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Chili Lime Jerky

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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.

Chili Lime jerky with lime and chili garlic sauce in jar

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.

Eye of Round Roast on cutting board

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.

Eye of round beef roast being sliced in cutting board

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.

Beef Jerky slicer slicing beef for jerky onto a cutting board with knife

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!

Chili lime jerky ingredients, lime, chili garlic, brown sugar on cutting board

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.

chili lime jerky marinade in bowl

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.

chili lime jerky marinated in ziplock bag

Drying The Jerky

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!

chili lime jerky strained in colander

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. 

Chili Lime jerky on paper towels

Place the strips on your dehydrator trays, oven trays, or smoker rack to dehydrate/dry the jerky.

Chili lime jerky on dehydrator rack

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.

Chili Lime jerky Finished with lime

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…

Storing Jerky

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

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For more in depth directions on how to dry your jerky, visit my page Jerky Making Methods or click on the pictures below. 

Learn how to make Beef Jerky in a dehydrator. It's easy, fast, and delicious! | Jerkyholic.comLearn how to make beef jerky in a smoker. Great tasting and better than store bought jerky! | Jerkyholic.comHow to Make Beef Jerky in an Oven

Chili Lime jerky Finished with lime
4.77 from 43 votes

Chili Lime Jerky

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.
Course Beef Jerky, Snack
Cuisine American
Keyword beef jerky, chili lime jerky, Jerky
Prep Time 1 hour
Cook Time 6 hours
Total Time 7 hours
Servings 5
Calories 149 kcal
Author Jerkyholic


Lean Beef


  • 1 tsp mesquite liquid smoke Don't add if using a smoker
  • 2 tbsp worcestershire sauce
  • 2 tbsp soy sauce
  • 2 tbsp chili garlic sauce
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 tbsp brown sugar
  • 1 1/2 tbsp lime juice
  • 1 zest of lime



  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.
  2. Mix all above ingredients in a container with a tight fitting lid. Whisk marinade until all brown sugar is dissolved.
  3. Remove beef from the freezer and slice against the grain between 1/8"-1/4" thick.
  4. Add sliced beef to the container of marinade and shake well to evenly coat the meat. Marinate in the refrigerator for 6-24 hours.
  5. After marinating, remove and dry the strips with paper towels. Dry your meat using your preferred jerky making method.
  6. 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.

Recipe Notes

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
Nutrition Facts
Chili Lime Jerky
Amount Per Serving (70 g)
Calories 149 Calories from Fat 36
% Daily Value*
Fat 4g6%
Saturated Fat 1g6%
Cholesterol 56mg19%
Sodium 971mg42%
Potassium 344mg10%
Carbohydrates 5g2%
Sugar 3g3%
Protein 20g40%
Vitamin C 1.8mg2%
Calcium 21mg2%
Iron 2.1mg12%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

You Might Also Like:

Best Cuts of Beef for Jerky

How to Make Beef Jerky with a Dehydrator

The Best Dehydrator for Making Beef Jerky

Slicing Meat for Beef Jerky

Chili Lime Jerky


    • Will says:

      I’m glad you enjoyed it Don! That is still one of my Wife’s favorite beef jerky recipes. Thanks for dropping by and leaving a comment.

      • David says:

        Soooooooo I didn’t even click on your chili lime recipe link and I saw a comment about the chili garlic sauce. So I thought hmmm, sounds good. So I went and got chili garlic sauce from HEB. Two jars. Dumped it all in a bad with 1.5 pounds of flank steak strips. That’s it. It’s marinading now. I’m just that. What the hell did I just do…. I believe this is going to be a horrible first experience making jerky.

  1. Doug says:

    yea man you definitely gotta get 1 you can find them pttery cheap nowadays. but seriously theres nothin like homemade beef jerky.. Vera Vera goood. when I get home from work I’ll write down the recipe in the description box.

  2. JJay says:

    5 stars
    I finally got a dehydrator this was the first recipe I tried. It was fantastic. I also did a store bought island teriyaki jerky. It was tasty. Love this site! Gonna be goin through many of your recipes.

    • Will says:

      Congrats on the new dehydrator! It’s a great way to make jerky. I am glad you like the chili lime jerky, it one of my wife’s favorites. Thanks for stopping by!

    • Will says:

      Great question Braden. For this recipe I use mesquite liquid smoke. (I added that to the ingredients list, thanks!) The rule of thumb is to use mesquite with spicier jerky and hickory with more sweet or mild jerky.

      • Braden says:

        Ok awesome. I just got a dehydrator and have made the garlic black pepper and the sweet heat Sriracha, but I made them both with ground beef. The garlic black pepper turned out awesome but the Sriracha was too liquidy for the beef. But still delicious. Next up is southern Texas jalapeno, Mexican heat, Southern Chipotle and chili lime. I’m excited

  3. Jared says:

    5 stars
    Excellent Recipe!! I made some from a moose roast. I had to make some homemade chilli garlic sauce and it turned out great!

