Ganjerky: How to Make Marijuana Beef Jerky, Plus Recipes

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How to Make Marijuana Beef JerkyMarijuana Beef Jerky is my new favorite edible!  It’s portable and needs no refrigeration. It’s the perfect medicated on-the-go snack.  Campers and backpackers should especially take note, but I like to keep it around for everyday snacking too.  Marijuana beef jerky also makes a thoughtful homemade gift for the edibles fans in your life.

The flavor is outstanding with barely any discernible flavor of cannabis, and you can alter the marinades to suit your personal tastes.

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What’s Involved in Making Marijuana Beef Jerky

How to make Marijuana Beef Jerky

Before we go into detail, here’s what’s involved in making great marijuana beef jerky at home.  While the process is not difficult, it does take substantial time for the various steps such as making a tincture, and marinating and drying the meat, so plan well in advance.

  • Make an alcohol based cannabis tincture – plan in advance as this needs time to infuse.
  • Slice (or have your butcher slice) the meat thinly.
  • Make a marinade using the alcohol tincture and marinate the meat in it for 12-24 hours.
  • Use a food dehydrator or oven to slowly dry the meat at a low temperature.
  • Enjoy!

What Kind of Meat is Best for Making Marijuana Beef Jerky?

SLicing meat for Marijuana Beef JerkyWhen making jerky it is important to buy the leanest cuts of beef possible, as visible fat is not your friend.  Fat can go rancid and ruin your jerky.

My favorite cuts are round roasts, either the eye of round or top round, as they are inexpensive and most of the fat is on the outside edge, which is easily cut off.  Sirloin tip, London broil, or flank steak also work, but are a bit pricier.

As a rough estimate, plan on losing about 2/3 of the meat’s weight after drying, so buy accordingly.

Ask your butcher to trim off all visible fat and slice the meat into slices 1/4-inch thick.  You can also slice the meat yourself with a sharp knife.  In order to make the slices as even as possible, it helps to slice the meat while partially frozen.

Slice meat across the grain for more tender jerky (if there is such a thing) or slice with the grain for tougher, chewier jerky.  Choose according to your personal preference (the jerky in these photos was cut against the grain).

What, If Any, Special Equipment Do You Need to Make Jerky?

Excalibur Food dehydrator

You can make jerky, and I have on many occasions, using nothing but an oven with the door cracked open, set on the lowest possible temperature (usually about 200 – 225°F).

That said, a food dehydrator is a nice option if you have one as you don’t have to monitor it as closely.  There are two main types, the round models and the square box type.  Both work well.  If you are going to invest in a dehydrator, look for one with a temperature control.  For food safety reasons, you want to dry meat at a higher temperature than fruits and veggies (see food safety section below)).

If dehydrating foods is something you do a lot of, I can’t recommend the Excalibur food dehydrator highly enough.  It makes a lot at once, and has precise temperature controls for drying different types of foods.  If you grow your own fruits and veggies you are going to want one of these.  However,  if dehydrating foods is infrequent in your house, you don’t really need this large expensive appliance.

It’s also easy to find dehydrators at bargain prices at thrift stores, garage sales, and on Craig’s List, as this is an item many people buy and never get around to using (but they should cause you can make some awesome things with it).  In fact, ask around, your friends might just have a food dehydrator collecting dust.  I was gifted my Excalibur by a friend who bought it, made a batch of fruit roll-ups, then never used it again.

How to Add Cannabis to Beef Jerky

After experimenting with various methods of adding cannabis to jerky, I came to the conclusion that alcohol tincture works best,  Alcohol is a common marinade ingredient and a great solvent to extract cannabinoids as well.

You can find general directions for making an alcohol tincture at this link, BUT, know that as long as it is high proof, the type of alcohol for the tincture is flexible.  Bacardi 151 rum adds a nice flavor to jerky, and in the absence of that hi-proof vodka also works well without adding much flavor of its own.  Of course, you can also use food grade alcohol or Everclear to make tincture for jerky.

Dosing for Marijuana Beef Jerky

Precise dosing for Marijuana Edibles

Figuring per portion doses is a little tricky with jerky as the different pieces of meat will be different sizes, The best way to figure it is by weight.

Customize dosing by using my dosing calculator tool (available for free with my Free Dosing Class) according to the strength of the cannabis you are using and your own personal dosing needs.

First calculate the strength of the tincture, then plug in the amount of tincture you are using in the entire recipe and divide by the number of servings it makes.

For instance, for each of the marinade recipes below on this page, I used a 1/2 cup of alcohol tincture that I made by infusing a half-ounce of cannabis into a cup of alcohol.  If I used 10% THC cannabis (what the United States government says is the national average), this puts 1400 grams of THC in my entire batch of jerky.  The amount of marinade in those recipes is enough to marinate 3 pounds of meat.  After drying that will shrink to be roughly 1 pound (or 16 ounces) of finished jerky.  At a 1/2 ounce per serving, the 3 pounds of beef will make 32 servings of dried jerky at about 40 mgs THC per serving.

