If you love making your own beef jerky, try this savory-sweet Korean inspired flavor combination. We use traditional Korean BBQ marinade with thin-sliced beef (we love using London broil) for a healthy snack.
Tips for Making Korean Style Beef Jerky
For best results, use a meat slicer. You can find an inexpensive meat slicer for less than $100 on Amazon. Here’s our pick for a budget slicer.
A meat slicer is essential for thin, even slices. Even slices ensures your entire batch of beef jerky will finish at the same time. Be careful though, while there are safety features for the electric slicer, it’s still a rotating blade.
While traditional Korean BBQ marinade includes using fresh garlic, I highly suggest using garlic powder in its place for concentrated flavor.
Optional: Add roasted sesame seeds
The Best Beef For Korean Beef Jerky
Start with the right meat. After several tests, we’ve found London Broil to be the best cut. Actually, “London Broil” is a term used to describe a method of cooking, not necessarily a butcher’s cut. However, many American supermarkets label Top Round Steak that’s cut even and flat as London Broil. Some butchers also label Flank Steak as London Broil as well, but I’m not as fond of Flank Steak for beef jerky as it’s often too thin and flat. Your beef jerky will turn out to be 1/2-inch wide strips. If you use Flank Steak for beef jerky, make sure you slice ACROSS the grain.
The London Broil a.k.a. Top Round Steak that I like to use is about 1.75-inches thick, which makes nice-sized beef jerky slices. Also, take a look at the meat. It is even in thickness and lean – very little visible fat is what you want, as dehydrated fat doesn’t taste very good. Photo source
I’ve turned the beef on its side so that you can see how nice and even this steak is.
How Thick Should Korean Beef Jerky Be?
It’s up to you. We like our beef jerky sliced very thin. While thick hunks of beef jerky certainly gives your jaws a workout, the thinner beef jerky wins in taste, texture, ease of enjoying and marinating time.
It’s best to test out which thickness you like best. Our meat slicer has a knob numbered 0 to 10. The top of the photo is beef sliced at 0.5, obviously too thin. The bottom meat was sliced at 1.5. We chose 1.25.
A Delicious Marinade For Your Beef Jerky
After slicing, prepare the marinade (garlic, soy, sesame oil, sugar, grated onion) in a freezer or storage bag. Add in your meat, seal. Massage and shake the bag to get the marinade incorporated throughout. I then unseal a tiny opening in the bag, squeeze as much air out from the bag as possible and quickly reseal. This helps the marinade stay put on the meat, instead of settling back down on the bottom of the bag.
Because the meat is sliced so thinly, I marinate only 30 minutes. I also like lightly seasoned beef jerky, not beef jerky that’s so salty you need a gallon of water to rehydrate yourself! However, if you are using thicker slices of meat, marinate for an hour or up to overnight.
Making Korean Beef Jerky In A Dehydrator
We bought the Nesco SnackMaster Pro Dehydrator $69.99 and have no complaints. It works very well, it does its job. I wish the unit would have a timer built in. Tip: don’t try to wash the drying racks by hand – you’ll go crazy just trying to scrub off all the dried bits. Instead, throw the racks into the dishwasher. The hot water will help soften the bits and clean them off. Also, during the summer, place the dehydrator outside on the patio so you don’t heat up your house with all that hot air!
Lay the beef slices in a single layer, spread them out so that there are no curls or folds in the meat.
Store Bought Vs Homemade Jerky
Store bought beef jerky “Jack Links Teriyaki Flavored”
-Ingredients: Beef, water, sugar, dried soy sauce (soybeans, salt, wheat), maltodextrin, fructose, monosodium glutamate, flavorings, hydrolyzed corn protein, sodium erythorbate, paprika extract, sodium nitrate.
-Not sure what type of beef
-Contains MSG and other chemicals I can’t pronounce
-$5.99 for 3.5 ounces
Homemade Beef Jerky
-Ingredients: Top Round steak, Soy sauce (soybeans, salt, wheat), sesame oil, garlic powder, onion powder, brown sugar
-Substitute soy sauce with Coconut Aminos (we love this sauce!) for a wheat and soy free alternative
-London Broil (Top Round Steak) – you can choose to use organic, free range beef
-$5.29 per pound for the meat (on sale), each pound makes approx 6-8 ounces beef jerky
Top Tips For Korean Beef Jerky
- London broil is my favorite beef for this jerky.
- A deli slicer is a great implement for beef jerky but also versatile tool in your kitchen. Recently received a Kalorik Meat and Deli Slicer for review that’s designed specifically for the home market. The unit is affordable at less than $100, and small enough to tuck away in the pantry.
- When marinating the beef in a plastic bag, unseal just a small section, push as much air out of the bag as possible, and reseal.
- Let the beef marinade for at least 30 mins.
More Recipes To Explore
- Steak Recipe: Turning Cheap “Choice” Steak into Gucci “Prime” Steak
- Flank Steak with Bloody Mary Tomato Salad Recipe
- 1-Step, Fail Proof Prime Rib Roast Recipe on the Rotisserie
- Korean Kalbi Baby Back Ribs
Korean Beef Jerky
- 3 tablespoons low sodium soy sauce
- 3 tablespoons brown sugar
- 1 teaspoon onion powder
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 teaspoon Asian sesame oil
- 2 pounds London broil very thinly sliced
- In a resealable freezer bag, combine all ingredients except for the meat.
- Add the sliced meat, seal bag and massage gently to incorporate the marinade throughout the meat. Unseal just a small section, push as much air out of the bag as possible, and reseal. Let marinate for 30 minutes (on counter-top at room temperature is fine) or refrigerate up to overnight.
- Lay out the meat in a single layer (as neat as possible) on the dehydrator racks. Set dehydrator according to manufacturer's instructions.