My Dr. Pepper Jalapeno Beef Jerky is legendary! This post includes steps on how to make beef jerky and the best beef jerky recipe ever. I mean, really. This post is so full of beef jerky knowledge, it should probably be a book. We are going to be talking cuts of meat, slicing tips, marinating basics, and dehydrating vs. smoking.
Choosing and slicing the meat
Start by buying a lean piece of meat, I am using a beef eye of round roast for this recipe.
Trim any visible fat from the meat. Fat will make your jerky spoil, so cut off as much as possible.
Wrap the meat in plastic wrap and place in the freezer for about 1-2 hours to partially freeze. This step is not mandatory, but does make slicing the meat at a consistent width easier. A VERY sharp knife will also work well on non frozen beef. Slice against the grain at around ⅛″-¼″ thick for an easier chew or with the grain for more chew.
You can also skip the freezing stage and slice your jerky using a jerky slicer. I use a Weston Jerky Slicer. It makes sure all your strips are the same width which allows them to dry evenly. Having a slicer is great when making a lot of jerky.
⏲️ Drying the jerky
Dry the jerky strips on paper towels to remove any excess marinade and either lay your jerky pieces across the metal racks of the smoker or use toothpicks and hang your strips. I have decided to use toothpicks to hang my strips. After drying the strips on paper towels, I slide one toothpick through one of the ends of each piece of jerky.
Place the top metal rack on the highest slot in your smoker, and hang your strips. The Dehydrator that is shown in the photos is my Masterbuilt Electric Smoker.
Open the top vent on the smoker 100% and dry for 1 ½ hours at 170°F. *Do not put water in the water pan when making jerky if you soaked your strips in a “wet” marinade. If you used a dry rub to season your meat without any liquid, put a little water or vinegar in the pan during this 1 ½hrs.*
Bring the temperature up to 180°F to 200°F and add a handful of wood chips to the smoker. Before adding the wood chips, soak them in water for about 10-15 minutes. Smoke at this temperature until the wood chips have quit smoking (about 30 minutes to 1 hour). A blue smoke should be coming out of the smoker if the wood is burning at the right temperature. If the smoke is a heavy white, increase the temperature of the smoker. This white smoke can give the meat a bitter taste and ruin the jerky.
Lower the temperature back to 160°F and DO NOT add any more wood chips. Too much smoke will also ruin the jerky; 30 minutes to an hour of smoke is just perfect in my opinion. Leaving the wood tray door halfway open (after all the wood has finished burning) to allow airflow through the smoker also helps dry the jerky faster.
If using a pellet smoker / pellet grill, simply turn the smoker to 200°F and lay the strips on the grill grates.
Smoke for 3-5 hours until finished. Beef jerky will finish a lot faster in a pellet smoker than an electric smoker. Start checking around the 3 hour mark.
Marinating the meat
Place the slices of beef to the side and assemble your jerky marinade. This recipe has a great black pepper flavor. Simply combine all of the ingredients and mix until everything is fully incorporated. Once you have made your marinade, place the beef slices in your marinade and make sure they are covered evenly. Marinate the jerky in the refrigerator for 6-24 hours.
Rating 5.0 (66) · 8 hr 30 minMay 1, 2016 · Making Beef Jerky in a smoker is the BEST way to make beef jerky. Follow these 10 EASY TO FOLLOW STEPS to start smoking great jerky!⏲️ Drying the jerky · ️ How to determine when it’s
How long does it take to smoke beef jerky on a smoker?
What is the best cut of meat for smoking jerky?
What is the best meat for beef jerky?
Is it better to smoke or dehydrate beef jerky?