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Spicy Italian Pork Jerky

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I love Spicy Italian sausage and this jerky recipe nailed that taste. Packed full of flavor with just enough heat to get you going. Easy to make and tastes great, what’s better than that?!

Italian Pork Jerky in dish with peppers and onions

Slicing The Meat

I normally make pork jerky out of pork tenderloin, but decided to try pork loin for the three pork recipes I just made. It had a little more interior fat than I like, so will be sticking to tenderloin in the future.

Pork Loin on cutting board

Pick up a pork tenderloin or pork loin and slice away the fat cap and any other fat that you see. Getting rid of as much fat as you can now will help the jerky last longer after it has finished drying.

Pork Loin with fat trimmed on cutting board

I have trimmed the fat cap and will slice WITH the grain at about 1/8″ – 1/4″ thick. 

Pork Loin Sliced for jerky on cutting board with knife

Here is the pork loin sliced in 1/4″ strips. You can see the white fat on the strips from all the interior fat on the loin. Like I mentioned earlier, I believe the tenderloin is a better cut when making pork jerky.

Related Page: Dozens of Jerky Recipes – Click Here!!!

Making The Marinade

I made a Korean BBQ jerky recipe in the past and it turned out amazing, it’s actually a recipe in my cookbook (shameless plug). That recipe was made with beef however. I loved it so much, I tweaked it by adding a couple ingredients and making it with pork.

Most of these ingredients can be found at your local grocery store except the rice wine. This is NOT rice wine vinegar which IS easy to find, this is just Rice Wine and can be found at an Asian market.  Let’s get started making the marinade:

Start by adding all the ingredients in a small bowl or ziplock bag. Add the jerky strips to the marinade and make sure that all the strips are covered fully with the marinade.

Marinate in the refrigerator for 6-24 hours mixing the strips in the bag every 4 hours or so to make sure the strips marinate evenly. 

Italian pork jerky marinating in ziplock bag

After marinating, strain the pork jerky in a colander. The jerky will NOT soak up all the marinade, using a colander is an easy way to get rid of the excess.

Italian pork jerky strained in colander

Once strained, pat dry the strips with paper towels to remove any excess marinade. This will speed up the drying process and also prevent the jerky from having a sticky feel once dried. 

Drying The Jerky

When I make pork or turkey jerky I like to pre-heat the meat to an internal temperature of 165°F as recommended by the USDA. Pre-heat your oven to 350F and place the jerky on baking sheets. If you have a dehydrator that will heat the meat to 165ºF, you can skip this step.

Italian pork jerky strips on baking sheet

I use a cooling rack to elevate the jerky above the baking pan. This will add a little more time onto the pre-heat, but it seems to not ‘cook’ the meat as much since the jerky is not on the extremely hot pan.

Wrap a thin piece of meat around an oven thermometer and place in the oven until the jerky reaches an internal temperature of 165°F. It took 22 minutes for my pork to reach an internal temperature of 165°F.

italian pork jerky on dehydrator tray

Once the strips have reached 165°F, remove from the oven and place on your dehydrator trays. I used my Nesco Gardenmaster Dehydrator when making this jerky. Above you can see the strips are NOT touching and have room in between for plenty of air flow allowing the jerky to dry evenly.

You can also use an oven or smoker to make this recipe. For step by step instructions on how to use a dehydrator, oven, and smoker to make jerky; make sure to visit my How to Make Jerky page.

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.

Pork Jerky Finished

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.

Italian pork jerky in yellow dish with pepper and onions

After pre-heating the jerky in the oven, it took 5 hours to dry at a temperature of 145°F in my dehydrator. The finished jerky tasted fantastic. The cayenne and red pepper flakes really give this jerky a kick that makes it stand out. The flavorful ingredients made the jerky taste just like a mouth watering spicy Italian sausage I like to add to my spaghetti or eat on a bun with some mustard.

Make a good amount of this jerky, it’s going to get eaten fast!

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!

Old Pro Tips:

  • Trim all fat from the meat before marinating for longer lasting jerky once it’s finished drying
  • Use curing salt or celery juice powder to extend the life of the jerky
  • Marinate closer to 24 hours for the most intense flavor
  • Pork Tenderloin is my favorite cut of pork to use, pork loin is a little too fatty
  • Would be a great recipe for turkey as well

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

Italian Pork Jerky in dish with peppers and onions
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Spicy Italian Pork Jerky

Love Italian sausage? You are going to LOVE this recipe. Amazing flavor with a little bit of spice that is sure to have everyone raving.

Course Jerky
Cuisine American
Keyword italian, Jerky, Pork Jerky, spicy
Prep Time 1 hour
Cook Time 5 hours
Total Time 6 hours
Servings 4 servings
Calories 167 kcal
Author Will

Ingredients

Marinade

  • 3/4 cup beef broth
  • 1 tbsp red wine vinegar
  • 1 tsp sea salt
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp black pepper freshly ground
  • 1/2 tsp paprika smoked
  • 1/2 tsp fennel seeds
  • 1 anise seed whole
  • 1 tsp red pepper flakes
  • 2 tsp powdered sugar
  • 1/2 tsp cayenne pepper chopped
  • 1/4 tsp curing salt optional

Instructions

  1. Trim all visible fat from the pork 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. 
  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. 

  4. Add sliced pork to the mixture in the 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 in a colander and pat dry with paper towels.

  6. Place strips on cooling rack atop a baking sheet and 'cook' in the oven for 22 minutes at 350F or until the internal temperature of the strips reaches 165F. Remove from the oven. 

  7. Continue to dry with your favorite jerky making method. I used my Nesco Dehydrator and dried for 5 hours at 145F.

  8. The jerky is finished when it bends and cracks, but does not break in half. White fibers will also be seen when the jerky is bent.

Recipe Notes

Old Pro Tips:

  • Trim all fat from the meat before marinating for longer lasting jerky once it’s finished drying
  • Use curing salt or celery juice powder to extend the life of the jerky
  • Marinate closer to 24 hours for the most intense flavor
  • Pork Tenderloin is my favorite cut of pork to use, pork loin is a little too fatty
  • Would also be great if made with Turkey
Nutrition Facts
Spicy Italian Pork Jerky
Amount Per Serving
Calories 167 Calories from Fat 45
% Daily Value*
Fat 5g8%
Saturated Fat 2g13%
Cholesterol 71mg24%
Sodium 959mg42%
Potassium 467mg13%
Carbohydrates 3g1%
Fiber 1g4%
Sugar 1g1%
Protein 26g52%
Vitamin A 385IU8%
Calcium 11mg1%
Iron 1mg6%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
I love Spicy Italian sausage and this jerky recipe nailed that taste. Packed full of flavor with just enough heat to get you going. Easy to make and tastes great, what\'s better than that?! | Jerkyholic.com