Home » Beef Jerky Recipes » Rig Hand Jerky

Rig Hand Jerky

This is the Jerky recipe that I started passing around while out on the drilling rig here in South Texas. This was a bad decision as now many of the guys out here always ask if I have any Jerky on me while we are working. This recipe is made of several ingredients that you can’t go wrong with.

Rig hand jerky in glass with oil rig in background

I’m dedicating this recipe to the guys working on the rig; “Rig Hands”. Enjoy Rig Hand Jerky!


This was one of the first recipes that I put on the site and didn’t take many pictures, one to be exact. Since I don’t have any pictures of the process I went through making the jerky, I’m going to throw up some pictures that I have taken while out here on different drilling rigs.

I have noticed that after many years, I don’t have many pictures of the guys I work with or the rigs I have been on. Here are a couple that I do have…

Drilling Rigs South Texas

Drilling Rig South Texas

Drilling Rig South Texas Road

Drilling Rig Oklahoma

Drilling Rig at Night

Burning off gas while drilling

Drilling Rig Burning Flare

Drilling Rig in Wyoming

Drilling Rig in Wyoming

Drilling Rig in Wyoming

Drilling in Oklahoma

Mud Engineer

Oklahoma Mud Engineer

And a song to finish off the oil field theme I have going here…

For this recipe I used a dehydrator, you can use any drying method of your choosing. If using a smoker, remember to leave out the Liquid Smoke.

4.48 from 19 votes

Rig Hand Jerky

This is the Jerky recipe that I started passing around while out on the drilling rig here in South Texas. This was a bad decision as now many of the guys out here always ask if I have any Jerky on me while we are working. This recipe is made of several ingredients that you can’t go wrong with.
Course Snack
Cuisine Beef Jerky
Keyword beef jerky
Prep Time 1 hour
Cook Time 6 hours
Total Time 7 hours
Servings 5
Calories 191 kcal
Author Jerkyholic


Lean Beef


  • 1/4 cup worcestershire sauce
  • 1/4 cup soy sauce
  • 1 tsp black pepper
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp brown sugar
  • 2 tbsp liquid smoke Do NOT add if using smoker
  • 1 tsp red pepper flakes



  • 1-2 tsp red pepper flakes Spice to your liking


  1. Pick a lean cut of beef. Trim the fat cap and other visible fat. After trimmed, place the meat in the freezer for 1-2 hours or until partially frozen. This will allow for more uniform slices when cutting your beef.
  2. In a plastic container that has a tight fitting lid, add the marinade ingredients and mix well.
  3. After the meat is partially frozen, take out of freezer and slice the meat against the grain about 1/8"-1/4" thick.
  4. Add the sliced meat to the plastic container of marinade and shake well until all slices are covered evenly. Place in the fridge and allow to marinate for 6-24 hours. Shake the container every couple hours while marinating.
  5. After marinating, dry slices with paper towels and top with the remaining red pepper flakes.
  6. Place strips on your dehydrator drying racks with plenty of spaces in between for easy air flow. Dry with your favorite jerky making method.

  7. Dry for 4 hours at 160 degrees allowing the internal temperature to reach 160 degrees. Check the meat after 4 hours and keep drying until the jerky bends and cracks, but does not break in half.
  8. Allow jerky to cool for several hours before storing.
Nutrition Facts
Rig Hand Jerky
Amount Per Serving (70 g)
Calories 191 Calories from Fat 63
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 7g 11%
Saturated Fat 2g 10%
Cholesterol 70mg 23%
Sodium 1307mg 54%
Potassium 351mg 10%
Total Carbohydrates 4g 1%
Sugars 2g
Protein 26g 52%
Vitamin A 5%
Vitamin C 2.2%
Calcium 2.2%
Iron 18.7%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

Visit Jerky Making Method for more in depth information on all types of drying methods.


