Home » Beef Jerky Recipes » Original Flavored Beef Jerky

Original Flavored 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 Original Jerky recipe really does taste like good ol’ fashioned jerky you got from a small town smokehouse when you were a kid on a long road trip. Hell, it reminds me of my favorite smokehouse in between Houston and Corpus Christi, Texas’ Prasek’s Family Smokehouse. This place is good, seriously good!

Original Post Date: August 21st, 2015  *Recipe updated with more pictures and step by step instructions*

Original Jerky

Slicing Meat for Jerky

The first step to making beef jerky is choosing a lean cut of beef. I used beef eye of round when making this beef jerky. You can find a complete list of the best cuts of meat for making beef jerky by clicking here!

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. a 1/4″ in thickness is just right.

Lean Eye of Round Roast Sliced Thin and Ready to Marinate

Slice with the grain for a chewy jerky or against the grain for more of a tender chew. Wanting a little more chew, the meat was sliced with the grain when making this beef jerky recipe.

Jerky strips on plate with seasoning and curing salt on cutting board

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.

Beef Jerky slicer slicing beef for jerky onto a cutting board with knife

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

This is a very traditional beef jerky and that calls for some pretty common but TASTY ingredients. Most of the ingredients you will already have in your pantry, so no need to break the bank at the grocery store.

Simply add all the ingredients into a bowl or ziplock bag and mix until they are well incorporated together.

Marinating jerky strips in bag

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.


Drying The Beef Jerky

Once the meat has finished marinating, strain any excess marinade in a colander. I marinated this beef for a total of 21 hours before straining. The longer the marinade process, the more intense flavor the jerky will have! 

Once you strain the jerky strips in a colander, lay out some paper towels and place the strips on the paper towels. The goal is to pat dry the strips removing any marinade that is still on the surface of the beef jerky strips.

Straining beef jerky strips in colander and pat dry on paper towel

Getting off the marinade on the surface will prevent the jerky from having that “sticky” feel when it is finished. This also speeds up the drying process. A double win!

A Nesco Snackmaster Dehydrator was used when making this jerky recipe. I LOVE the Nesco dehydrators. They work, are reasonably prices, and they last a long time!

Original Jerky on dehydrator tray

Make sure there is space in between the strips so air can circulate around all the jerky and dry it evenly. This is not the time to cram a bunch of meat on one tray and have it overlapping. Give them space people!

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.

Testing jerky by bending it to see if its finished

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 or bent in half.

This jerky took 6 hours to be 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 Beef 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 beef jerky and steps you can take to make your jerky have an extended shelf life.

This Original Beef Jerky has a rich meat taste brought out by the simple ingredients and finishes with a nice pepper taste. The curing salt definitely adds to the smokehouse beef jerky flavor we are all accustomed to.

Not a fan of curing salts? Not to worry, you can leave out this ingredient if you choose. As I mentioned earlier, most of the recipes I make do NOT call for curing salt. Just make sure that you heat the meat to 160° to prevent any bacteria along with the possibility of becoming sick.

Old Pro Tips:

  • Leaving the curing salt out of the recipe will alter the look and flavor of this recipe
  • Use liquid smoke that does not include filler ingredients, such as Wright’s Liquid Smoke
  • When finished, jerky will bend and crack but not break in half. Test for doneness after a piece has cooled for 5 minutes, not while warm.
  • Store in ziplock bags or vacuum seal for longer storage. Check out my page on Storing Jerky for more information.

Instagram Request Box

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

4.19 from 27 votes

Original Jerky

This Original Jerky recipe really does taste like good ol' fashioned jerky you got from your parents when you were a kid.
Course Beef Jerky, Snack
Cuisine American, Beef Jerky
Keyword beef jerky, Jerky, original jerky
Prep Time 45 minutes
Cook Time 6 hours
Total Time 6 hours 45 minutes
Servings 5
Calories 175 kcal
Author Will



  • 1 1/2 tsp pickling salt
  • 1/4 tsp Prague Powder #1 curing salt
  • 1/4 tsp coriander ground
  • 1/4 tsp onion powder
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/2 tsp liquid smoke mesquite
  • 1 1/2 tsp ground black pepper
  • 1 1/2 tsp granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup cold water


  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 the pickling salt, Prague Powder #1, coriander, onion powder, garlic powder, liquid smoke, black pepper, sugar, and cold water in a medium size bowl or ziplock bag. Mix well.
  3. Remove the meat from the freezer and slice 1/4" strips with the grain. Or skip the freezing phase and use a Jerky Slicer for evenly sliced strips.
  4. Tenderize the beef strips with a tenderizing mallet to prevent the jerky from being too tough.
  5. Add sliced beef to the mixture and marinate for 6-24 hours in the refrigerator.
  6. After the meat has finished marinating, remove from refrigerator and pat dry with paper towels.
  7. Dry with your favorite jerky making method. A dehydrator was used with this recipe and dried for 7 hours at 160 degrees.

