Josh Applestone has always known his friends at Joe Beef like his beef jerky. “When we make it, they love it,” he says. So when they asked to include the recipe in their latest book, Joe Beef: Surviving the Apocalypse: Another Cookbook of Sorts, he was happy to share. The recipe can absolutely be made at home, even if you don’t have a dehydrator. Just remember: “It has to be cut the opposite way you normally cut a steak, so it tears off easy when you bite some,” says Josh.

Here’s the recipe from the book, along with a photo from our friend, the brilliant food photographer Jennifer May, who photographed both of our cookbooks.

Why should we find this noble staple of road trips only in gas stations? Many cultures offer up a form of hard, dried meat that goes well beyond a snack. Parts of Italy have the shredded horse, sfilacci di cavalo; China brought us pork floss; and the United States had chipped beef that was mentioned in its early cookbooks.

Jerky is dry and it keeps well; it’s high in protein, and we happen to use it a lot at the restaurants, not just in case of a hostile invasion but as a delicious “meat condiment” that turns vegetables that might otherwise sit ignored as a side dish into tasty, healthy appetizers, the dried meat used as a garnish!

No one speaks more intelligently on jerky than Joshua Applestone of Applestone Meat Company in New York’s Hudson Valley. But he also walks the walk: his is the best beef jerky found anywhere. (Josh also has a cool Joe Beef tattoo, an Airstream, and a grown-up LEGO compulsion.) This is his recipe.


2.2 pounds (1 kg) beef eye round, frozen for 30 minutes before slicing

For the Marinade

½ cup (120 ml) Worcestershire Sauce

½ cup (170 ml) maple syrup

1 teaspoon ground white pepper

1 teaspoon Frank’s RedHot sauce

1 teaspoon onion powder

1 teaspoon sea salt


1: Slice the beef against the grain into ¼-inch-thick (6-mm-thick) slices. Combine all the marinade ingredients.

2: Marinate the meat in the mixture for 1 or more days (the longer you marinate, the deeper the flavor).

3: Cook in a warm smoker or a 160° F (70° C) oven for 5 to 8 hours, or dehydrate in a dehydrator set at 140° F (60° C) for 6 to 7 ½ hours, or until desired texture is achieved (depends on the marbling of the meat and the thickness of the cuts you use).