Home » Beef Jerky Recipes » Mexican Heat Beef Jerky

Mexican Heat Beef Jerky

This post may have affiliate links, which means I may receive commissions if you choose to purchase through links I provide (at no extra cost to you). Thank you for supporting the work I put into this site!

This Mexican Heat Beef Jerky is made with spicy Serrano peppers and red pepper flakes to light your lips on fire and satisfy that spice craving.

Original Post Date: Janurary 12th, 2016  *Recipe updated with more pictures and step by step instructions*

A spicy jerky made with Mexican hot Serrano peppers | Jerkyholic.com

Slicing The Meat

When I remade this recipe I bought a couple of packs of already thin sliced beef top round from my local grocery store.

Beef top round sliced thin in package

This really speeds up the process because all I needed to do was slice them into 1″ wide strips as they were already sliced 1/8″ thick.

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

I am a big fan of Serrano peppers, mainly eating them in picante and pico de gallo sauces. They are from Mexico and their spice is a little hotter than a jalapeno. What I like the most about them is that they are spicy, but pack a great taste as well. I love eating spicy jerky, but it has to taste good too!

Mexican Heat Beef Jerky Sliced

Since I am using whole peppers in this recipe, using a blender is the best way to fully incorporate them into the marinade. The Serrano peppers were added whole (do not remove seeds) to the other marinade ingredients inside my Vitamix blender to make sure this jerky has a strong spicy flavor.

Beef jerky marinade with blender with serrano peppers

Feel free to adjust the amount of peppers to suit your spice preference.

Jerky strips marinating in a ziplock bag

Pour the marinade into a ziplock bag and add the previously sliced beef. Mix the strips around really well to make sure they are all evenly coated with the marinade.

Marinate in the refrigerator for 6-24 hours mixing the bag up several times to further make sure the strips are evenly coated. This makes sure the every piece of finished jerky has a consistent flavor.

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

Drying The Jerky

Once the meat has finished marinating, strain any excess marinade in a colander. I marinated this beef for a total of 18 hours before straining. The longer the marinade process, the more intense flavor the jerky will have! 

jerky strips stained of marinade in colander before drying

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.

Patting dry jerky strips on paper towels after strained in colander

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

Mexican Heat Beef Jerky Dehydrator

I decided to use my Excalibur Dehydrator when drying this jerky. The dehydrator is my favorite way of drying jerky and the Excalibur is my favorite dehydrator. This recipe will turn out well using other drying methods, you can see more information on drying on the jerky making methods page.

After dehydrating for 4 hours, these bad boys were ready to be eaten. Make sure the meat reaches an internal temperature of 160°F to kill any potential bacteria. The 4 hours at 160°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.

Mexican Heat Beef Jerky Finished

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.

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.

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!

So, how was it? They turned out great! It had the perfect amount of spice for my liking and a great chew. So get some beef and give this Mexican heat beef jerky a try!

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
  • Use a blender when using whole peppers or other whole ingredients for more intense flavors

Instagram Request Box

For more in depth directions on how to dry your beef jerky, visit my page Jerky Making Methods

Spicy beef jerky on cutting board with green serrano peppers
3.29 from 7 votes

Mexican Heat Beef Jerky

This Mexican Heat Beef Jerky is made with spicy Serrano peppers and red pepper flakes to light your lips on fire and satisfy that spice craving.
Course Snack
Cuisine American, Beef Jerky
Keyword beef jerky, Jerky, Mexican Beef Jerky
Prep Time 1 hour
Cook Time 4 hours
Total Time 6 hours
Servings 5
Calories 189 kcal
Author Will



  • 2 tbsp worcestershire sauce
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tbsp brown sugar
  • 1/2 tsp smoked paprika
  • 2 tsp red pepper flakes
  • 3 Serrano peppers Whole
  • 1/4 cup red wine vinegar



  1. Trim all visible fat from the beef and place in freezer for an hour or two to partially freeze.
  2. While the meat is in the freezer, combine marinade ingredients in a blender and blend until the ingredients are fully mixed. Transfer to a bowl or ziplock bag. 