  1. Aaron says:

    Just made this as my first attempt at home made jerky, and it is awesome!
    So much flavor, and so much softer than the stuff I normally buy.
    I recently inherited a dehydrator, and wanted to play around with what I could make.
    I can’t wait to experiment with more flavors and recipes!

    • Will says:

      Glad you liked it Aaron, I really like this recipe as well. Thanks for stopping by and leaving a comment. With that new dehydrator, you have now entered the world of making Beef Jerky; there is no turning back now. Haha.

  2. Steve says:

    Hi Will is the Liquid Smoke proportion correct? The only brand I know is Wright’s and it is concentrated – 2 tbsp seems like an awful lot. Thanks

    • Will says:

      Thanks for stopping by Steve! I have never used Wright’s liquid smoke. I use Colgin, and 2 tbsp is not too much at all. If you are worried that 2 tbsp would be too much when using Wrights, start with 1/2 tbsp and keep increasing the amount while taste testing your marinade until it’s perfect. Let me know how it turns out!

      • Mike says:

        I’ve used 2 tbsp of Wright’s with every batch of Rig Hand I’ve made, including the one today, and it’s PERFECT!!! At least by my standards. 😉

  3. Mike Wolf says:

    Hi Will,
    gonna make my first batch of jerky tonight/tomorrow. I am so glad I found your site. My dad makes great jerky but he is 1000 miles away (though he did by me the dehydrator) so I can’t have him looking over my shoulder helping me out on this. So I turn to you. I am using 2lbs of beef for your Rig Hand jerky. Do I simply double the ingredients in the marinade?

    thanks for the help and thanks for the amazing site. I am gonna try as many of these as I can.

    ps: I love Duke’s brand jerky. My girlfriend was near Las Vegas recently and she dropped a lot of dough on Alien Fresh Jerky. If you haven’t had it, i recommend perusing their catalog for some ideas.

    • Will says:

      Thanks Mike! Glad you are enjoying the site. I would just double the recipe if you’re going to make 2lbs of jerky. Taste test the marinade before putting the beef in as well; this way you can tweak it to your liking if needed. Alien Fresh Jerky? Never heard of it… Sounds pretty interesting though. I’m definitely going to have to check that out! Let me know how your jerky turns out.

      • Mike Wolf says:

        Hey Will,
        First batch done. It came out a bit salty for my personal tastes (Rig Hand recipe) but my girlfriend was very impressed, which was kind of my goal in the first place! Gonna try your cajun recipe this weekend.

        Here is the website of Alien jerky. We killed the bag of traditional Pepper style in one sitting, and then the Colon Cleanser nearly killed us (super spicy).


        Thanks for sharing your recipes to us dehydrator noobs,


      • Mike says:

        FYI, there’s a little business out in the middle of nowhere (if it’s still open) in Nevada at the junction of Hwy. 93 and 318/375 just north of Alamo, NV. I pass it it a couple of times a year. Pretty sure the “alien” jerky is a play on Area 51 which is not too far from there. Though I’ve been tempted, I haven’t tried it…yet. 😉

  4. Blake says:

    This was my favorite of the 3 I tried this weekend (Alton Brown and Sweet Coconut). Great recipe! Also, my first time using eye of round, and it’s my new fave.

  5. Doretha Curlee says:

    Nice read, I just passed this onto a friend who was doing a little research on that. And he just bought me lunch because I found it for him smile So let me rephrase that: Thanks for lunch!

  6. Mike says:

    Thanks for a great site!! I’ve made seven or eight of your recipes and the Rig Hand is the one I keep coming back to. Outstanding jerky. I do add my little touch though…in addition to your ingredients I also add about a tbsp of cayenne pepper and about 1/2 tsp of cumin. I use Eye of Round sliced 1/4″ cross-grain by my butcher. When I lay the meat down in the dehydrator I give each piece a quick spray or two of non-stick cooking spray and sprinkle a little black pepper on one side only.

