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Garlic Black Pepper Beef Jerky

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This smoked peppery beef jerky really turned out fantastic! Don’t wait, fire up the smoker and get ready to make some really great tasting beef jerky.

*Recipe Updated 5/1/19 with more pictures and step by step instructions*

Garlic black pepper beef jerky on cutting board with black peppercorns and garlic

Slicing The Meat

I chose to use a Beef Eye of Round when making this recipe. I love the eye of round because it has minimal marbling (fat) and the cut makes jerky that has a great finished texture.

Eye of Round Before Trimmed

Before you slice the cut into jerky strips, trim all visible fat. Fat spoils faster than meat and will shorten the life of the finished jerky.

Trimming Fat

I sliced this meat by hand for this recipe, make sure to use a really sharp knife. You can also wrap the roast in plastic wrap and put in the freezer for an hour or two to partially freeze. This keeps the meat firm when slicing and allows even slices more easily.

Slicing meat for jerky on cutting board

Slicing with the grain of the meat gave this jerky a little more of a tough chew. Visit my page on slicing meat for more information on how to slice strips for jerky.

Another way to slice meat is by using a jerky slicer. I LOVE using my Weston Jerky Slicer to cut strips of jerky. It slices all the strips the same thickness allowing them to dry evenly in your smoker or dehydrator. No more pulling pieces out that are finished and letting thicker pieces that are unfinished continue drying. It’s definitely nice when making a bunch of jerky for every piece to be finished at the same time! Below is a picture of some beef eye of round I sliced the other day with the jerky slicer.

Jerky meat slicer slicing beef onto cutting board

Making The Marinade

The reason this recipe is SO good is because it has great ingredients. The saltiness from the soy sauce, spice from the black pepper, and the sweetness from the brown sugar will have you trying to hide this jerky from friends and family so you can hoard it all for yourself!

Marinade in bowl for garlic black pepper beef jerky

Start by mixing all the ingredients in a small bowl or ziplock bag and mix well. 

Garlic Black Pepper Marinating in bowl of marinade on plate with fork

Add the jerky slices to the marinade and marinate in the refrigerator for 6-24 hours. The longer you marinade, the stronger the flavor!

Related Page: Beef Jerky Recipes – Dozens of Great Tasting Jerky Recipes!

After marinating, strain the jerky in a colander and pat dry the strips with paper towels. The paper towels should not lift off any of the pepper or spices, just remove any excess marinade. This helps speed up the drying process.

Drying The Jerky

I went with the toothpick method when making this peppered jerky since I was using my smoker. This method is where you pierce each piece of meat with a toothpick which you will hang from the rack in your smoker or oven. I like this method because the jerky dries evenly and any fat or excess marinade drips off of the jerky allowing it to dry faster.

Garlic Black Pepper Beef Jerky with toothpicks laying on cutting board

I smoked this recipe along with my Teriyaki II Beef Jerky recipe in my Masterbuilt Smoker. The meat was dried for 1.5 hrs at 160°F then turned up to 200°F for 1 hr while hitting it with a handful of hickory wood chips. One handful of wood chips is all you need when smoking jerky. After it gets that tasty smoke from the handful of chips, the temp is lowered back down to 160°F and finished off. Mine took another 5 hours to finish, bringing the total time in the smoker to 7.5 hrs.

Beef jerky hanging from rack in smoker.

In the picture above you can see the Garlic Black Pepper Beef Jerky on the left and the Teriyaki II Beef Jerky on the right. Both recipes turned out amazing!

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 as seen in the picture below.

Fibers of meat showing beef jerky is finished on cutting board

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.

Garlic black pepper beef jerky in paper bag on cutting board with black peppercorns and garlic

I was extremely happy with how this beef jerky turned out. It had a subtle taste at first, but then hits you with a nice spice from the black pepper. The garlic is not over powering and if you really like garlic, you could even add a little more. You will definitely love this recipe!

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:

  • Marinate for 24 hours for the most flavorful tasting jerky.
  • When using a smoker, make sure the smoke is a nice clear/blue color, NOT white. If you have white smoke, increase your temperature. The white smoke can alter the taste of the jerky… not in a good way!
  • When testing the jerky to see if it is finished, let it cool for 5 minutes before testing it. Once cool, bend a piece, it should bend and crack but not break in half.
  • Best wood chips to use are apple wood and hickory.