Recipe Notes

Old Pro Tips:

  • Leaving the curing salt out of the recipe will alter the look and flavor of this recipe
  • Use liquid smoke that does not include filler ingredients, such as Wright's Liquid Smoke
  • When finished, jerky will bend and crack but not break in half. Test for doneness after a piece has cooled for 5 minutes, not while warm.
  • Store in ziplock bags or vacuum seal for longer storage.
Nutrition Facts
Original Jerky
Amount Per Serving (70 g)
Calories 175 Calories from Fat 54
% Daily Value*
Fat 6g9%
Saturated Fat 2g13%
Cholesterol 70mg23%
Sodium 733mg32%
Potassium 209mg6%
Carbohydrates 1g0%
Sugar 1g1%
Protein 24g48%
Vitamin C 0.2mg0%
Calcium 8mg1%
Iron 2.2mg12%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.


Original Flavored Beef Jerky


  1. Tane says:

    Hi and thank you for this website! I am new to making jerky and have made a batch using the packets that came with my dehydrator and jerky gun however to be more cost effective, I want to make my own recipes and your page is amazing. My only question is, can these recipes that call for eye of round meat be used with lean ground beef as this is what my family seems to prefer? Thanks in advanced.

    • Will says:

      Hey Tane! I have had this question several times before, and here is my answer:
      Great question. I would use a recipe that does NOT have much liquid ingredients (soy sauce, worcestershire, vinegar…) Dos Pepper Jerky would be a good one to try. If the recipe calls for water, omit the water since you are using ground beef. I would also recommend using cure when making ground jerky since it will be handled more than whole muscle jerky (mixing the spices in by hand). Lastly, ground beef jerky sometimes requires more spices than whole meat jerky since you are mixing the spices into the meat instead of on the outside. If your first batch doesn’t have a really strong taste, increase the amount of spice for the second batch! Have fun! Thanks for stopping by, let me know how it turns out.
      I also have more info on my How to Make Ground Beef Jerky page.

      • Tane Zacharias says:

        Thanks so much do the response. I will come back and let you know about the results. I will try the dos pepper recipe that I will try. I found put the hard way that I needed to use more flavor then some recipes call for.

    • Jim Armstrong says:

      I have been making jerky and smoking it on my Smokers. I smoke at temps between 160 and 180 degrees for up to 4 hrs until it reaches the desired texture/ twist. As long as the meat reaches a temp of minimally 160 there should be no need for Prague powder…. correct? I feel the ingredients used such as Soy sauce and Worcester should have enough salt content. I don’t believe extra salt is required if temps are properly reached again 160 +. I also use a lean London Broil for my Jerky making sure there is minimal fat content. Am I correct in my thought process?

    • Will says:

      I would recommend first heating it in your oven for 10 minutes at 300F to bring the internal temperature to 160F and then dehydrate in your dehydrator.

        • Will says:

          The prague powder #1 that I mention in my recipes is a cure that is meant for meat that will be cooked or smoked. It helps prevent bacteria growth and prevent food poisoning, but still requires some heat. I recommend still heating the internal temp of the jerky to 160F.

    • Travis says:

      Pasteurization is a function of temperature and time.

      You’re told 165 because it instantly kills most bacteria. But it’s not like they live just fine at 159. 165 is the idiot proof rule (if the idiot can remember).

      130 degrees takes 112 minutes
      140 degrees takes 12 minutes
      150 degrees takes 75 seconds
      160 takes 7 seconds
      165 takes 2.4 seconds

      For just about any cook, it’ll take more than 75 seconds to get from 150 to 165!

      If using whole meat, you worry about the surface temps. Bacteria does not burrow into the meat.

