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Brown Sugar Jerky

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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.

3.64 from 22 votes

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.
Course Snack
Cuisine Beef Jerky
Keyword brown sugar jerky
Prep Time 45 minutes
Cook Time 9 hours
Total Time 9 hours 45 minutes
Servings 5
Calories 210 kcal
Author Will



  • 1 1/2 tsp pickling salt
  • 1/4 tsp Prague Powder #1 curing salt
  • 1/8 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 1/4 tsp coriander ground
  • 1/4 tsp liquid smoke
  • 1/2 tsp white pepper
  • 1/2 tsp dry mustard powder
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 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.
Nutrition Facts
Brown Sugar Jerky
Amount Per Serving
Calories 210 Calories from Fat 54
% Daily Value*
Fat 6g9%
Saturated Fat 2g13%
Cholesterol 70mg23%
Sodium 735mg32%
Potassium 216mg6%
Carbohydrates 10g3%
Sugar 10g11%
Protein 24g48%
Vitamin A 20IU0%
Vitamin C 0.2mg0%
Calcium 15mg2%
Iron 2.3mg13%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

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 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 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 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 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…

  4. Danny says:

    Have you tried any other liquid besides water in this recipe? Like some kind of vinegar? Maybe half and half? Any suggestions?

    • Will says:

      You could definitely use some white vinegar with this recipe. I can’t think of any other liquids I would use instead of water off the top of my head.

  5. Kevin krause says:

    1 star
    I just made 5lbs of this recipe and it’s HORRIBLE! No flavor at all! I took the recipe and multiplied everything by 5, but it seems like that was the wrong thing to do? It’s as though the very little spices, sugar and salt were diluted in too much water. What can I do to salvage this rather expensive debacle? Can I soak in another brine?

    • Will says:

      That’s terrible! I remember this recipe being quite good. It must have been diluted too much. I have never tried to rehydrate a recipe that didn’t turn out well, but I have had comments on this blog from readers who have and it turned out okay. So I would give it a shot. Marinade in another recipe for 6 hours or so and dry again. Let me know how it turns out.

  6. Mike says:

    5 stars
    I’ve made this recipe a few times now, and everyone loves it. I use a bradly smoker for it at about 275° for 5 hours

    Thanks for the recipe!!!!!

  7. Ward says:

    4 stars
    Hey will,
    I had about 25 lb of wild boar meat from a 300 lb hog. Followed your recipe but used a bit of soya sauce and apple cider vinegar.. added savoury oregano and some honey… Throw a couple chili peppers in and boom, some kick ass jerky! The best jerky is the experimental jerky! Throw in smoker use white birch shavings that’s what we use in Canada, or maple! Cheers

    • Will says:

      Hey Lisa. There are 5 servings per 1 pound pre-dehydrated beef. The weight will be less when the meat has been dehydrated, so 1/5 of the final product is a serving. Hopefully that wasn’t too confusing… Haha.

  8. Bill says:

    5 stars
    Sounds great. I have been making jerky for over 10 years, and have fallen into a rut in not trying new recipes. My neighbor recently shared some Elk Jerky that had a brown sugar and ground pepper coating. Tasted great. I’m going jerky a very large and lean Top Sirloin roast that was on sale recently. I’ll use most of your ingredients and save the brown sugar and pepper for the last step before putting into the dehydrator. And IMO, it’s not real Jerky unless one uses Yoshida’s Sweet Teriyaki.

      • Bill says:

        5 stars
        Came out great. Best ever. Neighbors agree. I am going to start in on another Top Sirloin Roast, and will again marinate with Yoshida’s Teriyaki. My rub was 1) brown sugar+ground pepper+granulated onion salt and 2) brown sugar+ground pepper+garlic powder. The rub was completely absorbed but the flavor is strongly evident.

        What I found interesting in your recipe was the use of curing salts. I use #2 CS when making salami, and rarely used #1 CS on other meat recipes, but use as directed. This is the first time I had seen it being spelled out for jerky. Makes good sense to me, and I had wondered why CS weren’t used with jerky recipes.

  9. Ed says:

    3 stars
    I found this to be too mild in flavor. It was good, don’t get me wrong but it was just very mild. Should I make it again I’d alter the recipe a bit to give it more punch.

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