The best homemade beef jerky recipe made with Habanero Peppers is bound for greatness! Learn how to make great tasting beef jerky with this easy to make recipe.
The spicy kick of the peppers and the saltiness of the Sea Salt really makes this the top jerky recipe ever! This Dragon Fire Beef Jerky recipe quickly jumped to the top of my list of hundreds of jerky recipes I have made over the years.
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
This jerky recipe has some great ingredients including: garlic powder, sugar, fresh cracked black pepper, Worcestershire sauce, and of course some fresh Habaneros! To make the marinade, just combine all the ingredients that are listed on the recipe card below in a blender and add the fresh Habaneros.
Readers Tip: Substitue 1/3 cup of the water for 1/3 cup of soy sauce for a more salty intense flavor.
Blend until the peppers are fully incorporated into the marinade. Smelling this marinade made me say “Oh Wow!” after blending these habanero peppers you see in the picture above. It was a STRONG smelling of fire, heat, and goodness! Ha.
Related Page: Dozens of Great Tasting Jerky Recipes – Click Here
Combine the jerky slices and marinade in a bowl or ziplock bag and marinate for 6-24 hours. I like using a ziplock bag as it seems to allow the marinade to fully coat the meat. Mix the bag up a couple times during the marinading process to also make sure each piece gets an even amount of these great tasting spices!
Drying The Jerky
After marinading, strain the jerky strips in a colander to remove any excess marinade. Place the strips on a paper towel and pat dry to remove even more of the excess marinade that is sitting on the surface. Doing this will help speed up the drying process.
Transfer the strips to your dehydrator trays, oven rack, or smoker racks to dry. I used a dehydrator, but you can also use an oven or smoker when making this jerky. Check out my page on different ways to make jerky to find the best one for you!
The beef marinated for a total of 18 hours before 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.
Related Page: Dehydrator Reviews
The jerky will be finished when it bends and cracks, but does not break in half. You will also see white fibers within the meat when bent. How did it turn out?! AWESOME!!! It’s the best beef jerky you will find! My wife always wants me to make this jerky for her, it is just THAT GOOD!
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 for longer lasting jerky
- Use fresh Habaneros for the best flavor, and cut the stem off each pepper. Use 1 pepper for mild spice, 2 for medium, and 3 for HOT!
- Use a blender to blend the peppers into the rest of the marinade for more spice and even flavor.
- Use gloves when handling spicy peppers.
For more in depth directions on how to dry your jerky, visit my page Jerky Making Methods or click on the pictures below.
- 1 lb Eye of round
- 1 1/4 tsp sea salt
- 1/2 tsp onion powder
- 1/2 tsp garlic powder
- 1 tsp cracked black pepper
- 2 tsp granulated sugar
- 2 whole habaneros 3 if extra hot is wanted
- 2 tbsp worcestershire sauce
- 3/4 cup cold water
- 1/4 tsp curing salt optional
- Trim all visible fat from the beef and place in freezer for an hour or two to partially freeze.
- While the meat is in the freezer, combine marinade ingredients in a blender and blend until the peppers have been chopped into very small pieces. Place in a bowl or ziplock bag.
- Remove the meat from the freezer and slice ¼" strips against the grain for an easy chew. Cut with the grain for a more chewy jerky.
- Add sliced beef to the mixture in the ziplock bag or bowl and marinate for 8-24 hours in the refrigerator.
- After the meat has finished marinating, remove from refrigerator and strain excess marinade in a colander and pat dry with paper towels.
- The jerky is finished when it bends and cracks, but does not break in half.
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