      If using ground meat (or you tenderize with a jaccard, puncturing the meat), then you worry about the internal temp. The mixing during grinding and the puncturing create opportunities for the bacteria to get anywhere in the product.

      Hope this helps!

      • John says:

        4 stars
        Hey Will – great site.
        I have an electric smoker and recently purchased a cold smoker attachment hoping to make smoked and salt cured jerkey rather than “cooked”. I am trying to replicate the deli style salt encrusted jerkey that doesn’t look cooked – just salt/ smoke cured.
        The instructions on the attachment imply that it is more for smoking cheeses and vegetables rather than meats. I’ve ordered Prague #1 cure. Is that all that is needed for the salty look/taste or is more regular salt needed for that effect?

        Am not really a fan of smoked cheese or veggies so trying to determine if i should return the cold smoker attachment or not.

        • Will says:

          I have not used the cold smoker attachment for my Masterbuilt. I only have chips smoking for about 30 minutes to an hour and have to turn the smoker up to about 180F to achieve this. I then turn it down to about 160F until it’s done drying. I am not sure how much difference it would make to NOT have the temp up that high for 1 hour or so. I always heat my jerky to 160F for safety reasons and that is why I never pulled the trigger on buying the cold smoker attachment. But if you do decide to use it, let me know how it works out! The prague Powder #1 will give it that jerky flavor and the red coloring that you see in most cured meats/jerky. You will still need to add salt for flavor on top of the Prague #1 if you are looking for a saltier jerky.

  2. Jimmy Carl says:

    5 stars
    Hi Will, Haven’t tried your recipe, yet. I plan on putting it through my Masterbuilt on Thursday. I have a four pound sirloin roast to slice up marinate and smoke. Can this recipe be up scaled to accommodate the 3+ pounds I’ll get out this roast?

    I did add the cold smoker attachment. The last batch of jerky came out perfectly. The cold smoker attachment makes it easy to control temperature in the smoker. The last batch was sliced 1/8” thick, hung on toothpicks, and started at 180F for one hour. The cold smoker put out a solid stream of hickory smoke for the entire hour. After that the heat was turned down to 140F. The cold smoker attachment was turned off. It continued to give off a light smoke until the hickory chips burned out on their own. After three hour at 140F the jerky was done. Thanks, jc

    • Will says:

      Thanks for the info on the cold smoker attachment. I have been thinking about getting one for my smoker. Going to pull the trigger and get one now. Glad to hear your jerky is turning out great!

  3. Jo Ann says:

    I thought a cure was a cure, found out the hard way it is not. Is there a way to salvage my completely cured and dried beef jerky? Recipe on bag from Cabelas has .06 lbs for 25 lbs of meat. I followed my normal recipe for High Mountain Jerky product from Cabelas. This called for 2 tbl and 2tsp per 4lbs.

  4. NorwegianDude says:

    Hey! Amazing recipies you got there. I have tried alot of recipes by my own and they are usually similiar to the ones on the internet. The exceptions are that I use Scandinavian Forest (powder) and pretty much “Norwegian products”. Perhaps the American products are better I don’t know, but I always fail on the consistency part. I always get “too dry” meat, and I do not want it to be raw either. I am using a normal dehydrator and hydrates for maybe 10-14 hours at 50-60 degrees. Also, whenever I have bought Jack Link’s beef jerky, for example teryaki version, it tastes so good and the consistency is easy to chew, AND it looks good too. I don’t know how to get the good red color in it. Right now I have added brown vinegar and liquid smoke (which I have never tried before) and the beef is now in the marinade soaking in a good marinade which smells good. The beef I use now is “mørbradbiff” from Norway, and it is the lower back of the cowmeat. But I still miss the color part and the easy to chew part. Any ideas? Thanks.

    • Will says:

      Hey Norwegian Dude, love the name! I am sure Norwegian products are just as good as stuff here in the states. The red color you are trying to get comes from curing salt. This can be hard to find locally and is best to buy online. I would increase your drying temp to a minimum of 63C with an initial heating of the jerky to an internal temp of 71C to kill any potential bacteria. 10-14 hours seems a little long to dry the jerky. Most of my jerky takes around 4 hours to dry with my Nesco Dehydrator. Check out my Slicing meat for Jerky page for more info on slicing more tender jerky.

