Home » Beef Jerky Recipes » Habanero Tabasco Jerky

Habanero Tabasco Jerky

Watch out, this Habanero Tabasco jerky is spicy! I love spicy jerky and this recipe just jumped to the top of my favorite recipe list.

Habanero TabascoI wasn’t sure how I would like this recipe as I very rarely use Tabasco on anything I eat. Don’t get me wrong, I love hot sauce, just not Tabasco. I understand that Tabasco has been around forever and has many fans of it’s taste; I’m just not one of them. The only reason I tried a recipe with Tabasco is because I have never tasted their Habanero sauce.

The habanero spice really adds to this jerky. My lips have a little burn and my face is flush as I type this. You guessed it, I am writing while eating this Habanero Tabasco jerky!

Habanero Tabasco Jerky

Another technique I used in this recipe is adding smoked paprika instead of liquid smoke. Seeing as I do not use cure in 60% of my recipes, the jerky is normally missing that red tint that makes commercial jerky so appealing to the eye. Well, using smoked paprika will give your jerky a smoky flavor and a little color for aesthetic reasons.

Habanero Tabasco JerkyI used a Beef Top Round thinly sliced for this recipe. My local super market had 1lb already sliced top round just ready to be made into jerky. As you know, I normally only make 1 pound of jerky when using a new recipe. This way I don’t waste a bunch of meat if the recipe turns out bad. Knowing what I know now, I should have made 5lbs!

It took a total of 4 hours to dry this jerky with my tried and true dehydrator. Three hours at 160° and 1 hour at 140° made this just perfect. Since the meat was cut very thin, about 1/8″, I did not do an initial heat treatment in the oven. Being so thin, an hour in the dehydrator at 160° should kill all bacteria. If the meat was a little thicker, an initial heat treatment would be recommended.

So go grab some meat, plug in the dehydrator, and sit back while making this fantastic Habanero Tabasco Jerky!

Habanero Tabasco Jerky


4.36 from 14 votes

Habanero Tabasco Jerky

Watch out, this Habanero Tabasco jerky is spicy! I love spicy jerky and this recipe just jumped to the top of my favorite recipe list.
Course Snack
Cuisine Beef Jerky
Keyword beef jerky, Habaneros
Prep Time 45 minutes
Cook Time 4 hours
Total Time 4 hours 30 minutes
Servings 5
Calories 181 kcal
Author Jerkyholic


Lean Beef


  • 3 tbsp worcestershire sauce
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp black pepper
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 2 tsp smoked paprika
  • 1 tbsp Tabasco Habanero Sauce



  1. Pick a lean cut of beef and trim all visible fat. After trimming the fat, place the meat in the freezer for an hour or two to partially freeze. If purchasing already sliced beef, skip steps 1 & 3.
  2. While the meat is in the freezer, combine and mix the worcestershire sauce, water, salt, black pepper, garlic powder, smoked paprika, and tabasco in a medium size bowl or ziplock bag.
  3. Remove meat from the freezer and slice against the grain between ⅛" - ¼" in thickness.
  4. Add sliced beef to the mixture and marinate for 6-24 hours in the refrigerator.
  5. After the meat has finished marinating, remove from refrigerator and pat dry with paper towels.
  6. Dry with your favorite jerky making method. A dehydrator was used when making this recipe. The slices were placed on dehydrator racks so they were not overlapping or touching. Dried for 3 hours at 160 degrees and 1 hour at 140 degrees.
  7. Jerky will be finished when it bends and cracks, but does not break in half. Allow to cool for several hours before storing in air tight containers.
Nutrition Facts
Habanero Tabasco Jerky
Amount Per Serving (70 g)
Calories 181 Calories from Fat 63
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 7g 11%
Saturated Fat 2g 10%
Cholesterol 70mg 23%
Sodium 668mg 28%
Potassium 308mg 9%
Total Carbohydrates 3g 1%
Sugars 1g
Protein 24g 48%
Vitamin A 7.9%
Vitamin C 4%
Calcium 1.6%
Iron 16.3%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.


  1. Casey says:

    First of all thank you for making this site. It has become by favorite reference thus far. I’m planning on giving this recipe a try. I would like to gain the safety of using the prague powder #1, so I can give some away and not worry about how it is stored. Can I simply replace some of the salt with the recommended amount of curing salt? Should anything else be modified? I will probably want to include the cure in all the recipes I make, just for convenience of storage/shipping.

    • Will says:

      You have it absolutely right. Just replace some of the salt with the curing salt. This recipe calls for 1 tsp of salt per pound of jerky. If using the Prague Powder #1, add 1/4tsp Prague Powder #1 & 3/4tsp of table salt. I LOVE this recipe. I just made it this past week and ate it on my hunting trip. Helped me put down a 10 point! Enjoy!

  2. Tim says:

    Hi, Will,
    Really enjoying your website and trying out your recipes. Dos Peppers being my favorite so far. Trying Habanero Tabasco today. If I use 3lbs of meat should I triple the ingredients or will that water it down too much?

