Homemade Jerky

This recipe is a modern adaptation of a traditional way to preserve meat. Bison would have been the preferred meat of First Nation's people on the Prairies but it works well with beef too.

Homemade Jerky

Origin: Fort Battleford National Historic Site
Region: Prairies (Saskatchewan)
Period: Traditional
Course: Soups and Starters

Image of NorthWest Mounted Police members Photo of NWMP members
© Library and Archives Canada

Established in 1876, Fort Battleford played a key role in the history of western Canada. The North West Mounted Police who were stationed at Fort Battleford (some members pictured above) assisted during the negotiations between First Nations and the Canadian government at the time of the signing of Treaty Six. They established the rule of Canadian law and order while the community of Battleford, the first seat of government for the NorthWest Territories, grew into a thriving community. They supervised the early settlement of the area, and even provided settlers from among their own retired members. All of this hard work required long treks across the land on horseback, and it is likely that the men carried bison or beef jerky in their trail packs. Light to carry and packed with protein, it would have been a perfect snack!

Homemade Jerky


  • 2-3 lbs | 1-1.35 kg lean round beef, flank steak or bison steak, cut into thin ½" 3 mm strips (place the meat in the freezer for an hour for easier cutting)
  • 1 tbsp | 15 ml salt
  • 1 tbsp | 15 ml garlic powder
  • 1 tsp | 5 ml freshly ground pepper
  • 1 tsp | 5 ml onion salt
  • ½ cup | 125 ml Worcestershire sauce
  • ¼ cup | 60 ml soy sauce
  • 1 tsp | 5 ml liquid smoke (optional)


  • Place strips of steak in a large bowl. Combine the remaining ingredients, stirring well. Pour over the meat, mixing thoroughly. Cover and refrigerate for 12 hours or overnight.In the morning, cover one of your oven racks with foil completely. Remove strips from marinade and lay on top of the foil in a single layer. Turn on oven to lowest setting and leave door open 1" (2.5 cm). Allow the steak to dry for 10-12 hours. Pack in plastic bags and refrigerate until ready for the trail ride.


Recipe tested by Chef David Fairbanks, Algonquin College School of Hospitality and Tourism

This recipe comes from Anita Stewart, Anita Stewart's Country Inns Cookbook, Stoddart Publishing, 1987.