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Smokey Joe’s Beef Jerky

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When ingredients blend together perfectly making a fantastic tasting beef jerky, you know the recipe is just right! Smokey Joe’s beef jerky is one of those recipes and NEEDS to be on the top of your ‘to make’ list.

Beef jerky on bowl with checkered tray underneath

Slicing Meat for Jerky

The first step to making beef jerky is choosing a lean cut of beef. This beef jerky recipe utilizes the great flavored beef bottom round. You can find a complete list of the best cuts of meat for making beef jerky by clicking here!

Beef Bottom Round

The second step of slicing meat for jerky is to trim the cut of meat of all visible fat.

Beef Bottom Round Trimmed of Fat Cap on Cutting board

That white fat is called the fat cap. 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.

Slicing Beef Bottom Round for jerky on cutting board

Slice the meat in 1/4″ thick pieces. If you wrap the roast in plastic and put in the freezer for an hour or two, slicing even strips is easier. If you don’t want to freeze the meat to firm it up a bit, make sure to have a REALLY sharp knife.

Slicing bottom round roast for jerky on cutting board

Then slice the meat in strips to your liking. Slimmer strips sliced with the grain were used for this jerky recipe. Slicing with the grain gives the jerky a little more chew. Slicing against the grain would make the jerky a little more tender and easier to chew. This is a personal preference on how chewy of a jerky you like, so slice it the way you like it!

If you need more information on slicing meat for jerky, check out my slicing jerky page, it explains EVERYTHING.

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.

Venison being sliced by a jerky meat slicer

Making the Jerky Marinade

Thirdly, put together a well balanced and great tasting marinade. Smokey Joe’s Beef Jerky is a super quick and easy recipe that blends well together and has a smooth finished taste. 

Jerky marinade in bowl with spoon

Start by mixing all of the ingredients in a bowl or ziplock bag. You can see the parsley really gave some great color to this marinade. Use fresh parsley and garlic for even more intense flavor. 

beef jerky marinating in ziplock bag

Taste the marinade before adding the beef to make sure it is how you like it. If not, feel free to tweak the recipe! Once it is perfect, place the previously sliced beef into the marinade and mix the bag up really well to make sure the strips are covered evenly with marinade. 

If you are in a rush, a vacuum marinating machine works really well. About 1/2 an hour and your jerky will turn out like it marinated for 12 hours. Not bad! This Chef Elite is the one I own and use.

Meat Marinator

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 and pat the strips dry on paper towels. This beef was marinated for a total of 23 hours before straining. The longer the marinade process, the more intense flavor the jerky will have! 

Marinated jerky strips in colander and on paper towels

Patting the meat with paper towels removes any excess marinade which speeds up the drying process and also prevents a “sticky” feel when the jerky is finished dehydrating.

Nesco Gardenmaster Dehydrator was used when making this beef jerky recipe. I LOVE the Nesco dehydrators. They work great, are reasonably priced, and they last a long time!

beef jerky on dehydrator tray

Leave space between the jerky so it’s not touching, this allows air flow between pieces drying each jerky strip evenly.

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. The jerky will harden slightly once it has cooled down, so not allowing a piece to cool before testing can result in over drying the jerky.

jerky bent showing it's finished drying held by hand

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 5 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.

Smokey Joe’s Beef Jerky turned out tasting GREAT! The flavors blended together very well making a smooth tasting jerky with a great smokey flavor. Using fresh garlic and parsley will really give the jerky a fresh taste, making it that much better.

Jerky on tray with parsley around

Old Pro Tips:

  • Using fresh garlic and parsley makes a more intense and fresh flavor
  • Use liquid smoke that does not include filler ingredients, such as Wright’s Liquid Smoke is the best.
  • 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.

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

Beef jerky on bowl with checkered tray underneath
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Smokey Joe's Beef Jerky

When ingredients blend together perfectly making a fantastic tasting beef jerky, you know the recipe is just right! Smokey Joe's beef jerky is one of those recipes and NEEDS to be on the top of your 'to make' list.

Course Snack
Cuisine American, Beef Jerky
Keyword beef jerky, Jerky, Smokey
Prep Time 1 hour
Cook Time 5 hours
Total Time 6 hours
Servings 5
Calories 19 kcal
Author Will

Ingredients

Marinade

  • 3/4 cup beef broth
  • 1/4 cup worcestershire sauce
  • 1 1/2 tsp kosher salt
  • 1 tsp black pepper fresh cracked
  • 1 tbsp brown mustard
  • 2 garlic cloves or 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/4 tsp parsley flakes freshly chopped
  • 1/2 tsp chili powder
  • 2 tsp liquid smoke hickory

Optional

Instructions

  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 bowl or ziplock bag and mix well. 

  3. Remove the meat from the freezer and slice ¼" strips against the grain for an easy chew. Cut with the grain for a more chewy jerky. Visit my page on slicing jerky for more information. You can also use a Weston Jerky Slicer when making this recipe.

  4. Add sliced beef to the mixture in a ziplock bag or bowl and marinate for 6-24 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 Nesco Dehydrator and dried for 5 hours at 165F.

  7. The jerky is finished when it bends and cracks, but does not break in half.

Recipe Notes

Old Pro Tips:

  • Using fresh garlic and parsley give the recipe more of an intense flavor
  • Use liquid smoke that does not include filler ingredients, such as Wright’s Liquid Smoke is the best.
  • 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.
Nutrition Facts
Smokey Joe's Beef Jerky
Amount Per Serving
Calories 19 Calories from Fat 9
% Daily Value*
Fat 1g2%
Saturated Fat 1g6%
Sodium 1091mg47%
Potassium 129mg4%
Carbohydrates 4g1%
Fiber 1g4%
Sugar 1g1%
Protein 1g2%
Vitamin A 70IU1%
Vitamin C 2mg2%
Calcium 19mg2%
Iron 1mg6%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.