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For more in depth directions on how to Smoke your beef jerky, visit my page: How to Make Beef Jerky in a Smoker

Garlic Black Pepper Beef Jerky

This smoked peppery beef jerky really turned out fantastic! Fire up the smoker and get ready to make some really good beef jerky.
Prep Time: 1 hour
Cook Time: 7 hours 30 minutes
Total Time: 8 hours 30 minutes
Course: Beef Jerky
Cuisine: American
Keyword: beef jerky, garlic black pepper jerky, Jerky
Type: Beef Jerky
Servings: 5
Calories: 196kcal
Author: Will



  • 1/4 cup soy sauce
  • 1/4 cup cold water
  • 2 tbsp brown sugar
  • 2 tsp ground black pepper
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/4 tsp onion powder



  • Trim all visible fat from the beef, wrap in plastic wrap, and place in the freezer for an hour or two to partially freeze.
  • While the meat is in the freezer, combine the soy sauce, water, brown sugar, ground black pepper, sea salt, garlic powder, & onion powder in a bowl or ziplock bag and mix well.
  • Remove the meat from the freezer and slice ¼" strips against the grain for an easy chew. Slice with the grain for a chewier jerky. Or skip the freezing phase and use a Jerky Slicer.
  • Add sliced beef to the mixture and marinate for 8-24 hours in the refrigerator.
  • After the meat has finished marinating, remove from refrigerator and strain excess marinade.
  • Pat dry the strips with paper towels.
  • Dry with your favorite jerky making method. I used my smoker to make this batch of jerky. Click the links or read the post above for more detailed drying information.
  • The jerky is finished when it bends and cracks, but does not break in half.


Cooks Tips:
  • Marinate for 24 hours for the most flavorful tasting jerky.
  • When using a smoker, make sure the smoke is a nice clear/blue color, NOT white. If you have white smoke, increase your temperature. The white smoke can alter the taste of the jerky... not in a good way!
  • When testing the jerky to see if it is finished, let it cool for 5 minutes before testing it. Once cool, bend a piece, it should bend and crack but not break in half.
  • Best wood chips to use are apple wood and hickory.


Serving: 70g | Calories: 196kcal | Carbohydrates: 6g | Protein: 26g | Fat: 6g | Saturated Fat: 2g | Cholesterol: 70mg | Sodium: 915mg | Potassium: 236mg | Sugar: 4g | Calcium: 15mg | Iron: 2.5mg
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

 For more in depth directions on how to Smoke your beef jerky, visit my page: How to Make Beef Jerky in a Smoker

Garlic Black Pepper Beef Jerky


  1. Greg Ballard says:

    Hi. My father used to make beef and venison jerky by hanging the beer from our clothes line for several days during the hottest summer months. Have you heard of that technique? Any thoughts?

    • Will says:

      Thanks for coming by Greg. I have not heard of that method. I have heard of drying over a fire outside (beginnings of jerky). I have also heard of jerky being made in a box outside during extreme heat (works like an oven), but never on a clothes line for several days. That doesn’t sound very safe when it comes to bacteria growth. I wouldn’t recommend using that method. A dehydrator, smoker, or oven is a way safer route.

      • Norman Ross says:

        growing up in Michigan we would jerky our deer meat with almost this exact recipe . We had a large beam crossing our livingroom ceiling that Dad had run hundreds of brad nails in. With full on winter happening and heat from the wood burner stove rises , the ceiling had the best and most consistent heat and we hung our jerky right there in the livingroom for a few days. Also noted we had tile floors and placed newspapers for the first few hours until the dripping stopped.

    • Serge berthiaume says:

      Hey greg
      I acctually ear of your grampa tecnic!
      I learned that tecnic here in chile south america! Here they are doing it with horse meat and call it charqui! The procest is almost like your grampa the only diffrent is they are doing it in a little garage or shelter then they do a fire to get the smoke flavouring the meat and then it take few days to get dry by natural air and not by heat!
      Because it s horse meat obviously the result it’s different then jerky and a lot more salty.

      Good luck!

  2. Judy says:

    5 stars
    This is absolutely the best jerky recipe I’ve ever made! It’s addictive. I used a ‘london broil’ that inlaws gave us. Can’t wait to make more. Thanks!!

