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Lemon Peppered Jerky

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Lemon pepper tastes fantastic on fresh fish, so why not jerky? Fresh speckled trout fillets from the Laguna Madre sprinkled with a heavy dose of lemon pepper cooking on the grill is what comes to mind when I think of lemon pepper. But after making some lemon pepper jerky, well…. it comes in a close second.

Lemon Pepper Beef jerky on cutting board with lemons

Original Post Date: June 10th, 2015  *Recipe updated with more pictures and step by step instructions*

I made this recipe again the other day and I have to tell you, it was some damn good jerky. It’s easy to make and lemon pepper can be found at any grocery store.


Lemon Peppered Jerky

Slicing The Meat

I cheated a little bit when making this recipe. I bought some beef top round from my local grocery store already sliced thin, saving me a couple of steps!

Beef top round sliced thin in package

These pieces were sliced at about 1/8th of an inch thick. All I needed to do was cut them into 1″ wide strips with a sharp knife.

Beef top round sliced thin on cutting board with knife

If you can’t find or want to start from scratch, grab a chunk of Beef Eye of Round. You can find a complete list of the best cuts of meat to make beef jerky with 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.

Westin Jerky Slicer

Not sure what way the grain runs? Need more information on slicing meat for jerky? I have put together a page on Slicing Meat for Jerky where you can find EVERYTHING you need to know when slicing meat for jerky.

Making The Marinade

My taste buds prefer a spicy jerky, and this lemon peppered jerky fit the bill. Not too spicy, but a nice little kick to it. The only pepper in this recipe is the lemon pepper and some black pepper. Throw in some garlic, salt, and soy sauce; you have a great batch of jerky just beggin’ to be eaten!

Lemon Peppered Jerky

Start by mixing all of the ingredients in a bowl or ziplock bag and then add the previously sliced beef strips. Make sure to mix the bag and move the strips around making sure all of the strips are evenly coated in marinade.

Lemon pepper jerky marinating in bag

Related Page: Dozens of Great Tasting Jerky Recipes – Click Here

Allow the strips to marinate for 6-24 hours in the refrigerator. The longer the better! Do NOT marinate the meat at room temperature, always marinate in the fridge to prevent the meat from spoiling.

Drying The Jerky

Once the meat has finished marinating, strain any excess marinade in a colander. I marinated this beef for a total of 22 hours before straining. The longer the marinade process, the more intense flavor the jerky will have! 

Lemon pepper jerky straining 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.

Lemon pepper jerky drying on paper towels

Place the strips on your dehydrator trays, oven trays, or smoker rack to dehydrate/dry the jerky. For more in depth instructions on drying your jerky, check out my Jerky Making Methods Page.

Lemon pepper jerky on dehydrator trays ready to dry

I dried them in my Sahara Dehydrator, like the one seen below, for a total of 4 hours at 165°F. This dehydrator is on the expensive side, but if you live in a small apartment the fact that it folds down to 1/3 of it’s size for storing is really nice.

Sahara Dehydrator filled with fruit

Make sure the meat reaches an internal temperature of 160°F to kill any potential bacteria. The 4 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.

Lemon Pepper Finished

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.

The ingredients are pretty straight forward and easy to find for this recipe. Make sure you do not omit the water. The water cuts the salty taste and thins out the soy sauce flavor. Not being a huge fan of overly soy tasting jerky, you will find water in a lot of my recipes. I believe that it mellows that strong taste and allows the other ingredients to shine through.

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:

  • Buy already sliced beef roast to avoid slicing yourself. It saves time!
  • Use curing salt or celery juice powder to extend the life of the jerky
  • Marinate closer to 24 hours for the most intense flavor
  • Find lemon pepper in a grinder instead of previously finely ground for better 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

Lemon Pepper Beef jerky on cutting board with lemons

Lemon Peppered Jerky

Lemon pepper tastes fantastic on fresh fish, so why not jerky? Fresh speckled trout fillets from the Laguna Madre sprinkled with a heavy dose of lemon pepper cooking on the grill is what comes to mind when I think of lemon pepper. But after making some lemon pepper jerky, well.... it comes in a close second.
Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 5 hours
Total Time: 5 hours 30 minutes
Course: Snack
Cuisine: American, Beef Jerky
Keyword: beef jerky, lemon pepper, lemon pepper beef jerky
Type: Beef Jerky
Servings: 5
Calories: 177kcal
Author: Will


Lean Beef


  • 3/4 tsp black pepper
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • 3/4 tsp lemon pepper
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/4 cup soy sauce
  • 1/4 cup water



  • 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 as I did, skip the freezing step.
  • While the meat is in the freezer, combine and mix the soy sauce, water, black pepper, garlic powder, lemon pepper, and salt in a medium size bowl or ziplock bag.
  • Remove meat from the freezer and slice against the grain between ⅛" - ¼" in thickness and 1" wide.
  • Add sliced beef to the mixture and marinate for 6-24 hours in the refrigerator.
  • After the meat has finished marinating, remove from refrigerator and pat dry with paper towels.
  • 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 4 hours at 165 degrees.
  • 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.


