Not If I Save You First / Oven Beef Jerky

This was a cute and adventurous YA story that I sped through in one night. It was kind of like a gender swapped First Daughter/Chasing Liberty with a little bit of Hanna thrown in. The book follows Maddie, daughter of a secret service agent, and Logan, son of the president, who are off in Alaska, when Logan is suddenly threatened, and Maddie’s survival smarts must save them both. It was great to see such a strong female character, even if it stretched beyond believability at times.

I decided to try my hand at this Trisha Yearwood oven baked beef jerky recipe for this novel. While Maddie was seemingly prepared for every crazy situation they found themselves in, she had to rely on foraging food from the frozen surroundings. Honestly, given how hyper capable she was presented as, I was surprised she didn’t have beef jerky and power bars sewn into the lining of her coat.

BBQ Beef Jerky


  • ½ cup ketchup
  • ½ cup brown sugar
  • ½ cup apple cider vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • 1 ½ pounds top round, top sirloin or similar cut of beef, placed in the freezer for 30 minutes


Stir together the ketchup, brown sugar, vinegar, Worcestershire, salt, garlic powder and paprika in a bowl. Thinly slice the frozen beef against the grain. Coat the meat in the mixture. Marinate the meat, refrigerated, for 4 hours or overnight.

Preheat the oven to 200 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with foil and set a baking rack on top.

Lay the slices of meat flat on the baking rack in a single layer. Bake until the jerky is completely dried, 3 1/2 to 4 hours.

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