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Original Jerky

This Original Jerky recipe really does taste like good ol’ fashioned jerky you got from your parents when you were a kid.

A huge reason this does have that trademark taste and red look is because of the use of curing salt in this recipe. Not all, but most jerky found in your local grocery store have been made using curing salt to prevent the development of bacteria in the meat.

Original Jerky


This recipe was made using the curing salt, Prague Powder #1. A 1/4 of a teaspoon is all it takes to make 1lb of beef jerky. I am a big fan of how this curing salt makes the jerky taste and look!

Original Jerky

Lately I have been researching and have started making my own snack sticks; like the ones found at corner stores, only way better! So I picked up a book I have not read before which has a lot of great information on smoking and curing sausage. This book also has a section of Jerky and this is where the Original Jerky recipe came from. The book is called “Sausage and Jerky Makers’ Bible”. This is the first recipe I have tried out of the book and am very impressed!

Original Jerky

Original Jerky has a rich meat taste brought out by the curing salt and finishes with a nice pepper taste. I used beef eye of round cut with the grain for this jerky. I normally do not cut meat with the grain, but decided to try it. Since I did cut it with the grain, I tenderized the strips before marinating to make sure that the jerky wasn’t too tough for my liking.

Original Jerky

The results were perfect. After dehydrating for 7 hours, this jerky had just enough bite and a fantastic taste. I love finding great jerky recipes!

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.

*Leaving the curing salt out of the recipe will alter the look and flavor of this recipe.

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

4.6 from 7 reviews
Original Jerky
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Lean Meat
  • 1½ tsp pickling salt
  • ¼ tsp Prague Powder #1 (curing salt)
  • ¼ tsp coriander, ground
  • ¼ tsp onion powder
  • ½ tsp garlic powder
  • ½ tsp liquid smoke, mesquite
  • 1½ tsp ground black pepper
  • 1½ tsp granulated sugar
  • ½ 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 ¼" 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.



  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
      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
      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
          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:

        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
          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:

    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
      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
      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:

    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
      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
      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:

    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:

    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
      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.

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