  3. Remove the meat from the freezer and slice ¼" strips against the grain. Cut with the grain for more chew.
  4. Add sliced beef to the mixture in a ziplock bag or bowl and marinate for 8-24 hours in the refrigerator.
  5. After the meat has finished marinating, remove from refrigerator and strain excess marinade and pat dry the beef strips with paper towels
  6. Dry with your favorite jerky making method. I used my dehydrator and dried for 5 hours at 160 degrees.
  7. The jerky is finished when it bends and cracks, but does not break in half.

Recipe Notes

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
  • Use a blender when using whole peppers or other whole ingredients for more intense flavors
Nutrition Facts
Mexican Heat Beef Jerky
Amount Per Serving
Calories 189 Calories from Fat 63
% Daily Value*
Fat 7g11%
Saturated Fat 2g13%
Cholesterol 70mg23%
Sodium 114mg5%
Potassium 282mg8%
Carbohydrates 4g1%
Sugar 3g3%
Protein 24g48%
Vitamin A 370IU7%
Vitamin C 2.5mg3%
Calcium 15mg2%
Iron 2.8mg16%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

For more in depth directions on how to dry your beef jerky, visit my page Jerky Making Methods

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


  1. Josh says:

    I am just getting into the jerky making process I am smoking it in my Rec Tec pellet grill, I also purchased a LEM jerky gun upon your recommendations. I do like to experiment with the spicy recipes. How would you recommend incorporating this recipe or others like this that include jalapeños/peppers into the ground beef jerky process? In your ground beef post you suggested that with the marinates you might need to double up the dry rubs. Has this been a pretty consistent finding? Thank you.

    • Will says:

      I find that doubling up on the spices does help ground beef jerky have the right amount of flavor. When it comes to peppers, I would keep the pepper amount the same. When making whole meat jerky you lose a lot of the sliced peppers when straining the meat, but with ground beef jerky, every pepper piece will be in the jerky. Have fun with it and experiment; that’s the best part of making homemade jerky!

  2. Tim says:

    I tried this recipe yesterday and my jerky had absolutely no flavor. Any thoughts about what happened? I followed the recipe to a tee and it ended up marinating 30+ hours as I was dehydrating the rig hand jerky, which turned out great.

    My wife and I are huge Pluckers fans and routinely get Fire in the Hole wings so, being a fellow Austinite, you can understand our love for hot and spicy anything.

    • Will says:

      I am not sure why it would have no flavor at all…. I am the first to admit that even though I love spicy stuff, I can not handle REAL spicy stuff; but this does have a nice kick with the peppers and red pepper flakes. I haven’t made this recipe in a while, I will try to make this recipe again and see if it turns out as good as I remember or if it needs a little tweaking. Glad you like the Rig Hand Jerky, that’s a great one!

      • Jeremy says:

        Did you ever get a chance to revisit this recipe? I made this last night and outside of the heat , I agree with Tim- this doesn’t have much flavor. I like the idea of this recipe, but it needs something. Let us know if you tweak the recipe, i would like to try it again. Thanks!

        • Will says:

          I haven’t had a chance to remake this recipe. Been super busy lately putting together new recipes for a recipe book. I will try to get to it as soon as I’m finished though. Also, drying varies all the time, so make sure to start checking your jerky at about the 3.5 to 4 hour mark.

    • Will says:

      Leaving out the sugar in this recipe probably could be done, but will definitely change the taste. I wouldn’t recommend omitting the sugar in most of the recipes that call for it because the main taste is suppose to be sweet. Check out the spicier recipes, they normally don’t have sugar.

    • Will says:

      I have never made that much jerky in one go, but normally just multiplying the number of ingredients to the amount of lbs you want works just fine. The peppers might not need to be multiplied as much, so start with less and adjust to taste. Make sure you make a little bit of a recipe to try it before making that much!

  3. Derrick says:

    What is the best way to use peppers with jerky? Should I dry them out or just dice and blend? Thanks. Love your site, since I started smoking jerky I cant get enough of it, your site is the BEST!

    • Will says:

      Hey Derrick! I like putting them in a blender with the rest of the marinade and blending it all together. I think this gives the most flavor and the best distribution of the peppers on the jerky so every piece is the same spice level. Glad you are loving the site!

  4. Zach says:

    Hi Will I had a quick question, which recipes could I substitute chicken with instead of beef? Thank you going to be trying this recipe next!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Recipe Rating

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.