You don't need a fancy dehydrator to make great tasting jerky. Most dehydrators can't circulate air fast enough to dry out meat alone so they use heat to dry it out. The problem with heat is that your meat is slowly cooking and that will change the flavor and texture of your jerky. What you need is cool dry air. Let me show you how it's done.
First gather the ingredients:
2 pounds of flank steak (or other lean cut) (elk or venison are superb choices)
2/3 cup of soy sauce
2/3 cup of Worcestershire sauce
1 T honey
2 tsp ground black pepper
2 tsp onion powder
1 tsp red pepper flakes
1 tsp liquid smoke
3-4 air filters with grooves (prefer cellulose over fiberglass)
1 box fan
Wrap your steak in plastic wrap and place in the freezer until just frozen. This will aid you in slicing thin strips. Mix the rest of the ingredients together in a bowl to create your marinade.
Once your steak is almost frozen take it out of the freezer and remove any excess fat.
Cut thin strips with the grain of the meat. About the size of a piece of bacon.
Place the bag in a bowl to ensure that all the meat remains submerged, and place in your refrigerator for 3-6 hours. No more, no less. If under 3 hours the marinade will not have enough time to work its magic and if over 6 hours it will be too salty.
Then stack your filters on your fan and secure with a bungee cord. Turn your fan on high and walk away. I put mine on the back porch because I was tired of the cat howling and trying to get into the meat. But if you love the smell then keep it in the house. Check on the meat after 8 hours but it normally takes 13 hours for it to be complete.
After drying overnight my jerky is done. It may not be attractive, but my taste buds don't care!
Don't store your jerky in a zip top bag, it will trap moisture against the meat, partially re-hydrating it, and you will have mold in less than a month. Use a container that is nice and open with plenty of room and air in it, then your jerky will keep for years.
I would like to thank Alton Brown for this delicious recipe.