Cowgirl is dead on as far as seasoning goes. As to the equipment question, it's really your choice too. I personally like a hint of smoke on my jerky so I smoke it. Plenty of jerky has been dehydrated too. Do a search on the forum here, and you will be overwhelmed with the amount of info on this topic. If you are totally new to jerky making, you might consider trying one of the package mixes first, Hi Mountain, Hi Country, or Shore Lunch just to name a few. That way you can focus on fine tuning the drying or smoking first, then experiment with various recipes.