The best beef jerky recipe

Crafting jerky at home can be a daunting task, but don’t worry, we’re here to help. You should have already read our article on How to make beef jerky, so it’s now time to share the best beef jerky recipe.

Jerky can be created in any flavour you can possibly imagine. If you can think it, it can be done. With unlimited options, it can be difficult to know where to begin. Our solution is to give you an awesome beef jerky marinade that you can add some colour to. Consider it a starting point on your road to jerky perfection.

Then, we’ll suggest a few different ways you can create some classic flavors. The rest is up to you. If you make something incredible then you should contact us and organise a swap for some KOOEE Beef Jerky!.

Note: All ingredients listed in the following recipes are per kilo of meat. I.e., for 2kg of meat you would need to double every amount. And you’d be dreamin’ if you think it’s OK to only to use 1kg of meat in a batch (try 5kg to start, this will make approximately 1.5kg of Jerky…). 

Beef Jerky Marinade

All good jerky starts with a solid beef jerky marinade. If you don’t add anything to this basic marinade then you’ll have a great “original flavor” jerky. The important thing here is to highlight the natural flavour of the meat, and to make the product salty and acidic enough to be safe to eat.

Beef jerky marinade recipe

  • Soy Sauce – 180ml
    • Contains a LOT of salt (important for food safety)Spices used in the best beef jerky recipe
    • Gives jerky a dark colour, and improves texture
  • Apple Cider Vinegar – 35ml
    • Acids can be helpful for food safety. They inhibit microbial growth and keep your jerky safe.
    • They also taste good. Acidity often is the first thing you’ll taste in a food, so it can be a lot of fun to pair acids with spicy (which typically take a bit longer to get going)
  • Water – 35ml
    • This is simply to create enough marinade to completely cover your meat.
  •  Ground Black Pepper – 2g
    • It’s an oldy, but a goodie. This is just enough to have a hint of pepper in the background.

An analogy. Your beef jerky marinade is a bass guitarist. It’s essential in any rock band, but most bass lines sound pretty boring by themselves. But, once you have a bumping base line it’s an appropriate time to get an electric guitar (i.e., the recipes below), and melt some faces (i.e., impress people). Get it? Good.

When playing with flavours, also consider what the impact will be on the appearance of the jerky. Breaking up the dark meat can look sesational, so consider additions like chilli flakes, crushed coriander, or sesame seeds to add colour and texture.

 

Smoked Beef Jerky Recipe

There are many ways to add a smokey flavour to your jerky. The most authentic is actually using a smoke oven, although these can be hard to find, and it can be difficult to achieve consistent results.

An easier way is to add the flavour to your meat before you dehydrate it. You can do this with a smoked spice (e.g., smoked paprika), a smokey sauce (e.g., hickory sauce), or even liquid smoke! Get it right and you’ll have jerky reminiscent of a perfect steak eaten next to a roaring fireplace.

  • Beef jerky marinade +
    • Hickory sauce – 30ml
    • Worcestershire sauce – 20ml
    • Spice
      • Garlic powder 2g
      • onion powder 2g
      • smoked paprika 2g
      • cumin 2g
    • Liquid smoke – 1tsp (Optional)*

*Treat with caution as it’s an intense ingredient.

Optional extras:

  • Corriander (crushed – adds awesome texture) 4g
  • Whisky:
    • 150ml of whisky. Sullivan’s cove anyone?

 

Spicy Beef Jerky Recipe

Every jerky fanatic has a spicy flavour ready to blow the head off anyone who dares to try it. We rate the heat of this one at a relatively tame “5/10”. We’re leaving it to you to go crazy and turn the heat up (For an expert level chilli try adding a blended Carolina Reaper)

  • Base marinade +
  • Spice
    • Chili powder – 4g
    • Cayenne Powder – 4g
    • Paprika – 2g
    • Cumin – 2g
    • Onion powder – 2.5g
    • Garlic powder – 2.g
    • Celery seed – 1g
    • Chilli flakes – 2g (these look good, but can add inconsistency to the taste)

Experiment with this recipe, you can replace the chili powder with fresh chili’s such as: Jalapeno (Mild), Habanero (Hot, with awesome flavour too) or even your favorite hot sauce (we’ve tried sriracha with good results).

Optional Extras: 

  • More chilli!
  • Smokey chilli
    • liquid smoke (just a few drops)

 

Teriyaki Beef Jerky Recipe

Teriyaki is a awesome flavour, and is well suited to jerky. It’s a great flavour to try if you prefer sweeter jerkies.

  • Base Marinade + 
    • Teriyaki sauce* – 200ml
    • Spice
      • Garlic powder – 2g
      • Sesame seeds – 8g
      • onion powder – 2g

Optional extras*:

  • Brown sugar 10g
  • honey 2tsb.

*We’re not big on added sugar at KOOEE!, but don’t let us stop you…

Best meat for jerky

In addition to having limitless flavor options, jerky can made with many types of meat. When choosing meat, it is important to remember that:

  • Leaner meat is better (fat spoils)
  • Bigger meat is better (it’s easier to handle)

Here are some great meats to choose from:

  • Beef (obviously): Choose a lean cut such as topside.
  • Kangaroo: Perfect due to its lean nature and strong taste.
  • Venison: Good if you can get it. If you can’t, consider moving to Tasmania. 

For the brave, we’ve heard of many alternatives: Wallaby, Camel, Bison, Turkey, Chicken, Eel, Elk, Salmon, Alligator, Wild Boar, Duck, and even Yak.

Kangaroo Jerky recipe (or any game meat)

Kangaroo is a sustainable meat source with a beautiful flavour. It’s also a great meat to craft jerky from due to its lean nature and strong flavour. This subtle recipe is designed to bring out the natural flavour of the meat.

  • Base Marinade +
    • Spice
      • Garlic powder – 2g
      • Rosemary – 2g

Venison Jerky recipe – Red Wine

Venison is the perfect meat for a luxurious red wine flavour…

  • Base Marinade +
    • Tasmanian pinot noir  – 150ml (or other red wine)
    • Spice
      • Cumin – 2g
      • Cracked pepper – 3g