Chili Lime has become a favorite flavor among all types of snacks in the last couple of years. Well if it works for potato chips, why not jerky? After trying several different recipes, this is the best one that I created. My
Fiances' Wife's* favorite recipe so far, this is a must try.
Original Post Date: March 2nd, 2015 *Recipe updated with more pictures and step by step instructions*
Slicing the meat
Start with a great cut of beef when making this jerky. I used Beef Eye of Round, but you can find a complete list of the best cuts of meat to dry beef jerky by clicking here.
The first step of slicing meat for jerky is to trim the cut of meat of all visible fat. You can see the white fat in the picture below, just trim that off BEFORE you start slicing the meat. Fat spoils faster than meat, so the more you get off now, the longer your jerky will be shelf stable.
Slice the meat with a very sharp knife either with the grain for a more chewy jerky or against the grain for a more tender jerky.
Slice even strips so they will dry evenly and be finished at the same time. You can wrap the roast in plastic wrap and partially freeze for 1-2 hours to make slicing easier.
I didn’t use it on this recipe, but a jerky slicer is a FANTASTIC piece of equipment to help get even strips when slicing jerky.
Making the marinade
I love chili garlic sauce and that is why I LOVE this recipe. I love chili garlic when I eat Pho as well as grilled pork and rice, so why not use it in jerky?! Well it turned out GREAT in jerky!
Combine all the ingredients in a bowl or ziplock bag and mix well. Since this recipe does not have any whole peppers, blending in a blender is not needed. If you are not familiar with chili garlic sauce, it can be purchased at any major supermarket or a local Asian supermarket.
Related Page: Dozens of Great Tasting Jerky Recipes – Click Here
Add the earlier sliced meat strips to the marinade and mix around so all the strips are evenly covered. Allow the strips to marinate for 6-24 hours in the refrigerator. Do NOT marinate the meat at room temperature, always marinate in the fridge to prevent the meat from spoiling.
Once the meat has finished marinating, strain any excess marinade in a colander. I marinated this beef for a total of 20 hours before straining. The longer the marinade process, the more intense flavor the jerky will have!
Before adding the meat to your dehydrator, oven, or smoker; lay out paper towels placing the meat strips on top. Pat dry the strips to remove even more of the excess marinade. This step will help speed up the drying process and prevent the meat from being ‘sticky’ after it has finished drying.
Place the strips on your dehydrator trays, oven trays, or smoker rack to dehydrate/dry the jerky.
I dried them in my Excalibur Dehydrator for a total of 3 hours at 165°F and 1 hour at 145°F. Make sure the meat reaches an internal temperature of 160°F to kill any potential bacteria. The 3 hours at 165°F in the dehydrator does the trick. You can also pre-heat the meat in an oven before drying if your dehydrator does not heat up to 160°F. Check out my page on jerky safety for more information on this process.
Related Page: Dehydrator Reviews - Click Here
Testing for when the jerky is finished
While drying the jerky, you want to start testing to see if it has finished at about the 3-4 hour mark. Take a piece of jerky out of the dehydrator, oven, or smoker and allow it to cool for 5 minutes to room temperature. Bend the jerky in half; it should bend and crack but not break in half. You will also see white fibers in the meat. The fibers are really visible when a piece is ripped in half.
If the jerky is not finished, continue drying for another hour and repeat the same process until the jerky is finished. 90% of the jerky i make is finished within 4-6 hours when using a dehydrator or oven and 6-9 hours when using a smoker. If pre-heating the meat in the oven, drying time can be as little as 2.5 hours.
When I taste the lime in this jerky, I picture myself sitting on a beach in Mexico sipping on a Corona or a Dos Equis. Sand between my toes while slowly turning my beer upside down allowing the lime wedge to float throughout the beer giving it that little extra kick. In reality, I am normally in the middle of hot Texas without a beach in sight! It’s still nice to day dream…
To make the jerky last as long as possible, curing salt will really help along with keeping in air tight containers. I have put together a page on storing jerky and steps you can take to make your jerky have an extended shelf life. Check it out!
Old Pro Tips:
- Trim all fat from the meat before marinating for longer lasting jerky once it’s finished drying
- Use curing salt or celery juice powder to extend the life of the jerky
- Marinate closer to 24 hours for the most intense flavor
- Use fresh Limes for most intense flavor
- 1 lb eye of round
- 1 teaspoon mesquite liquid smoke (Don't add if using a smoker)
- 2 tablespoon worcestershire sauce
- 2 tablespoon soy sauce
- 2 tablespoon chili garlic sauce
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 1 tablespoon brown sugar
- 1 ½ tablespoon lime juice
- 1 zest of lime
- ¼ teaspoon Curing Salt (Prague Powder #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 allows for easier slicing and more consistent widths.
- Mix all above ingredients in a container with a tight fitting lid. Whisk marinade until all brown sugar is dissolved.
- Remove beef from the freezer and slice against the grain between ⅛"-¼" thick.
- Add sliced beef to the container of marinade and shake well to evenly coat the meat. Marinate in the refrigerator for 6-24 hours.
- 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.
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