Note: I estimated sightly down from the 44  mgs the calculator says because not ALL of the marinade might get absorbed into the meat, and also to make up for any THC lost in decarboxylation (which is not an issue if you use a gadget like the Ardent Decarboxylator).

How to Make Marijuana Beef Jerky, Step-by-Step

Drying Marijuana Beef Jerky

  1.  Make a cannabis alcohol tincture.  This will take a minimum of 4 days so plan ahead.
  2. Use the tincture to make a meat marinade.  You can add and subtract flavors, spices, and seasonings as you like.  The trick is to make enough marinade to just cover and soak and meat, without a lot leftover.  This point is important as leftover marinade will end up in the trash.  Find some of my favorite jerky marinade recipes below.
  3. Marinade the meat.  Give the marinade plenty of time to soak into the meat.  I usually give it 24 hours.  If you are in a hurry you can get away with 12 hours, but I would not go any less.
  4.  Dry the meat.  If you have a food dehydrator (pictured above), follow the manufacturer’s instructions for making jerky.  If you are using the oven, turn it to the lowest temperature (usually 200 – 225°F) and leave the door slightly open.  Lay strips of meat out directly on the oven racks and leave to dry,  How long it takes will depend on the thickness of the meat.  Figure between 4 to 6 hours as a general rule. Your jerky is ready when it is dry and will bend but not crack.
  5. Store. Allow jerky to cool completely before storing in an airtight container at room temperature for 1-2 months.

Food Safety When Making Marijuana Beef Jerky

Making marijuana beef jerky

Cleanliness and kitchen safety is especially important when making jerky. Salmonella and E. coli are the most common foodborne illnesses associated with improperly made jerky.  The USDA has prepared food safety guidelines for making jerky, and I strongly suggest you read them.  Some important key points to keep in mind:

  • At the beginning of the drying process, meat should be heated to a temperature of 160 – 165 °F or 165 °F,  thereafter a constant dehydrator temperature of 130 to 140 °F during the drying process should be maintained.
  • Wash your hands with soap and water before and after handling raw meat.
  • Make sure all bowls and utensils are properly cleaned.
  • Always marinate in the refrigerator and NEVER at room temperature.

Recipes for Marijuana Beef Jerky Marinades

Marinades for Marijuana Beef Jerky

A lot of times I will just wing it when making jerky.  The biggest thing to keep in mind if you are creating your own recipes is to make just enough marinade to completely soak the meat, without having a lot left over.

The formulas below all make enough marinade for about 3 pounds of sliced beef each.  After drying, 3 pounds of meat will make about 1 pound of finished jerky.  A half ounce of jerky will carry a dose of about 40 mgs THC, if you made it with a 1/2 cup of alcohol tincture made according to the recipe at this link using 10% THC cannabis.

Traditional Beef Jerky

  • 1/2 cup cannabis alcohol tincture
  • 1/3 cup soy sauce
  • 1/4 cup Worcestershire sauce
  • 1/3 cup honey
  • 4 Tablespoons garlic powder
  • 3 tablespoons onion powder
  • 2 tablespoons black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon salt

Sweet & Spicy Beef Jerky

  • 1/2 cup cannabis alcohol tincture
  • 1/2 cup soy sauce
  • 1/3 cup Worcestershire sauce
  • 1/3 cup honey
  • 1-2 tablespoons of your favorite hot sauce
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 3 tablespoons onion powder
  • 2 tablespoons garlic powder
  • 2 tablespoons crushed red peppers

BBQ Beef jerky

  • 1/2 cup cannabis alcohol tincture
  • 1 cup of your favorite barbecue sauce
  • 1/4 Worcestershire sauce
  • 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar

Teriyaki Beef jerky

 

 

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6 Comments

  1. rick saunders on

    Is it possible to infuse soy sauce or Worcestershire sauce? Also, could you instead use decarbed kief as a spice additive? One of my favorite jerkys is coated with cayenne pepper before it’s dried and I was thinking of making a mix of 1:1 cayenne pepper:kief, any thoughts?

    • I have not tried to infuse soy or Worcestershire. I guess it might be possible, but it is better and easier to infuse a fat, so likely not the best choice. As to kief, I would likely put this in the marinade as well, You might be able to do the dry kief as you describe but I think it might be wasteful as it would be easier to rub/fall off on the outside as opposed to being infused in the meat. But again, I have not tried this method. If you do, please let us know how it turns out!

    • You mean you simmered in the marinade before drying? I guess that would work fine. I am not sure it adds anything over not simmering but maybe the marinade absorbs better? In any case, I am happy you liked the results.

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