    I also made the garlic black pepper recipe with a pork loin and smoked it for around 45min folowed by 4hrs drying and it is excellent as well!

    Thanks for sharing the recipes!!!

  4. Robin says:

    5 stars
    We’re gonna try this one in the next couple of days… thanks! Just got a Bradley 6 rack a couple of months ago and are goin crazy smokin all sorts of things!

  5. John says:

    4 stars
    Hey mate, great site. Just making my first batch of jerky and have used yours as a base recipe. I actually used a heap of cracked black pepper as I didn’t have any chilli garlic sauce and I was aiming for lime and cracked pepper anyway! Absolutely delicious. Cheers!

  6. Chris says:

    5 stars
    This is by far the most common jerky I make. Your website is my goto place for all things jerky. Do you ever make jerky in a hot smoker?

  7. Andrew says:

    Great recipe! I did have 1 problem. I cooked this in the oven. Did not smoke. The lime taste was great. However it was not Spicey at all. Followed the recipe to the T. Tasted the marinade it was HOT, but the jerky was not. What might have I done wrong?

    • Will says:

      You didn’t do anything wrong. This jerky isn’t suppose to be a very spicy jerky, but just have a little spice from the chili garlic sauce. If you want to add a little more spice to the recipe, double the chili lime or add some hot peppers to the marinade and blend them in a blender. To your point on the marinade tasting hot but not the jerky… I have found this is the case with all recipes. The marinade is always hotter than the jerky turns out to be. This is why I always add a little more spice to the marinade than I normally would.

  8. JohnS says:

    5 stars
    I found my favorite recipe for jerky. Good balance of sweetness and spiciness. Thanks for posting. Also, great website to look for guidance, recipes and tips.

  9. keith leighton says:

    5 stars
    Hey Will,
    I got an excalibur a few months ago and have become very popular – thanks in part to your recipes. I just made the chili lime for the second time, it is my favorite so far.

    I am also trying a bloody mary recipe, I cheated and used a cup of Zing mix, pepper, tabasco, worchester, and celery salt. I’ll let you know how it turns out, but let me know if you have any suggestions.

    • Will says:

      Sounds pretty good to me. You definitely tend to become more popular once you start churning out the jerky! Looking forward to hearing how it turns out!

      • El Keitho says:

        5 stars
        Bloody mary had onami, but next time I will marinade spicier and leave more marinade on when dehydrating.

        I also tried a two-stage chili lime, starting eith just lime to get more of a lime undertone, and then a marinade with your recipe with lotsa tobasco added. It was a hit, but I think the citric acid made it a bit tough.

  10. Joe Zancola says:

    I have a dehydrator and I have only done mainly fruits and some veggies but very little so far.
    I have a friend that makes his own jerky and it’s better than any store bought I ever had.
    I have been toying with the idea of making my own. I have just found your website and I’m going to take the plunge . Chilli Lime Jerky sounds awesome.
    I’ll let you know how it comes out.

  11. Devon says:


    I’ve recently purchased my second smoker (the first one was passed onto a friend when I moved out-of-province) Anyway, I like the sounds of this recipe, but I’m curious if anyone has ever used actual peppers instead of a sauce.

    I am going to try using Habanero peppers in the marinate, I’m thinking a puree would be best for the beef to absorb the heat. I’ll be sure to report back my findings.

    • Will says:

      Real peppers will work great Devon. Like you mentioned, blend the marinade with the peppers in a blender to make the jerky really absorb the spice. Let me know how it turns out!

    • Will says:

      Just get a good amount of the outside of the lime (zest). You do this before you slice the lime. Just rinse it with water, dry it off, and then zest most of the lime and put it in the marinade. Sorry for the delayed response Kerry!

  12. Keith A Leighton says:

    5 stars
    I like to add a tablespoon of tobasco and and a teaspoon of chili powder per pound, just to kick it up a notch.

  13. Anthony says:

    5 stars
    Trying this tonight, smells good so far!! Will report back tomorrow! Doesn’t seem like that much marinade though for a pound?? Added a couple tablespoons of cold water just to make sure it coats all the meat

  14. el Keitho says:

    5 stars
    I quadruple this for 4 lbs, and I add a tablespoon of Tobasco and a tablespoon of Chili Powder – just to kick it up.

    I rarely get to make any other Jerky because everyone begs for this one.

  15. 5 stars
    Thank you for re-publishing this and bringing it to our attention again! I made this for a hiking/log cabin type of trip and the lime flavor married perfectly with the chili garlic sauce. I didn’t completely pat this one dry because I wanted to keep some of the zest and chili flakes around and this left with a great refreshing flavor punch to the mouth during a particularly strenuous section of the trail. I’ll absolutely be making this one again and again.