Old Pro Tips:
  • Buy already sliced beef roast to avoid slicing yourself. It saves time!
  • Use curing salt or celery juice powder to extend the life of the jerky
  • Marinate closer to 24 hours for the most intense flavor
  • Find lemon pepper in a grinder instead of previously finely ground for better flavor


Serving: 70g | Calories: 177kcal | Carbohydrates: 1g | Protein: 26g | Fat: 6g | Saturated Fat: 2g | Cholesterol: 70mg | Sodium: 914mg | Potassium: 225mg | Calcium: 8mg | Iron: 2.5mg
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

Need more in depth directions on how to make jerky in an oven, dehydrator, or smoker? Visit my page Jerky Making Methods to become a pro at making jerky!

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

Lemon Peppered Jerky


  1. Derrik G says:

    3 stars
    Beeb followingg this page for a few weeks since I got into the jerky making scene. But the Lemon Peppered os by far my favorite, I used a little more lemon pepper seasoning but it came out awesome! Thanks for all these good ideas.

    • Will says:

      Thanks for leaving a comment Derrik! Glad you enjoyed the recipe, it is also one of my favorites. I just made it the other day to take on a hunting trip and it was a huge hit back at camp. Glad you are enjoying making jerky, let me know how the other recipes go.

  2. Larry Daguanno says:

    Just curious if you have made this recipe with substitutes for the lemon pepper. I dont think we have that brand in Canada, and im not sure what would be a good substitute as a lot of “homemade” lemon pepper have a lot of salt in them too. (sometimes more than half the mixture of salt and pepper)

    How much salt is in the lemon pepper you use?

    • Will says:

      I have not made this recipe with a substitute for the lemon pepper. The brand I use is HEB Lemon Pepper. It does have salt, but I am not sure how much. If you do not have Lemon Pepper in Canada, I would add a little more black pepper, some fresh lemon juice, and the zest of the lemon as well. Thanks for stopping by and let me know how it turns out!

  3. Well I am going to give your recipe a try right now. We are Hillcountrybeefjerky.com and I have been wanting to find a recipe for Lemon Pepper Jerky so here I go with 5 pounds for a starter. Thank you and will let you know how it turned out.

  4. Randy says:

    Your site is great man! I have a “Jerky Cook-off” in my office on Monday and I’m going with the Lemon Pepper recipe. I’ve never made jerky before and I’m going up against a self-proclaimed “pro”, so I hope I can get it to look as good as it does here.


    • Will says:

      Nice! Every office should have a Jerky Cook-Off. The Lemon Pepper recipe is a great tasting jerky as well, can’t go wrong with that one. Let me know how it goes, Good Luck!!!

    • Will says:

      Yep, you got it. I do not use low sodium soy sauce, I use regular. Salt is good when making jerky so the regular is better in my opinion. Let me know how it turns out!

      • Dallas says:

        Just a quick follow-up question, is it normal for all of the liquid to be absorbed in the meat? I am using eye of round and I put it in the marinade last night and it was completely absorbed this morning.

        • Will says:

          I normally still have a little liquid left in the bag, but not much. That is totally fine though to have it all absorbed, it means your jerky will be full of flavor!

  5. Garry Miniely Saskatchewan says:

    I’ve made about eight batches in the last month using northern pike fillets I used a little more lemon pepper and only half the salt. It was excellent. My wife and several friends have helped me it it all. I’m in my ice shack trying to catch enough got a double batch

  6. Richard says:

    4 stars
    Here is my modification Lemon zest!!! If you want to kick up the lemon flavor zest a lemon into the marinade. First time I made it was as you say and it was good, second time was with the zest and it was great, third time I did not have a lemon so I did it with out it and it went back to good, got to try the zest.

    • Will says:

      I’ll have to try the lemon zest. This is one of my favorite recipes too, so will definitely try it next time I make it! Thanks again Richard!

  7. JR Boa Sask. Canada says:

    Love the recipes. If anyone wants a different twist….make the jerky with turkey. It’s awesome with this recipe!!! (Turkey breasts)

  8. LaniB says:

    I’m going to try this, my hubby works in the oilfield and jerky is the easiest for him to snack on when he doesn’t have time to sit down to eat,

  9. Brandon says:

    5 stars
    I love this site! So many great recipes and it always turns out really well.

    A question if I could: I bought the curing salt you suggested off of Amazon and now my jerky is coming out salty. I suspect because I am multiplying your recipes for 5 to 10 lbs. How can I make a larger batch without it becoming excessively salty? This particular batch was left in the marinade for about 27 hours. Could that have caused the extra saltiness?

    • Will says:

      The longer marinating time shouldn’t have made it more spicy. Use 1 tsp per 5lbs of meat. If it’s still spicy, just lower the amount of other salt the recipe calls for. Thanks for checking out the site Brandon!

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