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Alton Brown Jerky

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This week I was not feeling creative and tried an already established recipe that had good reviews already.

Alton Finished

Alton Brown is a chef that you might have seen on the Food Network, he is in many of their shows. He has a recipe online for some jerky that is actually dried using a box fan and air filters. I can not recommend the air filter and box fan drying technique, but the jerky recipe sounded pretty good. (When making homemade jerky it is very important that you raise the temperature of the meat to 160° F to kill any bacteria. If drying without heat, place the jerky after it has dried in the oven at 225° F for 10 minutes to kill any harmful bacteria still remaining)

Many of you already know that I am not a fan of honey when it comes to making jerky, but with only a tablespoon, I gave it a go.

I decided to smoke this jerky since I was not about to use air filters and a fan. I had a weekend trip planned to visit my parents in Corpus Christi, TX and thought I would bring my Masterbuilt Smoker along to make some jerky. I packed the truck with my smoker and Fiance and enjoyed the 4 hour drive south to visit the folks.


The recipe turned out pretty good and was a hit among my family. My parents dog Lucy even tasted and approved of the jerky, even though she really isn’t that picky. I did add some extra red pepper flakes and used mesquite wood chips. I love the smokey flavor you get from smoking jerky, it is so much more flavorful than adding liquid smoke.

I hope you enjoy this Alton Brown’s jerky recipe!

4.43 from 7 votes

Alton Brown Jerky

I decided to smoke this jerky since I was not about to use air filters and a fan. I had a weekend trip planned to visit my parents in Corpus Christi, TX and thought I would bring my Masterbuilt Smoker along to make some jerky. I packed the truck with my smoker and Fiance and enjoyed the 4 hour drive south to visit the folks.
Course Snack
Cuisine Beef Jerky
Keyword beef jerky
Prep Time 1 hour
Cook Time 6 hours
Total Time 7 hours
Servings 5
Calories 234 kcal
Author Alton Brown


Lean Beef


  • 2/3 cup worcestershire sauce
  • 2/3 cup soy sauce
  • 1 tbsp honey
  • 2 tsp black pepper
  • 2 tsp onion powder
  • 1 tsp red pepper flakes
  • 1 cup mesquite wood chips If using a smoker


  1. Pick you favorite type of beef and trim all visible fat. Place the meat in the freezer for 1-2 hours to partially freeze. This makes it easier to slice equal width pieces.
  2. While the meat is in the freezer, add the worcestershire sauce, soy sauce, and honey in a container. Stir the ingredients well to allow the honey to evenly disperse. Add the remaining ingredients, stir, and set aside.
  3. Remove beef from the freezer and slice against the grain between 1/8"-1/4" thick.
  4. Add the sliced beef to the marinade and stir well to evenly coat. Set in the refrigerator and allow to marinade for 6-24 hours.
  5. When finished marinating, remove meat from the refrigerator and pat dry with paper towels.
  6. Add additional red pepper flakes before drying. Dry the jerky using your favorite method.
  7. Jerky will be finished when it bends and cracks, but does not break in half. Allow to cool for several hours before storing in an air tight container.
Nutrition Facts
Alton Brown Jerky
Amount Per Serving
Calories 234 Calories from Fat 63
% Daily Value*
Fat 7g11%
Saturated Fat 2g13%
Cholesterol 70mg23%
Sodium 2127mg92%
Potassium 588mg17%
Carbohydrates 13g4%
Sugar 7g8%
Protein 28g56%
Vitamin A 150IU3%
Vitamin C 5mg6%
Calcium 58mg6%
Iron 5mg28%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

Visit Jerky Making Method for more in depth information on all types of drying methods.


  1. Brian E says:

    How did you incorporate the smoker? Was it cold smoked or hot? All I have is a hot smoker, wondering if I could smoke for a bit then dry in dehydrator. Cheers

    • Will says:

      I hot smoked the jerky. I am putting together a page on how to make jerky with a smoker that will be up on the site shortly. You can go over to a recent post, Tennessee Smoked Beef Jerky, which I went in depth about how I smoke jerky. I know a lot of people that use the smoker just to give it that real smoke flavor, then move it to the dehydrator to finish it. I would put it in the smoker for 1hr at 160F WITHOUT smoke to let it sweat. After an hour add smoke and continue for another hour at about 190F. After you smoke for an hour take it off and finish it in the dehydrator. Let me know how it turns out!

  2. Rob says:

    4 stars
    This first try at making jerkey and I used this alton brown recipe. I used my smoker with masquite as well, and followed your steps. It worked great, the texture and consistency were awesome, but I think I could have dried it a little longer.

    The taste wasn’t bad. I felt like it almost had a teriyaki flavor. My daughter mixed the marinade for me so I hope that was how it was supposed to taste. I look forward to trying more recipes. I’ll be back on this one eventually

    Thanks fof the website and your easy to follow instructions.

