If your beef isn't pre sliced, partially freeze it for about 1 hour. Slice it against the grain about 1/4 inch thick, or you can ask your butcher to slice it for you when you purchase it. Trim off as much fat as you can.*If you live near a Northgate, they have top round beef slices ready to purchase at the meat department.
Combine the garlic powder, onion powder, and black pepper. If you have an empty seasoning jar with holes to shake out the seasoning, I highly recommend using this as it will be much easier to evenly season the beef slices.
Season both sides of the beef slices with the seasoning mix. Refrigerate for at least 4 hours and up to 8 hours.
Mix all the marinade ingredients except the habaneros and crushed red pepper.
Blend the habaneros and 2 tbsp crushed red pepper with 1/4 cup of the marinade until smooth
Add it back into the marinade
Pour over the seasoned beef and thoroughly massage the marinade into it.
Marinate in the fridge for 24 hours.
Line up your beef on the dehydrator and sprinkle the rest of the crushed red pepper on top (2 tbsp).Tip: The trays at the bottom closest to the heat source will dehydrate faster, so you'll need to rotate trays once or twice. Some of your beef slices may be thicker than others- try to group slices of the same thickness on each tray and then stack them from the thickest cuts on the bottom to the thinnest on top. This way you may not even need to rotate the trays.
Set the temp to 160 degrees Fahrenheit. The time will depend on your dehydrator. I have several, and they all take a different amount of time despite being set to the same temperature. It will typically take anywhere between 4-8 hours. You will have to keep an eye on it during this time. With my presto dehydrator, it takes anywhere between 4-5 hours.
The jerky is done once you can hold it horizontally and it stays perfectly straight. Another way to tell it is done is by ripping it with the grain- you will see some white stringy stuff in the center.
Let it cool down completely before storing in an airtight container for one day before eating. You do not have to wait if you don't want to, but after a day the jerky will develop a nice glaze and incredible flavor. Cut into small strips against the grain for easy & mess free snacking.