Smoked Beef jerky is the perfect snack on the go, just add a little smoke and now you have a ton of flavor. It’s low carb and packed full of protein.
If you’re a fan of savory, protein-packed snacks, you’ll love homemade beef jerky. Not only is it delicious and satisfying, but it’s also an excellent source of fuel for on-the-go snacking.
While you can make beef jerky in the oven or a food dehydrator, smoking it adds an extra layer of flavor that can’t be beat. In this guide, we’ll walk you through the process of making smoked beef jerky, including choosing the right cuts of meat, preparing the marinade, and smoking the jerky to perfection.
Step 1: Choose the Right Cuts of Meat
When it comes to making beef jerky, you’ll want to start with a lean cut of meat. Look for cuts with minimal fat, as fat can spoil quickly and lead to a shorter shelf life for your jerky. Some good options include flank steak, round steak, or sirloin. You’ll also want to slice the meat against the grain into thin strips, as this will make it easier to chew and more tender.
I chose eye of round and cut thin slices and then pounded them out to get them even thinner. This is a great choice because it is very lean and very affordable.
Step 2: Prepare the Marinade
A good marinade is key to delicious beef jerky. It adds flavor, helps to tenderize the meat, and also helps to preserve it. I marinade my beef for 24 hours before putting it on my smoker.
In a bowl, whisk together the soy sauce, worcestershire sauce, brown sugar, red wine vinegar, garlic powder, onion powder, black pepper, and paprika. Place the beef slices in a large resealable bag or container and pour the marinade over the top. Seal the bag and toss to coat the beef evenly in the marinade.
Step 3: Smoke the Beef Jerky
Now that your beef is marinated and ready to go, it’s time to start smoking it. I smoked mine on my Traeger Timberline 1300 with Hickory wood chips from Bear Mountain BBQ. You could also do this in any smoker or even a gas grill using wood chips.
If you don’t have a smoker, your oven will also work! I recommend smoking between 160-200°F if possible. This will ensure you are smoking and dehydrating the meat and not cooking it.
Smoke the beef jerky for 4-6 hours, or until it is cooked all the way through and to your desired texture. For more of a tender jerky, smoke it closer to 4 hours and for a chewier bite, take it a bit longer, close to the 6 hour time frame.
Step 4: Cool and Store the Beef Jerky
Once the beef jerky is fully cooked, remove it from the grill and allow it to cool completely. Once it’s cool, store it in an airtight container at room temperature. It will keep for up to a month. Now you have a tasty snack that can be eaten on the go that is packed with flavor and protein.Print
- 3–4 pounds of eye of round or London broil
- 1 cup low sodium soy sauce
- 1/2 cup Worcestershire sauce
- 1/4 cup brown sugar
- 1/4 cup red wine vinegar
- 1 tablespoon garlic powder
- 1 teaspoon onion powder
- 1 teaspoon black pepper
- 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
- Slice your beef into thin strips and pound them out to make them even thinner.
- Combine the marinade ingredients in a bowl and whisk together
- Place your meat into a container or ziplock bag and pour marinade in and combine.
- Refrigerate the marinaded meat for up to 24 hours. (Recommended)
- Remove meat from the marinade and place onto your smoker between 160-200°F.
- Smoke for 4-6 hours until the jerky is cooked through and to your desired texture.
- Store in an airtight container for up to a month
- Prep Time: 24 hours
- Cook Time: 6 hours
- Category: Beef
- Cuisine: American