How to Make the Best Beef Jerky in the World

I'm a chiropractor and board game inventor who loves to write about cooking in my free time.

This beef jerky recipe is absolutely delicious.

This beef jerky recipe is absolutely delicious.

The secret to the best beef jerky in the world is at your fingertips. It will make you drool.

Growing up in Southern Alberta, Canada, I was in "Beef Country." There were cattle everywhere and beef was a staple meat in our house. I remember that when summer came our family would often make large batches of beef jerky on our dehydrator that we could then take with us on backcountry hiking trips or to scout camps.

At a fairly young age (10 or 12) I began to make this beef jerky myself, under my mother's guidance, of course. I would use money that I had made from delivering newspapers to buy the meat and the marinating supplies and then mom would supply the spices and the dryer.

When I moved out to Toronto for post-secondary schooling, I did not realize how much of a novelty my beef jerky would be. I made some for a few friends and eventually the word spread until I was selling large quantities of it to my classmates. For a minute or two I was thinking that I would start a beef jerky business and make millions. Of course that did not happen and I have moved on to other dreams. So, rather than keep the secret recipe hidden and unavailable, I am going to share it with the world. I hope you enjoy it!

Wet jerky newly loaded onto the dehydrator and ready for drying.

Wet jerky newly loaded onto the dehydrator and ready for drying.

Beef Jerky Recipe

  • 1/2 Cup Liquid Smoke
  • 3 Cups Dark Soy Sauce
  • 2 Cups Brown Sugar
  • Some Red Pepper Flakes and Black Pepper


To begin you need to go and purchase the meat from a butcher or at the meat department of your local grocery store. Purchase inside round, outside round, or sirloin tip (whatever is the cheapest). Have the butcher cut the meat into 1/8 inch thick pieces. Combine all of the ingredients above in a large container. Cut the beef into strips that will fit easily onto your dehydrator. Place the strips into the container with the marinade. Let the meat marinate overnight and then place on dehydrator racks. Spice the jerky with additional red pepper flakes and black pepper. The meat should take from 24-48 hours to dry.

When you are done drying your meat keep a good portion out for you to eat (because you will get addicted very quickly), but keep the remainder of the dried meat in the freezer in a sealed freezer bag to preserve the jerky's freshness. In the freezer the jerky will taste good for 6 months or more. On the counter freshness varies on the temperature and humidity of where you live.

Enjoy this beef jerky because it is simple to make and is so darn tasty. If you have any of your own beef jerky methods or recipes please let me know. I am always looking for new ideas... my wife has told me that my next batch needs to be maple syrup flavored.


Mom115 on February 06, 2020:

So, I have kiddos who have food allergies and REALLY miss having meat sticks and Beef Jerky. I would like to make them some, but I'm not sure what to use/sub for the items we can't have. Jerky without Black Pepper or any kind of Peppers, garlic, soy, orange. Any suggestions??

Quentin on June 02, 2019:

How many pounds do you use for that recipe?

Cynthia on April 20, 2019:

I have made this recipe twice and it yummmmmeee. I was not sure just four ingredients could pack that flavor. Wow. I did cut the liquid smoke amount in half the second time pernthe request of my hubby.

Carol on September 24, 2018:

Can I use other meats like turkey or chicken or venison

CHARLES P FOLEY on August 15, 2018:

I make a lot of jerky lately from ground beef and venison. Many of my older customers with teeth that are not what they used to be, prefer it this way.

I noticed your recipe does not include a curing salt. With the low drying temp of a dehydrator, would it not be advisable to include a curing salt? I'm not putting down your methods, I know you've done this a long time too,. Just looking for your input on curing salt.

Richard Ned on April 17, 2018:

Teriyaki Beef Jerky

1 ½- 2 ½ lb’s Round, London Broil (or something lean not much fat) = ¼ strips dry 7 - 9 hours

Marinade Strips of Beef for 24 – 36 hours.

Pat dry strips, pier to Dehydrating.

Place strips on something that allows for good air to flow so moisture can escape some.

This can be done in a Dehydrator or Oven.

I use a Excalibur 5 rake with Stainless steel rakes

Heat Oven to 160 f and place in oven.. takes between 7 to 9 hours. Check after 6 hrs. no red should show. Strips should bend without breaking. Once done. Let stand to cool then place in zip bag and enjoy.

Most likely it won’t last long…

Marinade ingredients

• 1 Tablespoon Brown Sugar

• 1 ½ teaspoons Kosher salt

• ½ teaspoon Garlic powder (not garlic salt)

• 1 teaspoon Onion powder (not onion salt)

• ¼ teaspoon freshly ground Black Pepper

• 2/3 cup bottled Teriyaki marinade

• ½ cup no-pulp orange juice

• ¼ cup water

• 1 Tablespoon Honey

• 1 teaspoon soy sauce

• 1 teaspoon liquid smoke

Hope you enjoy it.

John Colburn on April 12, 2018:

I use a London broil or pork loin

I 16 oz bottle of Moore’s marinade

1can of Roland’s chipotle peppers in Adobo sauce

2 TBS of smoked paprika

Purée all together.

Marinate 12-24 hours in refrigerator. I have a round Open Country dehydrator with a top motor. I dehydrate for 3 1/2 to 4 hours. Love the pork.

James w mallory on March 26, 2018:

I just use Dale's steak sauce and pepper flakes and coarse black pepper, and 1 cup moon shine.