  5. Mike says:

    5 stars
    If I have 8 pounds of meat will I just multiply the recipe by 8..will that b to much curing salt for 8 pounds of meat. Will b marinating in large bowl.
    Thank you
    Mike from Albuquerque

    • Will says:

      I would multiply the recipe by 8 with a couple exceptions. You only need enough water to cover all the meat, so you might not need all 4 cups. I’m not sure, I have never made this recipe with 8lbs of meat. Also, always double check the instructions on your curing salt, but the cure that I use calls for 1 tsp per 5 lbs of meat. So a little more than a 1.5 tsp of cure would be enough to cure the meat.

  6. Don B says:

    Have a question as I just started making my own jerky so I would go to that for a snack instead of chips, candy, etc. I use London broil, cut it maybe up to an eighth of an inch and put it into 170° oven for anywhere between six and eight hours leaning toward the 7.5 – 8 hour mark as that like a really hard one you have to chew for a while as I don’t like the type that semi melts in your mouth. On this recipe it says original I was wondering if it is close to Jack’s links original as that’s one of my favorite flavors. I’ve made jerky using teriyaki marinade, just salt and pepper, even a lager ( which marinade too long and too strong of a flavor). But when I make just simple salt & pepper probably is my favorite because I like basics, but commercial grocery store type Jacks Links Original is my favorite. Is this original similar? And also where do you get the pink stuff besides going on the Internet? Do grocery stores carry this? No matter what I’m going to try this recipe was just curious about the flavor before I do.

    • Will says:

      Hey Don! I buy jerky all the time from farmers markets and shops across the country, but have not bought Jack Links in years. I do not remember what their original jerky tastes like, so I’m not sure if this is somewhat similar. Since you are going to try it, let me know if it is like the JL original jerky. Now I’m curious. The easiest place to get curing salt is on the internet. The only places I have seen it in stores are spice shops and butchers. This does NOT include your butcher at your local grocery store.

  7. Mark Shrum says:

    5 stars
    Best Jerky ever
    I also used dehydration and in the place of water and sugar used 1/4 cup of Dr Pepper
    Also added pinch of mustard seeds
    Thank for clearing up the use of curing salts
    Well written

  8. Eli Knopfler says:

    5 stars
    Hey will, love your recipes especially the kentucky bourbon. I wanted to know, does adding prague powder give the meat a store bought artificial taste?

    • Will says:

      I have never thought of it as an artificial taste, but it will give it the distinct flavor that cured meats have. It is a flavor that is mostly associated with jerky.

  9. Tim Dwyer says:

    Hey there
    I have had store bought jerky turn white before with mold I assume. My question is should I always keep jerky in the fridge?

    • Will says:

      Store bought jerky should last a year or so in the package. Once you open the package, you need to eat it within 3-4 days or it will mold. So if you aren’t eating it that fast, keeping in the fridge will allow it to last a little bit longer.

  10. Shannon Chin says:

    Hi! So glad I found your site. I have just bought a Traeger smoker and my whole family is begging me to make some jerky! Do you have a recipe you recommend that has the technique of using my smoker? I have no idea what I am doing. You seem to be the Jerky Guru 🙂 Any tips or recommends are really appreciated! Thanks in advance!

    • Will says:

      I unfortunately do not have a Traeger and am not sure what settings would work best for that unit. I would recommend trying the Garlic Beef Jerky recipe though, I think it turns out great in the smoker.

  11. DontJerkMeAround says:

    Bought a presto dehydrator a few days ago. Got a 1lb top round(i think thats what it was) sliced against the grain, marinated over night. Slices couldnt have been more than a quarter inch, was probany close to an eighth thick. Followed various instructions throught the internet…cooked on the only setting,for about 9 hours. I only kept cooking becaude the surface of rhe jerky still had a greasy sheen to it…seemed to be done at 5 or 6 hours, never changed color or texture after that, still had a greasiness to it when i called it quits at 9 hours. Doesnt seem right. Good but not great. I preboiled it per instructions online, and im keeping this batchin the fridge in case i didnt do it right and it isnt shelf stable…what do you recommend?

    • Will says:

      9 hours seems very long and drying longer won’t get rid of that grease on the jerky. You have to blot the jerky with paper towels. This happens if either the meat was too fatty or you used some oil in the marinade. It probably was done around 4 or 5 hours…

  12. Dawn Robinson says:

    I’d like to try some of your recipes but I don’t have a dehydrator or smoker. I would like to use my oven. Do you have any recommendations?