  3. Jennifer says:

    We love this recipe as well as the teriyaki! We have a Masterbuilt as well and wondered how it worked to smoke more than one pound at once. The eye of round roasts we buy here come in a standard 3 lbs so we use it all for jerky and would like to know the smoking temp and time for more than a pound at a time. Love the recipes though!! They’re delicious!

    • Will says:

      I’m glad you guys are finding some recipes you love! Since the meat is sliced in small strips, the temperature stays the same and the time should be about the same as well. So, make 3lbs just like you would if it was 1lb. Thanks so much for the kind words!

  4. Pete G says:

    Awesome site and awesome recipes!! I’ve made very tasty batches of jerky thanks to your hard work and useful information. First time trying this recipe. Very tasty. Can’t wait to try more.

  5. Al Clark says:

    5 stars
    Hi Will. Since I found your web site, I have been making the best jerky. I bought a Big Chief smoker, and by far Garlic Black Pepper and your drillers recipe are the most popular for me. I also marinate my beef in my Food Saver vacuum unit, which cuts my marinating time from 24 hrs. to 30 mins. I have lots of success with the Sweet Maple marinade also. Bloody good stuff mate. Al

  6. Derek says:

    5 stars
    Used your recipe and it turned out amazing! It had a raving review with friends and fam alike. I had to go out today to restock to make more.

      • Al Clark says:

        I use real garlic in my jerky. I slice and dry cloves and grind it to powder. After marinating, I sprinkle more garlic powder before going to the smoker for an added “kick”. I also do the same with black pepper. Can hardly keep up with the requests from friends.

  7. Ed Westen says:

    5 stars
    Thanks, I modified your recipe slightly (I eliminated the salt and will refrigerate when done). My wife tells me I never grew up as making jerky is playing with my food. 🙂 No matter. Great to have found your site.
    Warmest regards, Ed

      • Al Clark says:

        Playing with your food is always fun, but always make sure it is safe. I always use cure in my recipes ( #3) to be sure I don’t make folks sick. Enjoy the many variables in your jerky but always make it safe.

  8. Brian says:

    Does anyone know of a jerky company that sells Beef / Bison / Salmon jerky that does not contain garlic or onions? I am allergic to alliums (Garlic, Onions, Leeks, Shallots, Chives) and it seems that garlic and onion powder are in EVERYTHING.
    Most beef jerky producers list “Natural Flavorings” or “Spices” in the ingredients which in turn means that they load it up with garlic or onion powder as if it were a magical secret ingredient.

  9. kevin d blair says:

    Much of what I know about making jerky is from visiting this site.
    That said, I tend to be a person of excess and can address a question or two.
    I typically make 15-18 pounds at a time because the house I live in requires it : )
    I use the big Smoke Vault and using the toothpick style of hanging the jerky I can easily get 20+ pounds on at a time. 18 pounds of meat does not translate into 18x the marinading ingredients. Don’t overcrowd your marinating vessel(s) and “massage” the meat several times for a 24 hour sit. So I might have 2 quarts of marinading goodness for the 15 pounds of meat, or so, use common sense. That’s all. I just wanted to address the making of several pounds at a time, it has turned out great every time. Thanks Will : )

  10. Bill A. says:

    Im looking at this recipe for this weekend. I have both a Weber Smokey Mountain Bullet smoker and a Big Chief electric smoker. Do you have experience with both types and the Weber has a Water pan to keep a little moist heat. Not sure if that is a good approach. I have never tried Jerky in a WSM, I have made it in my Big Chief and it does pretty good job.

    • Will says:

      Hey Bill, I don’t have experience with those smokers. I wish I did though! I have found that I have not needed the water pan when smoking my jerky as long as the jerky was marinated with a wet marinade such as this recipe. If I use a dry marinade I will put a pan of water in the dehydrator at the beginning of the smoking process, then remove towards the end.

