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Brown Sugar Jerky

The rich meat flavor and the sweetness of the brown sugar makes this jerky a crowd pleaser. You might have to keep some of this jerky hidden if you don’t want anyone and everyone within munching distance to devour it in seconds.

Brown Sugar Jerky - The rich meat flavor with the sweetness of the brown sugar makes this a crowd pleaser! | Jerkyholic.com

This was  a recipe that was taken out of the book “Sausage and Jerky Makers’ Bible”, one of the many jerky books I have strung across my living room. Bravo to the recipe, it’s a keeper for sure. My wife loved the sweetness the brown sugar adds to this meat treat.

Brown Sugar Jerky Marinade

Coriander, cayenne pepper, white pepper, and mustard powder are the main other ingredients that compliment the brown sugar in giving this jerky a smooth sweet taste. The cayenne pepper doesn’t really add that much of a kick to the flavor, but that’s okay. I normally love a good kick to my jerky, but the sweetness of the sugar is the star of this show.

Brown Sugar Jerky Marinating

After marinating for 22 hours, these strips got a toothpick through one end and into the oven they went for a total of 9 hours at 170° F.

Brown Sugar Jerky Oven

I can’t remember the product that coined the phrase, but “set it and forget it!” comes to mind when letting these dry. Just put these babies in the oven and go: mow the lawn, swim in the pool, play a round of golf, go fishing for dinner, watch the big game… Do something that will take a while! Don’t you worry, this brown sugar jerky will be waiting for you when you get back, and I promise you will be HAPPY!

Brown Sugar Jerky Finished

Not a fan of curing salts? Not to worry, you can leave out this ingredient if you choose. Many of the recipes I make do NOT call for curing salt. Just make sure that you heat the meat to 160° to prevent the growth of any bacteria.

*Leaving the curing salt out of the recipe will alter the look and flavor of this recipe.

For more in depth directions on how to dry your beef jerky, visit my page Jerky Making Methods.

Brown Sugar Jerky
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Lean Meat
  • 1lb Eye of Round or Venison
  • 1½ tsp pickling salt
  • ¼ tsp Prague Powder #1 (curing salt)
  • ⅛ tsp cayenne pepper
  • ¼ tsp coriander, ground
  • ¼ tsp liquid smoke
  • ½ tsp white pepper
  • ½ tsp dry mustard powder
  • ¼ cup brown sugar
  • ½ cup cold water
  1. Trim all visible fat from the beef and place in freezer for an hour or two to partially freeze.
  2. While the meat is in the freezer, combine the pickling salt, Prague Powder #1, cayenne pepper, coriander, liquid smoke, white pepper, dry mustard powder, brown sugar, and cold water in a medium size bowl or ziplock bag. Mix well.
  3. Remove the meat from the freezer and slice ¼" strips with the grain. Cut against the grain for a less chewy jerky. Or skip the freezing phase and use a Jerky Slicer for evenly sliced strips.
  4. Tenderize the beef strips with a tenderizing mallet to prevent the jerky from being too tough.
  5. Add sliced beef to the mixture and marinate for 6-24 hours in the refrigerator.
  6. After the meat has finished marinating, remove from refrigerator and pat dry with paper towels.
  7. Dry with your favorite jerky making method. An oven was used with this recipe and dried for 9 hours at 170 degrees.

For more in depth directions on how to dry your beef jerky, visit my page Jerky Making Methods.


  1. Pam says:

    Hi Will,

    I’ve only made beef jerky a few times but am wanting to try a recipe with sweetness in it. I’ve happened upon your site and am interested in possibly trying your recipe with brown sugar in it. What I am wondering is, do I have to use an oven for it? I have an Excalibur. Would you recommend the oven above the Excalibur? If so, why?



    • Will
      Will says:

      Hey Sean, thanks for stopping by! A lot of things will affect the dehydrating time. A dehydrator will be different from an oven, but it depends on what dehydrator you have. The thickness of the meat will also affect the dehydrating time. My dehydrator (Nesco) will take about 4 hours to dry 1/4″ jerky. My oven takes about 5 hours, and my smoker averages about 7 hours. Just make sure you start checking on the jerky at about the 3.5hr time. Hope that helps!

  2. Ed says:

    Hey Will, can the brown sugar jerky strips be layer down on my dehydrator racks instead of hanging vertical in an oven?

    By the way, thanks for the great recipes.

    • Will
      Will says:

      Definitely. Using the oven is just one option when making jerky. Any of these recipes can be made in an oven, dehydrator, or a smoker. Let me know how it turns out!

  3. Brian Navea says:

    I am doing double the batch Ingredients for 2 l/b
    just seems to me that it is not that much marinate for all the meat?
    Most are in tsp amounts?
    Thanks Brian

    • Will
      Will says:

      Yeah, not too many spices or liquid ingredients. I don’t like having a ton of marinade for a little bit of meat, I try to make just enough. Use a ziplock bag to marinate, it helps get all the meat submerged. Let me know how it turns out!

    • Will
      Will says:

      Yep! Like you said, just omit the water. Most of the recipes on the site can be used for ground jerky, just choose ones that have very little liquid ingredients…

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