Homemade Keto Beef Jerky is a meaty delight for all keto enthusiasts or low carb eaters. Choose between oven or smoker, and enjoy every bite!
From busy workdays to adventurous hikes, there’s always a moment that calls for a high-protein, low-carb snack. My family’s food adventures were flipped upside down when my husband was diagnosed with Diabetes. This recipe was created with him and his snacking needs in mind.
Keto beef jerky is a chewy, flavorful treat that’s not only satisfying but also packs a nutritional punch. And the best part? You can easily make it at home, your way – be it in an oven or a smoker.
How To Make Keto Beef Jerky
- Beef roast
- Coconut aminos
- Garlic powder
- Onion powder
- Brown monk fruit (or another zero-calorie sweetener)
- Crushed red chili flakes
- Worcestershire sauce
- Siracha (optional)
Prep and Cook:
Slicing the Meat: Opt for a beef roast, preferably round eye or bottom round. Trim any visible fat then slice the beef into 1/8-1/4 inch slices. If you prefer, you can cut them further into 1-inch strips.
Pro Tip: My friend Caytlin over at The Stay At Home Chef shared a fantastic tip for slicing. She asks her local grocery store butcher to slice it before leaving the store. Usually they will do this for free as you are buying the meat from their meat counter. It’s a great time saver if you ask me. I will be trying this next time I see round eye or bottom round on sale at my local grocery store.
Prepping the Marinade: In a bowl or Ziplock bag, mix all the ingredients mentioned above. Once the marinade is ready, add your sliced meat. Ensure that every piece gets a good coating of the marinade. For optimum flavor, let it sit for a while. Overnight marination is recommended.
Bake or Smoke: Last but not least, pick your method of drying your beef jerky. Check out my pro and con list below for each if you don’t know which one to try first.
Oven Beef Jerky vs. Smoked Beef Jerky:
Oven Beef Jerky:
- Pros: Easily accessible and consistent temperature.
- Cons: Might lack that authentic smoky flavor. For me this is a big deal but if it’s not for you, oven beef jerky is a great option for most.
Directions: Preheat your oven, preferably convection, to 170°F. Arrange the marinated slices on a cookie sheet with a wire cooling rack. Alternatively, use the toothpick method as described above. Bake for 3-4 hours, checking from 2 1/2 hours onwards.
Smoked Beef Jerky:
- Pros: Imparts a genuine smoky flavor, enhancing the overall taste. If your smoker is temp. regulated it is easy to “set it and forget it” until you need to start checking.
- Cons: Requires a smoker and might take slightly longer depending on the type of smoker you have. If smoker is not temp. regulated you have to “babysit” it until the beef jerky is done.
Directions: Heat the smoker to 175°F. Lay the marinated meat slices on the smoker grates or on jerky trays. Smoke for 3-4 hours, checking from 2 1/2 hours for doneness.
Keto Beef Jerky: FAQs
Do I have to marinade the meat for a whole day?
While you can marinate the meat for just 30 minutes, overnight marination is recommended for deeper flavors. I have made this recipe with a short hour marinade and overnight. It makes a difference. Both were delicious but the meat that was marinaded longer was preferred if they had to choose between the two.
What meat is best for beef jerky?
Round eye or bottom round beef roasts are ideal because of their lean texture and minimal fat. You can also use flank steak, sirloin tip and top round roast. I like to use whatever is least expensive at the time.
Best way to slice beef roast for beef jerky.
Some cuts of meat can be more tough then others. I typically cut 1/8 to 1/4-inch slices against the grain of the meat. This will offer a softer bite when chewing. If you prefer very chewy jerky feel free to cut with the grain. This will provide a more chewy, tough bite.
Also, slightly frozen beef roast is much easier to slice. Try popping your meat in the freezer for 30 to 45 minutes before slicing. I promise you will thank me later.
Will oven or smoker beef jerky taste better?
Both methods have their merits. Oven beef jerky is convenient with temperature controls, while smoker jerky offers a distinctive smoky flavor. My family prefers smoked jerky because of the added smokiness.
I like it spicy. What can I add to crank up the heat?
You can add more crushed red chili flakes or increase the amount of siracha. You can also add up to a teaspoon of cayenne pepper. Careful though, once the spiciness is in there you can’t take it back.
Keto Beef Jerky Recipe Card
Hit up this keto beef jerky recipe for an awesome low carb snack everyone will enjoy. Whether you’re diabetic, keto dieter or just someone on the hunt for a tasty, protein-rich treat, this jerky ticks all the boxes. With the dual methods of preparation, you have the freedom to choose based on your equipment and flavor preference. Whichever way you go, one thing’s certain: each bite will leave you craving for more. So, why wait? Give it a try and experience a snack game-changer. Here’s the recipe!
- 2 pounds beef, bottom round or round eye roast
- 1/2 cup coconut aminos
- 1 Tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
- 2 teaspoons garlic powder
- 2 teaspoons onion powder
- 2 teaspoons salt
- 2 teaspoons black pepper
- 3 Tablespoons zero calorie sugar substitute, monkfruit sugar or brown monkfruit sugar
- 1 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
- 1 teaspoon siracha, optional for additional spiciness
For easier slicing place meat in freezer 30 to 60 minutes prior to slicing. This will make the meat firmer.
- Using a sharp chef's knife, remove all fat from the
outside of the meat. Slice meat against the grain for easier chewing or with the grain for tougher chew. Cut slices 1/8- to 1/4-inch-thick slices. Cut into 1-inch strips if desired.
- In a large mixing bowl or ziplock bag, blend all other ingredients
together (coconut aminos, Worcestershire sauce, garlic powder, onion powder, salt, black pepper, sugar substitute, crushed red pepper flakes, siracha if using) to form the marinade.
- Add sliced meat to marinade. Let the sliced meat marinade for 30 minutes up to overnight. Overnight is highly recommended for deeper flavor.
- After marinading, place sliced meat on a jerky rack, cooling rack or right on the smoker grill grate.
- Dry/cook jerky - oven directions and smoker directions below.
- OVEN DIRECTIONS: Preheat your oven, preferably convection, to 170°F. Arrange the marinated slices on a cookie sheet with a wire cooling rack. Alternatively, use the toothpick method as described in my blog post. Bake for 3-4 hours, checking for doneness from 2 1/2 hours onwards. Depending on thickness and placement in the oven, some pieces my be ready sooner than others. You know it is done if you shake it and it doesn't bend and any white fat has melted away or turned a dark amber color.
- SMOKER DIRECTIONS: Smoke at 175F. Most pieces will take 3-4 hours. Some pieces may be done before that though so start checking for doneness after 2 1/2 hours. Continue smoking until ready. You know it is done if you shake it and it doesn't bend and any white fat has melted away or turned a dark amber color.
Let jerky cool then store it in an airtight container.