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June 21, 2011

Photo by Pat

What was I thinking!!

Not everything in the Parmele household goes as planned. The Food Network Magazine promised that my every dream would come true by just cooking this or that recipe as I thumbed through the pages. I so wanted to believe.

My selected recipe was something I have never tried, even in the store. Beef Jerky just looks so “manly” and I’ve never really found it particularly attractive or edible. But because I’m the type of gal that likes to experiment, I chose the beef jerky recipe. “Looks easy” I muttered to myself.

Well, actually it is! I found the beef on sale, the ingredients weren’t strange so those were easy to find. Sliced up the beef and smushed everything into a ziplock bag to marinate in the refrigerator for 3 days.

I could hardly wait until Sunday to start the drying process. As you read the recipe it’s rather ingenious how they use the home oven to its full advantage. Pretty cool. Everything was loaded and the heat turned on and I was out of there for two hours of gardening.

Upon my return, the house smelled divine and I could hardly wait to take a peek! Oh my!!! What happened to my nice clean oven??? And then a gasp, Oh no, the family reunion is next week!

So guess what I’m doing today? I’m elbow deep into oven cleaner, scrubbies and a sharp knife. Sure, I could turn on the clean cycle for the oven but it’s just too hot!

I’d say, give this one a try but a liberal layer of protection for your oven surfaces really is needed! By the way, the jerky is really yummy and it seems to disappear rather quickly so I’d say it’s a two thumbs up on that recipe.

Smoky Cola Jerky
~Food Network Magazine, June 2011
Makes 2 pounds of jerky

1 cup cola
⅓ cup soy sauce
⅓ cup rice vinegar (not seasoned) (My bottle was seasoned and it was fine!)
¼ cup honey
Kosher salt
1 to 2 chipotle chiles in adobo sauce, coarsely chopped
1 tsp smoked paprika
1 tsp onion powder
2 pounds boneless beef sirloin (about 1 inch thick)

Bring the cola, soy sauce, vinegar, honey and 1 T of salt to a simmer in a saucepan over med. heat. Cook stirring until reduced to 1 cup, about 12 minutes. Remove from the heat and stir in the chipotles, paprika and onion powder; let cool completely.

Trim the excess fat from the beef and slice on an angle into 1/4-inch-thick strips. Combine the strips and cola mixture in a resealable plastic bag and shake to coat. Press the air out of the bag, seal and let marinate in the refrigerator at least 24 hours and up to 3 days.

Position a rack in the center of the oven (I had to put it on the top rung because my slices were long.) Line the bottom of the oven with foil. Actually I would make a one inch rim of foil, sealing it well, kinda like a swimming pool because the juice ran under the foil . . . lots of juice! I think I’ll spray the racks with Pam Spray as well. Drain the meat, discarding the marinade. Stick a toothpick through the end of each strip of meat. Starting at the back of the oven and working forward, arrange each piece of meat between the grates of the oven rack so the toothpicks rest on the grates and the meat dangles below (do not let the meat touch the rack). Alternately, cook the beef in a dehydrator according to the manufacturer’s instructions.

Heat the oven to 200 degrees. Bake until the jerky is dry but still bendable, 2-3 hours. Carefully remove from the oven and remove the toothpicks. Let cool completely. Refrigerate in an airtight container for up to 2 weeks.

2 Comments leave one →
  1. June 21, 2011 7:56 pm

    Oh no! At least the jerky tastes good, but that’s a tough clean up doing it the old fashioned way.

  2. July 12, 2011 2:30 am

    Oh, man… too bad about the mess.

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