    BTW, my wife bought me a new Nesco FD-2000 dehydrator. While I do find I need to rotate the trays for even drying I really do like it. Digital, temperature control and timer. Check it out! 😉

    • Will says:

      Glad you like the recipe. That is one of my favorites as well. I will have to try it with your tweaks and see how it turns out! Nice on the new dehydrator, I love getting new jerky equipment. I’ll have to check that model out, timers really come in handy when you make a lot of jerky.

  7. Christopher says:

    Just took 2lbs of rig hand off the dehydrator a few hours ago I received ia dehydrator for Christmas and I must say rig hand had has got a fair spice to it but so far it’s the best I have made yet I used select sirloin from Schnucks market where I work our meat is rated the best around here and I must say it made some darn good RIG HAND

  8. Tyler says:


    Im cooking about 1.8 pounds of beef in the masterpiece smoker like yours, but my jerky seems to be getting done in ~3 hours? I think my cuts are a little less than 1/4 inch thick. Suppose that’s the ‘problem’?

    Im using the 1.5 hour @170
    30 min @200 (smoke)
    then back to 160 for the remainder (about 1 Hour)

    Excellent tasting recipes, did 1/2 Rig Hand 1/2 Basic jerky. Flavor on both is amazing.

    • Will says:

      Hey Tyler! Glad you enjoyed the jerky recipes. I am not sure why it is only taking about 3 hours for you to smoke your jerky. My smoker takes quite a while, at least 6 hours for my jerky to finish. I have some jerky finish in my dehydrators around 4 hours, but have never had my smoker dry jerky that fast. It could be because the meat is sliced real thin, either way, as long as the jerky is finished there isn’t a problem! Just keep making that good jerky!

  9. Eric says:

    Just found your site. Got a dehydrator about a year ago and am finally putting it to use. Making two batches today. Rig Hand and free styling the other. Can’t wait to taste the results

  10. Denise says:

    I have made several different batches of jerky using different recipes. Your Rig Hand recipe has been the favorite with friends, family and co-workers. I have a batch marinating now. Your website is GREAT. I didn’t know anything about making jerky. Found everything I needed to know right here. Thanks a million.

  11. ken says:

    I’ve been working with this recipe to figure out some nuances that seem to work for me. I use a smoker and either apple or hickory (hickory has a harper flavor). I don’t use a dehydrator but my gas oven. This allows me to keep the meat from drying too fast. There are a number of mechanical tenderizers that are helpful depending on the cut of meat (usually eye of round). I don’t add extra salt since there is a bunch in the soy sauce and the worchestershire sauce. Instead of brown sugar I add molasses. When it’s finished. it’s hard not to make a meal out of it. Ok, I have made a meal out of it once in a while.

  12. Eric says:

    Hi will. Question for you. If I have this right no matter what I marinate the meat in or wether I use regular salt or pickling salt or any of your recipes. I can cut the meat in thin slices. Marinate for 8 to 24 hrs. Not use any cures. Cook in the oven for 10 minutes or so at about 300. Pat dry. And dehydrate. As long as the meat reaches 160deg post dehydration.

  13. Marc says:

    Made my first ever batch of jerky with this recipe (minus the extra pepper flakes after marinating) and it was amazing! Thank you so much for this site!

  14. David says:

    My co-workers love this stuff. So far I’ve made 3 batches of this stuff at 10 pounds per batch. My only tweak is instead of using 1 tsp of salt per pound, I use 1/4th tsp of Prague Powder #1 per pound.

    I cut it into 1/8th inch strips with a meat slicer and marinate between 24-36 hours in the refrigerator. Using an excalibur 9 tray dehydrator, I start off at 160 degrees for the first 2.0 hours. I then scale the heat back to 125-130 degrees for the next 2.5-3 hours and check every 30 minutes or so.

    Side note: Contrary to online opinion, if you use a food saver you’re able to save this stuff in the freezer for up to six months (or more). I recently pulled a four month old pack from the freezer when I made my last batch. After de-thawing to room temperature, there was no difference in taste or texture to myself and co-workers when eaten side by side with a fresh never frozen batch.