      • Bill A. says:

        Weber Smokey Mountain Smokers are pretty expensive for what they are but they are but I will say the quality is top notch and Customer service of Weber is about as good as it gets. If you forget about jerky for a second, these smokers make unbelievable Ribs, Brisket, and Chicken is second to none. I’ll let you know how it is for Jerky, I think if you can keep the Temps down its will make a great batch of jerky. As the hot air from coals rises its going to create that airflow you need but not too much. I believe that is what is making my Dehydrator so critical on time is because the fan is moving a lot of air and that makes the window of when the jerky goes for finished to over dry is a narrow window.
        Keep an eye on craigslist and you might come across a good deal on a WSM… and 18.5 inch sells for 299.00 new

  11. David Semling says:

    5 stars
    I made your jerky recipe the cut of meat are used was a top round it was on special
    I cut across grain
    With the marinade I added Worchester shire sauce seasoning salt celery seed thyme and habanero pepper flakes
    It was the first product I made on my new smoker master built XL I must’ve cut it thinner than you because it only took 6 1/2 hours and some of it seemed a little dry I also had some difficulty adjusting the temperatures
    Bottom line it was very good I like spicy so that’s why the pepper flakes the thyme didn’t add anything so I’m going to delete that I’m thinking of adding Maggi seasoning for a beefier flavor
    Thanks for the Great recipe I’m starting my jerky journey

  12. Gerald says:

    5 stars
    Hello Will Thanks for the recipe! This was awesome jerky and only my 3rd time making jerky. I use a jerky tray in the oven and it works great. My oven goes down to 170 and i just crack the door so moisture gets out. And I’ve always heated the meat at 300 for 10 mins before. Got food poisoning once and it was a nightmare! So I’m super careful when it comes to raw meat. Annnnyyywayyy I have a question. My oven is on for almost 6 hours sometimes dehydrating… Have you found that using a dehydrator vs. the oven to be less expensive in terms of your gas and electric bill? I’m thinking about buying the Nesco snack master pro on amazon but if it doesn’t save money then I might as well keep using my oven. The results are great with it and especially now that snow is flying it helps keep my little one bedroom bachelor pad nice and toasty. What do you think? Also I made the Dale’s steak marinade jerky as well and it was sooooo goood!

    • Will says:

      Hey Gerald, I have not noticed any difference in my electric bill. My oven is electric and I don’t believe running a dehydrator is going to save you any substantial amount of money. If the oven method is working, then keep it pumping and heat the house too!

  13. Dawn Campbell says:

    Hi Will, my kids had me pick out a slicer and dehydrator for Christmas. I am looking forward to trying the garlic black pepper recipe. Thanks for sharing.

  14. Bryan says:

    Had a question as I’m preparing my first jerky smoke. I was given a smoker book and wanted your thoughts on the time variance. Mine is an electric smoker but not masterbuilt do you think all smokers are relatively the same cook time? The recipe I had showed 3 1/2 to 4 hours smoke time compared to your 10 or so. I do like my jerky more tender than conventional everyday gas station crap. Thoughts?

    • Will says:

      You really just have to keep testing the jerky while you smoke it. I have had batches take 7 hours with my Masterbuilt and had others comment saying it only took them 4. I would start checking it at 4 hours and then every hour after. Just make sure to take a piece out and let it cool down for 5 minutes before testing to see if it is done.

  15. Mike says:

    4 stars

    Isnt the 1/4 tsp cure too high of an amount for the cure type recommend (instacure aka prague powder 1). It states 1tsp per 5 pounds, not 4.

    Also, the recipe calls for a marinade of sorts. Do I include the marinade liquid weight when factoring in the amount of cure? Thanks Will!

    • Will says:

      You are correct that it is 1 tsp per 5lbs of meat and you can use a little less than a tsp, but it is perfectly okay to use 1/4 tsp per pound. You also do not need to factor in the weight of the marinade when measuring the cure. Let me know how it turns out Mike!

  16. Jake says:

    I just got a Masterbuilt smoker and want to try making some jerky. The garlic peppered recipe looks great. What kind of wood chips do you recommend? I have hickory, apple, mesquite, cherry, and pecan. Thoughts, anyone?

    • Will says:

      I like sticking with hickory for most of my smokes… But I have never made this recipe with apple, cherry, or pecan. It might turn out awesome! Mesquite might be a little much; if you do use it, only use a little bit.

      • Jake says:

        I’ll stick with hickory, then. It’s never steered me wrong. I also don’t want to ruin the whole batch on my first attempt haha. Thanks for the reply

  17. Jake says:

    5 stars
    So, ONE more question… I’ve had my jerky in the smoker for about 7 hours. It has the signs of being done (Cracks but doesn’t break, etc), but it looks like there’s still some liquid marinade on the outside. I’m worried if I keep it in there any longer it’s going to be overdone. Is marinade residue on the outside normal/ a concern?

