Homemade beef jerky just got faster than ever.

Charlie Heller
January 22, 2018

Homemade beef jerky is delicious, says Food & Wine Culinary Director Justin Chapple, but he also knows there's one big issue with the process of making it: it takes forever. That is, unless you follow the latest Mad Genius Tip, which uses the power of a microwave to cut cooking time down to under ten minutes.

First, start with some flank steak, because it's lean, and lean is always better for beef jerky. Next, break out the parchment paper (which you should have left over from your DIY chocolate design project a few months ago) and lay out a sheet. Put the flank steaks atop it, and cover with another sheet of parchment, because its time for some hammering.

Using a meat mallet, beat the steaks "softly but gently," pounding them thin so that they cook more easily in the microwave. Once it's fairly flat (see the video for reference), peel off the parchment, and transfer them to a glass bowl or baking dish for marinating. Season with some kosher salt, a hefty amount of freshly ground black pepper, and about a tablespoon of low sodium soy sauce, then give it a good mix and pop it in the fridge for 30 minutes to an hour.

Once it's done, layer a few layers of paper towels on top of a microwave-safe plate, and spread the now-marinated steak evenly on top of the paper towels. Put it in the microwave, then let it run for about 6 to 8 minutes. You can see what it looks like at about half done, which is when you take it out of the microwave and transfer to a new layer of paper towels, then put it back in for a few more minutes.

Then, it should be dry, chewy, and delicious, and ready to eat. And if you really want to get Mad Genius with your jerky, you can serve it in a glass like Chapple does here—or go even further and get the full Food & Wine culinary experience with HSN's exclusive cookware line here.