    • Will says:

      I love this recipe too, one of my favorites. I appreciate the info on the taste test, very interesting! I also vacuum seal and freeze jerky if needed, though most of my batches are small and eaten pretty quickly. But there are always a couple of occasions a year, like hunting trips, that I make a bunch. Thanks for coming by David!

  15. Anthony Zelina says:

    love this site! i also have a 9 tray excalibur. aside from the bend test, how can i properly check doneness>???? looking forward to trying rig hand now, been winging it with teryaki, worschestire, brown sugar and liq smoke… when do we use vinegar and other stuff. ideas on creating my own marinade? no cook here, just experimenting. tried using an ipa beer in there to no avail. thanx, great site will

  16. christina says:

    I love this rig hands recipe! It’s going to be my go to for jerky. A question though, my husband likes his jerky cut about 3/8 in, how long would I need to let it go in the dehydrator?

  17. Gayle Dunning says:

    I would like to smoke this recipe in my propane smoker will the 4 hours be the right amount of time? I have a hard time keeping the temp down @ 160 if there’s any wind. I’ve done antelope jerkey in a gas oven but alas my new electric oven only goes down to 170 °
    Colorado Grandma, whose grandkids love her jerky!

    • Will says:

      Hello fellow Coloradoan! When it comes to smokers, the time can vary sooooo much. My electric smoker normally takes closer to 6-7 hours to dry. I am able to keep it around 160F when drying. You really are going to have to take a piece out starting at about the 4 hour mark and keep checking to see if it is done. It should bend and crack, but not break in half. Make sure to let it cool to room temperature, about 5 minutes, before bending it. Let me know how it turns out Gayle!

  18. Anthony Zelina says:

    Hey there Jerkyholic, just made the rig hand jerky and boy let me tell you what flavor! what I really noticed was that the flavor lasts all the way to the very end.
    Thanks for sharing your recipes !

    • Will says:

      Nice man! Not sure how deep. I flew up and filled in for someone while on the surfaces’ for 8 wells. I can’t remember how deep they were going, it was a while ago! I’m in Oklahoma right now on a Patterson rig. We are going about 10,000 tvd and 22,000 md, drilling with OBM. Can’t complain….

  19. Danikay says:

    Hi! Our 9 year old daughter wants to make jerky for her father’s/ my husband birthday next week. Just wanted to let you know that after reading your posts I’m excited too. And very grateful for all the tips. We’ll let ya know how it goes.

  20. Jim in sandusky says:

    After marinading meat for the first batch of jerky, can I re-use the marinade?
    What are your thoughts of freezing meat for an hour, slicing up into strips, adding the marinade, and bagging it in freezer bags for future drying at a later date?

    • Will says:

      From a safety standpoint, it is not recommended to re-use a marinade after you have marinated meat in it. I have never frozen meat in a marinade for future use but don’t see why it would be a problem. Before freezing, I would let it marinade in the refrigerator for at least 8 hours and then put the bag in the freezer. That way it is ready to go as soon as it thaws.

  21. Tim in Indy says:

    LOVE the Rig Hand! I’ve already done 2 batches in my Masterbuilt, first one was dry (live and learn…we still ate it) and the second was pretty close to spot on. I’ll be doing another batch soon with some tweaks. Thanks for sharing your knowledge and recipes, it is greatly appreciated!

  22. Alyssa says:

    Hi Will,

    I noticed on your dehydrator review it says the NESCO takes about 90 minutes to get to 160 degrees. Do I need to pre-cook the beef I want to dehydrate in my NESCO or can I just go straight to the dehydrator. Thanks!

  23. Mark Bradshaw says:

    Thanks Will! I’m using the oven because I can hang about 4 lbs with toothpicks , and, well, I’m too lazy to fire up the smoker today… Your recipes have become a regular thing for me. Driving truck and eating right is a hard combination. With jerky I can have my PFC snacks between meals without missing a beat. Thanks again for taking the time to share and for the straightforward guides and recipes.

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