    Keep up the good work!


    you live in one of my favorite cities!

    • Will says:

      Thanks Tim! With this recipe I would go ahead and triple the ingredients. Maybe start with 2 tsp of salt and then add more to taste. There isn’t a lot of liquid ingredients in this recipe, so I wouldn’t worry about it watering it down. Dos Pepper is one of my favorites too! Austin is cool man. I love this city and have had A LOT of fun here. However, I am picking up next month and moving just outside Denver. Ready to check out Colorado and do some serious hiking!

      • Tim says:

        Another one of my favorite cities! I’m a touring musician and we go there quite often. Make sure you check out Red Rocks! My favorite venue I’ve ever played.

        • Will says:

          Nice! Yeah, we already have some tickets to go see the Avett Brothers at the Red Rocks. One of the many things my wife and I can’t wait to do in Colorado!

  3. Roland says:

    Awesome recipe Will! Thank you for putting this up, I replaced the Tabasco with Dave’s Insanity sauce. The heat creeps on you but it’s so addictive!

  4. DCP says:

    The appearance of a Michigan hat indicates that this is going to be a superb jerky; I’ll post back with what I’m assuming are excellent results

  5. Julie-Anne Treasure says:

    Hi from Australia!
    I’m about to try your Habanero Tabasco recipe. Love your recipe site and hope to try a few more of them in the future, can’t wait to put this in the dehydrator tomorrow.
    Thanks Julie-Anne from Perth WA .

  6. Paul Ternahan says:

    Trying it out with ground beef today, backed off a bit on the liquid ingredients we’ll see how it turns out

  7. Paul Ternahan says:

    Got some Worcestershire powder, gonna try that out on this batch. Incredible flavor on this recipe, added a little Scorpion Pepper Tabasco for a little more kick!

  8. Jon says:

    This is the by far best recipe I’ve found so far. I use it as a base and I now tweak it by adding Frank’s Red Hot in addition to the habanero hot sauce. Also some Dave’s insanity to bring the heat level up. Fresh ground dried smoked ghost pepper flake from Trader Joe’s and a little liquid smoke in addition to the smoked paprika. I’ve found you can sub out the hot sauce with other brands and it still turns out delicious. Thanks for the great recipe, which is also fantastic without altering it like I do. I just crave the extra heat.

  9. Penelope says:

    I just made a yummy Pineapple cilantro habanero hot sauce and want this to be the main flavor so can I leave our the worcestershire sauce? Anything else I need to tweak? Thank you..love your site, just signed up to get your e-mails 🙂

    • Will says:

      Sounds tasty Penelope! You can tweak the recipe to your liking, so yes you can leave out the Worcestershire sauce. However, I haven’t found that the worcestershire sauce overpowers this recipe. I would split your meat and make half with the Worcestershire sauce in it and the other half without and see which one you like better! Let me know how it turns out!

  10. Nathan says:

    I scaled this up by 3x and used 2 tbsp of Carolina reaper puree instead of Tabasco, and used liquid smoke instead of paprika. By far my favorite tasting jerky I’ve made. Definitely a spicy one! Thanks for the inspiration!!

  11. Nathan says:

    Hey Will, thanks for the reply. I actually saw that elk recipe of yours but decided to follow this one with some tweaks. I got this great tasting puree off Amazon from a company called Magic Plant Farms. Some of the reviews say it came to them spoiled/already opened, which sucks but that wasn’t my experience. The jar is pretty big and it’s the best bang for your buck that I could find. Just three ingredients (Carolina reaper, salt, and citric acid) and it smells and tastes DELICIOUS!! I’d never tried anything hotter than habanero before trying this so I was pretty apprehensive, but in small doses it’s totally manageable. Especially in a marinade rather than straight up. Typically if my mouth can handle it, my insides are agreeable. But oh man, this stuff knocked me on my butt. I had about 1 tsp of it straight with some home fries I made and I ended up with cold sweats and vomiting. Won’t be trying they again. But in the marinade it tastes amazing.

    I’m marinating my second batch of this recipe (with my tweaks) now and cut my beef a bit thicker because my jerky has been coming out pretty thin and dry. I was thinking about buying that jerky cutter you’ve linked to, but I’ve gotten pretty good at cutting uniformly after I freeze the beef for a bit. I also wasn’t using curing salt before so I was a bit nervous of undercooking it, but now I’m using curing salt so I’m a bit less worried about that. I’ve got the Nesco FD-1040 which goes up to 160 °F but when I check the meat with a digital thermometer it never seemed to reach that temperature. So the curing salt gives me peace of mind. Hopefully this batch will produce good results!

    If you’re into spicy stuff, I highly recommend that puree I got. It really added to the flavor and heat.

    Thanks for all the great recipes (dos pepper is another one of my favorites). Keep it up and I look forward to more of your recipes and techniques 🙂

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