  16. Nathan says:

    Hi. I was thinking about making this and modifying it for ground beef jerky/beef sticks. How would you advise to do this? Seems like it is too much liquid for ground beef recipe.

    • Will says:

      This should be a good amount of liquid for making ground jerky. Maybe go with 1.5 tbsp on the soy sauce and worcestershire sauce and 1 tbsp of lime juice. If it seems like you can add the full amount, adjust at that time.

  17. Fabian says:

    5 stars
    Thanks a lot for this awesome recipe!
    I’m relatively new to making jerky, having started only this summer, and this is definitely the best batch I’ve made so far.
    And since I (accidentally) bought a triple pack of the chili garlic sauce, I’ll be able to do it again and again 😀

    • Will says:

      You can never have to much chili garlic sauce! Haha. I’m sure your friends and family will be happy that you accidentally bought a triple pack, more jerky for them!

  18. Jeffrey Smoker says:

    5 stars
    Hey Will,
    Just made up a batch of ground beef jerky with your Chili Lime recipe. This is probably my 6th or 7th batch of jerky, mostly with 93% ground beef. I altered your recipe to reduce the amount of liquid, and wound up with 10-11 tablespoons of liquid for 4lbs of product. BTW I use Prague powder #1. My question is, it seems that the fat somewhat separated during mixing. Ever had this happen to you? Can’t be a bad thing, right?

    • Will says:

      I have not really had that happen. If it separated out though, that’s not bad. A little fat is good to bind the meat together, but without the fat it will last longer when storing .

  19. Jeffrey Smoker says:

    5 stars
    Hey thanks Will. I learned the lesson of too much liquid trying to convert the Chili Lime
    recipe for ground beef. Just made a mess though the end product is well liked by the family.
    Learning experience!

  20. Tina Robinson says:

    I have a question about converting this recipe (or any others you have) into ground beef jerky…

    so, instead of marinating it, just add the ingredients and mix with ground beef and then put it in the dehydrator? Can it be made immediately after mixing, or does it need to “marinate” in the fridge first? Does that make the taste stronger than marinating the meat (not using ground beef)?

    My dehydrator isn’t very large and the instructions included with it say I should finish the jerky making process in my oven if using sliced meat. But I can use ground beef and do the whole process in my dehydrator.

    I’m looking forward to making some of these recipes.


    • Will says:

      Ground jerky heats up to an internal temperature faster than whole muscle jerky, that is probably why they say you can do it all in the dehydrator. I would recommend using curing salt when making ground jerky because it helps kill any bacteria. I normally mix the marinade into the ground meat and then put in the fridge for an hour or so, not to intensify the flavor, but because it binds the meat together allowing it to make better strips that don’t fall apart. Hope that helps Tina!

  21. Jeffrey says:

    5 stars
    This is for Tina. Tina I tried using the chili lime recipe for ground beef jerky and it did not translate well to ground beef. Too much liquid and the finished product had an odd texture. VERY tasty though. The Wicked Fiery Ground Beef Jerky recipe is excellent and can be easily toned down by reducing the amount of spicy pepper used. I use dried habaneros my wife grew in the garden (which I dried in the dehydrator).

    • Will says:

      Yep! If you come across a recipe that has whole peppers however, don’t just multiply the peppers. For example, if a recipe called for 1 habanero and you were making 5lbs, Instead of adding 5 habaneros, start with 3 and taste test the marinade. But for this recipe, just multiply by 5.

  22. Larry Reich says:

    5 stars
    Great recipe, but I really like lime so I went with a half cup of Realime concentrate my second batch. It really kicked up an already great recipe. Great site Thanks for all your work !!

  23. Paul S says:

    5 stars
    This is the best jerky that I have ever tasted! I used Costco USDA Prime Round Eye and sliced it up in a jerky slicer. I let it marinate for 24 hrs and just drained it in a colander before laying it on the racks to place it in my smoker, I did not remove the excess brine. I used the smoking procedure that Will outlined for his Tennessee jerky and a mixture of Apple and Hickory wood chips. Thank you Will for a fantastic recipe!

  24. Audra says:

    5 stars
    This is SO good. The first time I made this, I made it as-is and it was VERY good. Better than a few others I’ve made. I made it again today, and these are my tips/changes:
    Flank steak (did 3.6 lbs) cut into 1/4 inch thick pieces
    Trimmed as much fat as I could before marinating
    Added: 1 jalapeño + 2 mangos to marinade (all ingredients blended in food processor)
    Marinaded for about 20 hours
    Dehydrated the meat using a dehydrator at 160 for 7-7 1/2 hours.
    AMAZING results! 🙂 thanks for recipe

  25. Chris says:

    Made this in dehydrator for the first time now onto the 2nd batch . Didn’t last long. Added extra chlli flakes and tsp smoked paprika instead of liquid smoke. Thanks for recipes

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