A few of my more amusing workmates last week held a "jerky off" where they brought in home made beef jerky flavoured in different ways and we tasted them all.
I've tried to make jerky at home in the oven but it wasn't very successful and no doubt burnt a lot of electricity.
The secret is to get a food dehydrator. I paid $54 (plus $20 postage) for one on eBay and it arrived promptly.
It's a nifty device with a fan forced heater in the bottom that blows hot air up through the drying racks so that it exits via little vents in the lid.
Bought some beef stir fry strips, nothing special and a bottle of honey soy marinade and left the beef to marinate in the fridge over night.
In to the dehydrator first thing in the morning and six hours later we gobbled up excellent beef jerky. This thing will pay for itself after about ten batches I figure.
The only drawback is the mess to clean up afterwards. I think next time I'll put aluminium foil at the bottom of the dryer.
That dried marinade cooked on to the base is hard to remove.
Spurred on by this initial success, my daughter has now made dried apple:
and yummy dried banana: