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Sweet and Spicy Beef Jerky Recipe

  • 12 min read

In an effort to keep up with all the delicious food you can find online, we’re always looking for new recipes that might not have been covered in our previous posts.

We were recently introduced to Sweet and Spicy Beef Jerky by one of our favorite sites on the internet, The Baking Dish.

We decided to give it a try because everyone loves jerky, especially when it has a little kick to it! This recipe is for sweet and spicy beef jerky.

The meat used in this recipe is from chuck roast which is cut into strips then smoked over hardwood coals.

If you want a more traditional jerky, use flank steak instead of chuck roast or use a different type of meat altogether.

What Kind Of Beef Is Best For This Recipe?

Chuck roast is leaner than most cuts of beef so if you are trying to reduce your cholesterol intake, this would be a great choice as far as cuts go.

However, there are plenty of people who like their jerky very fatty so they will choose something else such as brisket or sirloin tip.

The main reason why I chose chuck roast is because it is easy to smoke at home.

You don’t need much equipment either – just some wood chips, a piece of aluminum foil, and a few bowls.

Also, since it’s already cooked, you won’t have to worry about cooking time too.

beef jerky recipe

How Long Should The Beef Be Marinated?

The first step to making your own jerkies is to soak the meat overnight in a mixture of water and white vinegar.

You will need at least 1 cup (240 ml) of each liquid but if you are using a smaller amount of meat, add some additional water to compensate.

Once the meat is soaked, rinse it thoroughly under cold running water.

Don’t squeeze the excess moisture out as you don’t want any extra ingredients getting stuck inside.

When the meat is dry, remove it from the fridge about 30 minutes before beginning to make your jerky so that it comes back to room temperature.

Once it’s done resting, pat it down to ensure there aren’t any air pockets underneath and place it in the refrigerator until you start smoking it.

What Is The Perfect Balance Of Sweet And Spice For This Recipe?

Sweet and spicy jerky sounds like something that could really pack a punch but at the same time taste great.

A lot of people are afraid of adding too much spice to their foods but this isn’t as difficult as some may think.

You don’t need to add tons of spice to make your food tasty.

Instead, just take a few extra steps to ensure everything tastes good.

  • Use fresh ingredients whenever possible.
  • Freshly ground black pepper will make any dish better than pre-ground pepper.
  • Make sure there is enough salt in your dishes.
  • Adding too much salt can ruin your food so make sure you pay attention to how salty your dish needs to be.
  • Cooking times depend greatly on what kind of food you are making.
  • For example, if you are cooking a large meal you may not need to cook it for as long as someone who makes smaller meals.
  • Just remember that the longer you cook your food, the tougher it becomes.
  • Don’t overcook anything.
  • As mentioned above, the longer you cook your food, the less tender it gets.
  • So unless you plan on eating your food right away, you probably won’t want to overcook it either.
beef jerky recipe2

How Long Should The Beef Jerky Be Cooked?

The cooking time will vary depending on how thick your jerky is.

For thicker pieces like hanger steak, you may need to cook them longer than if they are thinner.

You also don’t necessarily want to cook the jerky too long, as it will get dry and tough.

Generally speaking though, I would suggest keeping the temperature at around 200F (93C) while smoking the jerky so that the flavor doesn’t overpower the meat itself.

You could also consider using a smoker if you have access to one but if you do, make sure you follow the manufacturer’s instructions carefully.

Smoking jerky isn’t something you want to mess around with unless you know what you’re doing.

What Kind Of Wood Smoke Is Best For This Recipe?

The first thing you need to know about smoking anything is what kind of wood smoke you are using.

There are two main types of woods that go well with cooking, mesquite and hickory.

Hickory is considered better than mesquite since it burns hotter and longer and produces less moisture.

However, many people prefer mesquite because it doesn’t produce as much ash like hickory does.

If you do decide to use mesquite, make sure you get good quality mesquite bark so that your jerky will remain moist.

You don’t want to dry out your jerky either, so choose wisely if you plan to use mesquite.

Hickory works great too, but some people report drying out their jerky after smoking with it.

With hickory, it’s recommended to soak the wood chips before adding them to the smoker.

Soak them overnight in water to help reduce any possible toxins present in the wood.

When soaking the chips, add enough water to cover them completely.

For example, if you soaked 1 cup of chips, you would add 2 cups of water.

Make sure they stay submerged at all times while they cook.

You’ll also need to ensure that your fire isn’t too hot.

A medium heat (between 225°F – 275°F) is ideal for most meats.

Keep the temperature high enough so that the smoke stays inside the chamber and doesn’t escape.

If you let the smoke escape, it won’t burn properly and could cause damage to your house and belongings.

Smoke escapes through vents in the top of the chamber, so check those regularly to see how much smoke is escaping.

It’s important to note that there are several ways to measure the temperature of the fire.

Some recommend using a thermometer to measure the internal temperature of the meat itself.

Others say that using the “meat probe method” is the best way to gauge the temperature of the meat.

Meat probes are usually inserted into the center of the meat and connected to a digital display.

They allow you to monitor the temperature of the meat throughout its cooking process.

It’s said to work best when you place the probe just below the surface of the meat and leave it there until the reading reaches 165º F.

Then remove it and continue cooking the meat until it reaches the desired internal temperature.

Sweet and Spicy Beef Jerky Recipe

  • 1/4 cup Brown Sugar
  • 1 tablespoon Soy Sauce
  • 2 teaspoons Garlic Salt
  • 1 teaspoon Ground Black Pepper
  • 1 teaspoon Cayenne Pepper
  • 1 teaspoon Chili Powder
  • 1 teaspoon Onion Powder
  • 1 teaspoon Paprika
  • 1 teaspoon Dry Mustard
  • 1 teaspoon Worcestershire Sauce
  • 1 teaspoon Liquid Stevia
  • 3 pounds Chuck Roast
  • 6-8 hours on Low Heat
  • Soaked Wood Chips
beef jerky recipe3

What Is The Best Way To Store The Beef Jerky?

The first thing I noticed was how much better your jerky would taste if you could get some air circulation around it.

You know what else improves flavor?

Smoke! So I put the jerky in my smoker box and set it outside under the sun.

Now that the jerky had some time to sit out, I went inside to start cooking dinner.

When I came back out and took another look at the jerky, I realized it wasn’t as good as it should be.

I thought about where the moisture would go so I moved the jerk to the fridge overnight.

Then I tried again.

Still no luck.

I figured maybe the heat from the oven was too intense while I cooked dinner but I didn’t think it was hot enough to dry out the meat.

Finally I decided to move the jerky into the freezer until I could figure out what to do next.

As soon as I put the jerky in the freezer, they started smelling really nice!

That means there are less bacteria growing and the texture isn’t turning mushy like it normally does after sitting out for days on end.

After 24 hours, the jerky still smelled great so I decided to take it off the freezer and see how well it held up.

How Long Will The Beef Jerky Last?

The average shelf life of any meat product is between 3 months and 1 year after production depending on how well preserved it was stored before being packaged.

Since jerky is usually produced at very high temperatures (around 170 degrees Fahrenheit) it needs to be refrigerated until it reaches room temperature before eating so as to prevent bacteria growth.

Once it’s cooled down, it should stay good for about 6-8 weeks if kept in the refrigerator but no longer than 1 month at room temperature.

After that time the flavor may begin to deteriorate quickly.

Can This Recipe Be Made With Pork?

No matter what kind of meat you choose, your jerky should taste great no matter what animal it comes from.

You could even make this recipe using venison if you prefer.

However, there may be certain flavor combinations that would work better than others so we recommend trying this out before committing to any specific meat choice.

Preparing the Meat

  • Cut the meat into 1-inch wide strips (about 2 pounds)
  • Season both sides of each strip with salt, pepper, cayenne pepper, paprika, and ground black pepper
  • Toss the seasoned meat into two large Ziploc bags
  • Let the meat marinate overnight at room temperature

Making the Jerky

  • Preheat your smoker to 200°F / 93°C
  • Remove the meat from the bag(s) and pat dry with paper towels
  • Place the strips onto racks inside the smoker
  • Smoke the jerky until it reaches an internal temp of 160°F / 71°C
  • Cool the jerky down completely by placing it back in its original Ziploc bag(s), wrapping them tightly around the jerky, and putting them in the fridge for about 24 hours
  • Once cooled, remove the jerky from the bag(s) and place it on a cutting board
  • Wrap the jerky in aluminum foil and store it in the freezer

What Are Some Other Ways To Enjoy This Beef Jerky Recipe?

If you don’t like sweet and spicy flavors, you could leave out the chili powder and replace with cayenne pepper.

You can also make this recipe with ground turkey if you prefer.

The original post says that this recipe makes about 5 ounces (140 grams) of jerky but I got 7.5 ounces (215 grams).

This was probably due to my oven being much hotter than theirs so the temperature may need adjusting depending on your oven.

You should definitely check out their website for lots of great recipes including desserts!

Is This Recipe Glutenfree?

The ingredients here contain gluten so if you’re sensitive to wheat flour products, do check your labels before purchasing any of these items.

The best way to make sure your dish contains no traces of gluten is to buy certified gluten-free foods.

These foods must be labeled as such.

Here at Gluten Free Hub, we recommend using certified gluten free rice pasta, corn tortillas, and gluten free breads like white rice flour, oat flour, potato starch, tapioca starch, etc.

You can also look out for the “GF” symbol next to the food label.

If you don’t see that, it may still contain small amounts of gluten but they won’t affect you unless you eat large quantities of them.

In most cases, people who are allergic to gluten aren’t affected by tiny amounts either.

So, it’s better to err on the side of caution than to take chances.

beef jerky recipe

Sweet and Spicy Beef Jerky Recipe

This recipe is for sweet and spicy beef jerky.
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 3 hours
Total Time: 3 hours
Course: Dinner
Cuisine: American
Keyword: Sweet and Spicy Beef Jerky Recipe
Servings: 4

Equipment

  • 1 Bowl
  • 1 Air fryer

Ingredients

  • ¾ cup Worcestershire sauce
  • ¾ cup soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon smoked paprika
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 2 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • 2 pounds beef

Instructions

  • In a big bowl, combine Worcestershire sauce, soy sauce, honey, smoked paprika, black pepper, red pepper flakes, garlic powder, and onion powder. Add the steak and stir until the marinade is well distributed. Wrap the bowl in plastic wrap and marinate it in the fridge for three to twelve hours.
  • Set the oven to 175 degrees Fahrenheit (80 degrees C). A wire rack should be positioned on top of an aluminium foil-lined baking sheet.
  • Dry the beef by moving it to paper towels. Eliminate marinade. On the baking sheet’s wire rack that has been prepared, arrange the beef slices in a single layer.
  • Bake for 3 to 4 hours in a preheated oven or until leathery and dried. Cut into bite-sized pieces with scissors.

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