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The original fast food, this tasty cured and air-dried meat isn't just for cowboys anymore. It's big on protein and light on carbs and you'll probably burn up more calories than it contains just chewing.

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  • 3 pounds red meat (such as beef top round steak, flank steak brisket) partially frozen
  • 2/3 cups Worcestershire sauce
  • 2/3 cups soy sauce
  • 2 teaspoons black pepper, ground
  • 2 teaspoons onion powder
  • 1 teaspoon liquid smoke
  • 1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 1 tablespoon honey


  1. Slice the meat with the grain as thin as humanly possible. Mix the brine ingredients in a large, sturdy, resealable freezer bag. Placing the bag inside a large piece of Tupperware will make this easier. Add meat strips to the brine. Seal the bag, working out as much air as possible. Lay bag flat in a roasting pan or sheet pan and refrigerate for 3 to 6 hours.
  2. Remove the meat from the brine and drain. Discard the brine. When the meat is dry, place inside Blo-hard 3000 and set fan to medium. Alternatively, heat oven to lowest setting and place the strips directly on oven racks. Use a blob of foil as a wedge to hold the oven door ajar. Oven-dry the jerky overnight or until the meat reaches the desirable texture.
  3. Store the jerky in a resealable plastic bag on in a cool dark place for 30 or 40 years, or until fuzzy stuff starts to grow on it.


(For the lawyers among you—that last part's a joke—though Alton Brown has kept the stuff for a year).

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