Cover bowl tightly and refrigerate for 8-12 hours for fullest flavor.

Form into discs or sticks using your hands, a mold, or a jerky gun and place on dehydrator trays. I use a teflex sheet covered with light mesh sheet on the tray, and then removed the teflex later on once more dry. Dehydrate at 145º-155º F for 10-24 hours, depending on the size of your jerky, the type of dehydrator you have and the humidity in your kitchen. Dehydrate until until dried out, blotting oil from surface of jerky periodically.  Finished jerky will be hard, but still pliable.  When done, wrap jerky in papertowel or cloth, which will draw out excess fat and allow it to stay fresh longer, and let it sit a few hours or until cooled. Once cooled, unwrap from towel and store in well-sealed bags or containers.  

For longer storage beyond 2-4 weeks, store in the refrigerator or freezer.

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