Learn how to make savory smoked beef jerky at home with this easy and flavorful recipe! It’s the perfect healthy, protein-rich snack for all occasions.
Are you ready to learn how to make smoked beef jerky at home? This recipe is a great way to enjoy some protein-rich goodness without breaking the bank.
As some of you may already know, my husband was recently diagnosed with diabetes, a disease that affects a person’s ability to regulate their blood sugar. Because of this, my husband avoids sugar and carbs. This easy smoked beef jerky recipe has become a staple in our kitchen but with a few tweaks I share in my Keto Beef Jerky recipe.
Whether you’re an avid jerky lover or new to the jerky game, this recipe is sure to be a hit for picnics, hiking, or just a healthy snack on the go.
- Beef (bottom round or round eye roast)
- Soy sauce
- Worcestershire sauce
- Garlic powder
- Onion powder
- Black pepper
- Brown sugar
- Crushed red pepper flakes
How To Make Smoked Beef Jerky:
- Prepare the Beef: Place meat in the freezer 30 to 60 minutes prior to slicing for firmer texture. Using a sharp chef’s knife, trim all fat (picture 1) and slice the meat against the grain for easier chewing or with the grain for a tougher chew (picture 2-3), creating 1/8- to 1/4-inch thick slices (picture 4). Cut into 1-inch strips if desired.
Pro Tip: A friend recently shared this awesome tip with me. Ask your local grocery store butcher to slice the roast 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.
- Prepare the Marinade: In a large mixing bowl or ziplock bag, blend all ingredients together to form a flavorful marinade (picture 5-6).
- Marinate the Meat: Add sliced meat to the marinade and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes, ideally overnight, to let the flavors meld and penetrate the meat (picture 7-8).
- Arrange and Smoke: Post marination, arrange the meat on a jerky rack, cooling rack or directly on the smoker grill grate and smoke at 175°F for 3-4 hours.
Smoked Beef Jerky: FAQs
What kind of beef is best for jerky?
Opt for lean cuts such as bottom round or round eye roast as they have minimal fat, which can spoil the jerky. You can also use flank steak, sirloin tip and top round roast. I like to use whatever is least expensive at the time I buy the roast.
How long should I marinade my meat?
Although a minimum of 30 minutes is acceptable, marinating overnight is highly recommended to infuse deeper flavor into the meat. I wouldn’t recommend marinating over 24 hours though as this can make the jerky too salty.
How do I slice beef for jerky?
Pop the roast in the freezer 30-60 minutes before slicing. This will help it be more firm which will make it much easier to slice thin. Use a sharp chef’s knife to cut thin, even slices about 1/8-1/4 inch thick, against the grain for softer chew or with the grain for a tougher chew. If the roast you use is quite large, feel free to cut the thin slices into 1 inch wide strips.
I don’t have a smoker, can I still make this recipe?
Absolutely! Follow the alternative oven directions provided in the recipe notes for equally delicious results. Note the flavor will be different as the oven will not offer the authentic smoky flavor you get when smoking the jerky.
Smoked Beef Jerky Recipe Card
Are you ready to try making smoked beef jerky at home? With this beef jerky recipe you can embrace the joy of creating delectable smoked beef jerky right in your kitchen (or outdoor smoker). It’s not just a treat for the taste buds but also a healthier, protein-rich snack option. Whether prepared in a smoker or an oven, this jerky guarantees a burst of flavors, making it a must-try for all food enthusiasts. Happy cooking, and enjoy your homemade smoked beef jerky!
- 2 pounds beef, bottom round or round eye roast
- 1/2 cup soy sauce
- 1 Tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
- 2 teaspoons garlic powder
- 2 teaspoons onion powder
- 2 teaspoons salt
- 2 teaspoons black pepper
- 3 Tablespoons brown sugar
- 1 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
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, brown sugar, crushed red pepper flakes) 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.
- Smoke jerky - smoker directions below. Oven directions are in the recipe notes.
- SMOKER DIRECTIONS: Smoke at 175F. Most pieces will take 3-4 hours depending on size and thickness. 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.
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.