Joseph Daubert on March 24, 2018:

Instead of 3 cups of soy sauce use 2 cups soy sauce and 1 cup Jack Daniel's...mmm mmm good :)

Keith on March 17, 2018:

Bought a Nesco round dehydrator on clearance at a BiLo store that was closing. Paid $19.99! I had my doubts because I had tried a round dehydrator I bought at a yard sale years before and it was a bust: no heat, only air, so it took forever to dry anything and I was afraid to try meat because of the lack of heat. And nearly impossible to clean. But the Nesco has been a dream! Heats perfectly, finishes a full batch of jerky in 4 hours (I checked the temperature with a probe and it is between 160 and 170). Dries evenly from top to bottom and is EASY to clean up. I have my butcher slice London Broil ~ 1/8 thick for me and I slice the strips. Marinate in a mix very similar to the one above and it turns out great!

Nana on February 04, 2018:

I bought Cabela's $199 10-tray dehydrator on sale for $99, and my friend who has a top-of-the-line Excaliber says mine is about as good as hers. If you can spend the money, buy one that has a motor in the back (rectangular trays also), rather than a round one with motor in the bottom, so you won't have to rotate trays during drying time. However, even the cheapest dehydrator is better than no dehydrator at all. Thanks to all of your for the recipes.

Richard Runnion on January 25, 2018:

A couple of suggestions. I have sold my jerky all over the U.S. I can’t give out the exact recipe but it involves eye of round sliced, Worcestershire sauce, soy sauce, granulated garlic and restaurant grind black pepper. This is NOT a sweet jerky because I believe the inventors, Native Americans and frontiersmen, wouldn’t go near that kind of sweetness. On certain orders I add cayenne pepper. There is a product on the market called the Merinator, which will do 5 lbs. of meat in 20 minutes. Serious jerky buffs will use a Parallax 9-drawer dehydrator which will do the job in 4 hours.

Pam on January 06, 2018:

What kind of meat do you use?

Linda on December 14, 2017:

Tried a few different recipes. This is my favorite and so simple! I used 5 lbs of beef for the amount of marinade mixture.

Brian on December 09, 2017:

my recipe is a little more involced but worth it. with 2lbs of meat i use,

1/2 cup worcestershire

1/2 cup sou sauce

1/4 cup sriracha hot sauce

1 tbs liquid smoke

1 tbs a-1 steak sauce

1 tbs minced onion

1 tbs minced garlic

1 tbs coarse salt

put in fridge over night.

dehydrate till done.

Sandi S. on November 22, 2017:

24-48 hours to dry, that seems like a very long time. Most recipes I see are 6 - 8 hours

Andrew.M on September 28, 2017:

I tried this Recipe! Wow is it good, the best I've had yet!

Bone on August 05, 2017:

Please somebody tell us how much meat this marinate will do????????

Dave W. on July 07, 2017:

Hilary Blainey, you've lost your mind....must be your first name....this recipe is so simple and delicious. I love it!

Janis on May 14, 2017:

What is the brand of dehydrated did you use

bob on May 13, 2017:

I have gone through all the same things as you. 1 thing changed it all... my pellet smoker/grill! enough said!

Brad on April 21, 2017:

Kinda basic

Brett Barrett on March 22, 2017:

G'day, this looks pretty good I'll try this recipe next batch I make, also I was planning on trying a dry rub and wondering if they turn out any good as I have only done wet marinades before.

Jay on January 29, 2017:

How many pounds of meat for this mixture?

Tom on December 27, 2016:

I use soy and teriyaki, a quart of each, some hickory seasoning, fresh garlic, and 12 to 15 pounds of bottom round roast. Slice the meat myself and soak overnight. Takes about 5 hours in Excalibur 9 tray dehydrator. Before the drying process sprinkle with crushed red pepper. Good stuff.

Linda on November 07, 2016:

Really enjoyed your bling! This is all I've used for the last 30 years. Recently using the same base recipe, I added 1/8tsp garlic & onion powder, a few good shakes of Worcester Sauce, with a few good shakes of Tabasco Sauce. I had aprx 1 1/2 lbs of beef, trimmed of fat, into bite size pieces, & placeded into a freezer zip bag. Placed this in a bowl into the frige that eve, massaging it morning & night for 2 nights. Placed in dehydrator the next am rotating shelves till cooked thru. Like you, I've never had anyone dislike my jerky

Desertdan on August 29, 2016:

I've been making jerky for at least 45 years, This sounds like a good recipe I'll let you know, My favorite is teriyaki sauce the kikoman orange labeled one, brown sugar, garlic fine granular and half as much water as teriyaki sauce, and my Desertdan pepper blend, let marinade all night, put on racks with a sprinkle of Pepper Blend, dry 150 F for 5hrs 1/8" thick pc's thicker pc's add time not heat. I use a dehydrator after 3hrs rotate trays. Turkey works use the Breast tenders.

Becky H on August 27, 2016:

Josh, you can find Liquid Smoke in the condiments section of any grocery store -- where they have ketchup and A-1 Sauce.

Tim on August 22, 2016:

Look's good made me hungry

Kat on July 29, 2016:

Just made a batch, without the red pepper flake, and it's delicious!! Going to need to make more, this won't last until our camping trip.

Hilary blainly on March 14, 2016:

This recipe sucks I hated it

kent jardine on February 07, 2016:

I always use liquid smoke and hickory liquid as well. Everybody eats my jerky up and asks me to make more. I have never had anyone complain. 5# lasts about 2 days.

Brittany on March 30, 2015:

i recommend you try about a 1/4 cup of sirachia sauce in place of the red pepper flakes. It gives it a better consistent heat

meredith on December 14, 2014:

About how many pounds of meat would the marinade, made as listed, be good for?

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