    • Will says:

      It’s normal. You might have to pat the strips dry while smoking. If the jerky seems done. Take it out and let it cool on some paper towels. If you keep smoking, it will become overdone.

  18. Steve H says:

    5 stars
    This. This is the one! I just want to destroy the entire batch in one sitting. I have made the maple one too (double maple) and a few of my own which everyone has enjoyed but these delicious bastards are a game changer!

  19. Candace Studebaker says:

    5 stars
    Got a dehydrator for Xmas and this is the first of 30+ recipes we all love. Can you recommend similar recipes?

  20. Raymond says:

    Do you or any of the jerky community here have a copy recipe for Perky Jerky? I love the taste of that jerky and have been trying to make it but am not as close to it as I would like to be. I look forward to reading your comment about it. I have made the Dr. Pepper and hope to make a few other recipes from this site.

    • Will says:

      I do not. I have eaten that brand but it has been a while and don’t remember it that well. I have some friends in Austin that really like it. I’m sure they must have different flavors. Which flavor are you trying to copy?

  21. melody says:

    Hi Wil!

    Can I do this in the snackmaster dehydrater as well? Just purchased one you recommended and waiting for it in the mail! So excited to get on this Jerky journey!

      • melody says:

        Woohoo! Thanks so much for the speedy reply and for sharing your knowledge through this site! You are my new Jerky teacher! I will def let you know how this turns out. There is some Sirloin tip on sale this week. I am going to try this recipe and the Sweet Siracha one. Super excited! Nom Nom Nom!

  22. Bub says:

    Jetky’s still in the oven, but the marinade smelled and tasted great, so I’m sure the results will be tasty. Used both garlic powder and fresh minced garlic, and marinated the sliced bottom round under vacuum. In the past I’ve dried the strips in the oven on fine wire racks, but what a pain to clean. I now put a skewer through the ends of six or seven strips, and then hang them on the oven rack in rows, each strip on a skewer having its own space between rack wires. Works a treat. Thanks for the recipe, Will!

  23. Justin says:

    Hi I’m trying this out for the first time..I tried a different recipe Online and that one said 5hours on smoker.. is this one same time or 10hours like it says on the top of your cooking time recipe ?

    • Will says:

      It really depends on your smoker, the outside temperature and humidity, how thick you slice your meat… There are a lot of variables. I would start checking the meat at 5 hours. Take a piece out and let it cool for about 5-10 minutes. Then test to see if it is done. It should bend and crack, but not break in half. It should also have white fibers when you rip it apart. If it’s not finished, put it in for another hour and check again.

  24. Deniz says:

    4 stars
    Hello Will, first of all THANK YOU for this awesome website. I leave in Turkey (the country not the animal… :)) and it’s very difficult to find beef jerky here; even impossible to find good one. Your oven drying technic gave me the courage to give it a try and I dried my first batch yesterday evening. Since then I can’t keep myself going back to the finished product (I think it won’t last more than 2 days). Just one question: I have pre-heated the oven to 300F as you said and but the meat pieces has began to leave most of the moist/liquid (which is good) after 6 min. The main problem was that it began to make cooking noises. Is that normal? I have been afraid and turned down the heat to 160F at time…

    • Will says:

      Pre-heating the jerky to an internal temperature of 160F is cooking the meat. Depending on how thick the strips are, it might only take 6 minutes. The real important part is reaching that internal temperature. You can use a thermometer and wrap a VERY thin piece around it and as soon as you see it reach 160F, take it out of the oven, turn the temperature down, crack the door, and once the temperature has decreased put the jerky slices back in the oven. The sizzling sounds are normal, you just don’t want the oven pan to start searing the outside of the meat. Hope that helps. Thanks for checking out the site all the way from Turkey!!!

  25. Ray says:

    Greetings Will..my name is Ray..and i was going to make 3lbs. Of your pepper garlic jerky…is it as simple as trippling your 1 lb. Recipe? For 3 lb.

  26. Craig says:

    5 stars
    Hi Will,
    Thanks for taking the time to share your jerky recipes. We’ve tried out a couple and they’re tasty, modified a couple slightly and it works out well too (eg. half black pepper and half chipotle for the garlic black pepper jerky recipe for a bit more spice).
    Thank again,

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