  13. Dustin says:

    Curious, when using curing salts do you just substitute it for reg salt?

    For example if the recipe calls for 2 tablespoons of salt would I just use 2 tablespoons of curing salt instead?

    Great articles by the way! So much help.

    • Will says:

      No, you can not just substitute evenly for curing salt. Curing salt normally is 1tsp per 5lbs of meat. Make sure to check your curing salt package to make sure you use the correct amount. So if the recipe calls for 2 tbsp of regular salt for 5lbs of meat, use 1tsp of curing salt and 1tbsp + 2tsp of regular salt. Hope that helps Dustin!

  14. Cary Floyd says:

    5 stars
    Great site. Second recipe I made after getting a dehydrator ( got this one from Amazon, Gourmia GFD1680 Premium Countertop Food Dehydrator 6 Drying Shelves Digital Thermostat Preset Temperature Settings Airflow Circulation Countdown Timer Free Recipe Book Included 110V). Great stuff! My wife and kids love it. I will be trying a lot more of your recipes. Thanks!

  15. 5 stars
    I love the jerky recipes, but I think the 160F is a little naïve. Just because the drier says it’s going to that temp doesn’t mean it gets there in less than 6 hours. It’s a matter of how much water has to be removed, vs the power f the drier. With 3 pounds of meat in the typical drier, you’ll never reach 160 until it’s pretty much too dry.

    In the oven seems wrong. you sure about that 160F? No need to go overboard.

    Sous Vide people know, 132 will do the job, if it’s at that temp for a few hours.

  16. Clarence Parsons says:

    5 stars
    Two questions:
    1. I have a Nesco dehydrator with 8 trays. How many pounds of meat does it take to fill the 8 trays after marinating? Does 1 lb. cover 8 trays?

    2. Can I substitute Morton Tender Quick for the Prague powder?

    • Will says:

      I have found that you can fit just under a pound of meat per tray. I would say that you could get around 5-6 lbs of meat on 8 trays. You can use morton tender quick, but it requires A LOT more than prague powder. This can make the jerky very salty, especially if you are using ingredients like soy sauce that already have a lot of salt.

  17. Richard Klein says:

    We want to take this to Cambidia for 4 months. We have no fridge there. Will Original with cure salt last that long there. Protein is hard to get where we will be. I can vacuum seal before leaving. Temps are in the 90s, no action. Thanks

  18. Doris Long says:

    Also living in Colorado and looking to make an original jerky for my grown son that tastes like one my father brought from PA. years ago.
    Hoping to try your recipe as soon as I can find a butcher who has the cut and time to slice it for me. Game season has kept them busy.
    Thank you for sharing your recipes.

  19. Larry says:

    Love your recipe, but if I wanted to put more water would I have to adjust the
    curing salt and canning salt…..and sugar? (this is for 1 pound of beef)

    (note: I only use Salt,Curing Salt, Sugar, Filtered Water, and sometimes Liquid Smoke)

    I like more of a brine so the meat is all covered and (stays) covered
    and marinate for 3 to 4 days…sometimes longer up to a week. 😉

    I just keep stirring every day and moving meat to stay covered

    • Will says:

      If you are only adding a little bit of water say 1 cup or so, there shouldn’t be a need to add extra. If you are adding more than that, you will have to add extra of the salt and sugar, but keep the curing salt the same. Longer the marinating process the better the jerky!

  20. Larry says:

    Thanks Will,

    But, I did some more research and found a forum that these guys have posted
    you may want to take a look. 😉 They say ADD the WATER and the MEAT together
    and go from there… when your adding Cure #1…

    I also posted a link the calculator enjoyment, this will make sure you don’t get
    your recipe to salty. 😉 🙂




  21. Mark Shrum says:

    Really love this recipe, I substitute Dr Pepper for the liquid, i know that there is sugar in the Dr Pepper but still add it according to recipe . Comes out great.
    Thanks for the recipe

  22. Mark Shrum says:

    5 stars
    Also read in comments that letting it set , the longer the better, does that mean longer than 24hrs. Can you let sit 48 hrs
    Just wondering what the pros and cons of that

  23. kris savino says:

    5 stars
    Great! But i didnt have coriander so i had to improvise. I put smoked paprika instead then added chipotle chili pepper to give some heat. Came out awesome. Thanks

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.