  3. Steve Masters says:

    4 stars
    My understanding from watching the show is the salt content in the marinade will salt cure the meat and thus cooking to 160 degree is not required. This is like any other salt curing process where the meat is not cooked. The salt kills any bacteria in the meat. Your comments above about cooking did concern me so I sent of an email to Alton Browns show and asking him. If he replies back I will post an update. His show also talked about the reason for using cool air instead of hot air to dehydrate the meat. High temp will cook the items, thus changing the taste and texture of the product. A cold air blowing across the meat is enough to dry the meat, at least 8-12 hours. My first batch was 12 hours and I think it should have been longer or batch #2 the meat was cut thinner and dried for 16 hours which worked well.
    He showed using air filters and a fan, however he used cellouse air filters which are not available any more. I made four 20″ square frames out of 2×4 lumber and a layer of regular window screen fabric and layered my salted meat on it and blew a fan across it. This process should also allow me to dry fruit and herbs also as the screens are washable. By the way, he also explained the need for the amount of honey. Honey is hydroscopic and makes the marinade enter deep into all the meat cells for proper curing. While the amount of honey sounded like a lot it does not make the meat too sweet. I also added more hotter spices than called for and not as much onion power as he called for. I agree about liquid smoke VS real smoke. I used the liquid smoke both timea and even on batch #2 tripled the amount and it still is not smoky enough for me.

  4. Susan says:

    5 stars
    I have used Alton Brown’s recipe several times and I get great compliments on the jerky. I like to use round steak, mostly for the price, but also because of the texture. I do cut it thin using semi frozen meat and a slicer. A big improvement on flavor can be achieved by using a Marivac tumbler to marinade the meat. It can marinade 5 lbs of meat instead of the 1 lb in the recipe by using a double recipe. Vacuum marinade it for 20 minutes in the tumbler and it is ready to dry. The seal to my Marivac failed once while I was making 20 lbs of jerky. Half was Marivac and half was plastic bag marinaded. The weight of the Marivac marinaded meat was much heavier than the refrigerated marinaded meat. The flavor was more intense, too. I dried my meat using white eggcrate covers for flourscent lights that you buy at home depot. I cut them to the size of my racks in my oven and loaded them up and slid them into the oven rack slots. I left the oven door down and set a box fan on the door a ran it for 12-14 hours. Worked fantastic! I wonder if I could put the grates in a smoker?

    • Will says:

      Hey Susan, thanks for stopping by! Thanks for the information on the Marivac Tumbler. I found this one on amazon, is this the one you are talking about? Looks like something I need for sure! Also, what slicer do you use. I am planning on doing some reviews on different slicers and interested to see if you like yours. Your drying set up sounds awesome! I’m not sure if that would be able to work in a smoker. It would have to be a pretty big smoker!

  5. Jason says:

    5 stars
    Hi. Can’t wait to try a lot of your recipes….. Not a fan of peppers that r hot. A little spice is ok. Well found A lot of recipes I have to try…..

    I made my own recipe for teriyaki jerky that I thought u would like to try and maybe give feed back. I got a batch in my smoker now after fine tuning it. If u r interested in trying it. Looking for an opinion. Let me know how to get a hold of u and I’ll send u what I made.

  6. Matthew says:

    I think that as long as you use the curing salt cold drying should be fine. That is all I do when making jerky anymore. I do use the round trays from my dehydrator on the fan, though. I had been making jerky this way for years with no issues. Just make sure you do use the curing salt, though.

  7. Jennifer Price says:

    Is this a recipe that could be used on ground meat? If so, how would you recommend reducing the liquid?

    Thanks in advance!

  8. Cary Floyd says:

    5 stars
    Got my new dehydrator yesterday. Made this one and the Original beef jerky. Loved them both. I will keep trying your other recipes, since they all look great. Thanks for the one stop jerky recipes shop. I bought the pink salt, but the 2.5 lb was only $3 more on Amazon, so you most likely didn’t get credit for it. Keep posting more great recipes, and maybe we have passed on the mountains a few times.
    Arvada, CO

    • Will says:

      That’s cool that you live in Arvada Cary. We probably have passed on the mountain several times. My wife is always out there hiking and belongs to several hiking groups around the Boulder area. Jerky is great for the trail!

  9. Metin says:

    5 stars
    My family and friends love my new hobby of making beef jerky. I like the speed of the dehydrator but the flavor of the smoker so I put it in the smoker for a couple loads of chips then transfer it to the dehydrator after a couple hours or so. The best of both worlds if you have the time (or keen teenagers)

    I really enjoy trying your recipes and am on the fifth one now. Every one has been good. Thanks for sharing

  10. Don says:

    I’ve made Alton’s recipe many times; it’s fantastic. When I’ve made it I’ve gone the Blowhard 3000 (box fan + furnace filters) route every time and it’s turned out fantastic. Not at all worried about getting sick because there’s enough salt in the brine (it’s definitionally not a marinade – marinades are acidic and tend to use a lot of oil whereas brines are salty and don’t use much if any oil) to murder any germs that would ever consider moving in.

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