I've made beef jerky successfully a few times. I used inside round and flank steak. I always had salt in the recipe, usually in a soy sauce. Sometimes I used a meat tenderizer.
I know that the reason you want to use a low fat cut of meat is because fat will gristles and goes rancid. But, doesn't that still take a little while?
What I mean is, if I took a cut with more fat in it -- like sirloin (it's on sale right now, inside round and flank is not), and I dried the meat...would that still be okay for a couple days? Beef jerky doesn't last very long around here...
Also, what if I didn't use any salt at all? I know if I wanted to keep this for a long period of time I would need salt and low fat...but what if I was planning on eating it all within a few days? Does anyone have any knowledge or experience about this?