You have probably seen their commercials while watching your favorite show. The most recent one I can think of is an older lady telling a young guy "Frank's RedHot, I put that shit on everything!" Ha! You don't forget a commercial like that.
*Original Post Date: July 24th, 2015 *Updated pictures and step by step instructions*
Why this jerky marinade works
Spicy jerky is hugely popular and using great tasting and well made hot sauces to obtain the spice makes it super easy to make as well. I LOVE Frank's Red Hot and it goes great with the saltier ingredients of this recipe.
If you have a favorite hot sauce, feel free to substitute it instead of Franks. The goal is to get a nice spice that is familiar to your taste buds. If you don't have a favorite, this is a great one to try!
Slicing the meat
Start with a lean cut of beef or venison, you can see a list of the best cuts of meat for jerky here. I chose a beef top round for this marinade.
Make sure to trim as much fat from the piece of meat before you start slicing. Fat spoils faster than meat, removing as much as you can now will extend the shelf life of the finished jerky.
Using a sharp knife, slice the meat in ⅛" - ¼" wide strips for jerky. Slicing with the grain of the meat will give you a chewy jerky, whereas slicing against the grain will produce a more tender beef jerky. I have put together a page on how to slice meat, it will provide you with in depth instructions.
Making the marinade
Franks Redhot is at the heart of this recipe and really gives it a nice kick of spice. The marinade is easy to make and you probably already have most of the ingredients in the pantry.
Mix all the ingredients really well in a bowl or ziplock bag. Since there aren't any peppers in this marinade there is no need for using a blender. Mixing by hand will do just fine.
Add the previously sliced meat strips to the marinade and mix well so they are fully covered. Place in the fridge and marinate for 6-24 hours, shaking the bag several times while marinating to ensure the strips continue to be fully covered.
Dehydrating / Smoking
There is nothing better than smoked beef jerky. I enjoy using a dehydrator when making jerky as well, but nothing can beat that real smoked flavor.
Once the meat strips are finished marinating, strain any excess marinade from them with a colander and place the strips either on your smoker, dehydrator, or oven trays.
You can also hang the strips instead of laying them on the racks. A pellet smoker was used when making this jerky. Set the smoker at 180-200 and smoke for 3-5 hours.
Testing for when it's finished
It's important to remove a piece of jerky from the smoker, dehydrator, or oven and allow to cool 5 minutes before testing. Testing warm jerky will hint that the jerky isn't finished drying when it actually is.
The jerky is finished when it bends and cracks but does not break in half. White fibers will also be seen in the meat when it is ripped in half showing it's finished drying.
Old Pro Tips:
- Marinate meat for 24 hours for full flavor
- Can substitute any hot sauce for Franks Red Hot if desired
- Double the hot sauce to really spice up this recipe!
- Use liquid smoke that does not have many filler ingredients such as Wrights Liquid Smoke.
Yes! Change the Soy Sauce, Worcestershire, & Frank's Red Hot to 1 tablespoon instead of ¼ cup and omit the water from the recipe. Everything else stays the same.
That depends on whether you used curing salt and how you package it. Visit my page on Storing Beef Jerky for everything you need to know about making your jerky last as long as possible.
- 1 lb Beef Top Round or Venison
- ¼ cup soy sauce
- ¼ cup worcestershire sauce
- 1 teaspoon liquid smoke (Mesquite)
- 1 teaspoon cracked black pepper
- ¼ cup Frank's RedHot
- ¼ cup water
- ¼ teaspoon Curing Salt (Prague Powder #1)
- Pick a lean cut of beef and trim all visible fat. After trimming the fat, place the meat in the freezer for an hour or two to partially freeze. If purchasing already sliced beef, skip steps the freezing process as it is only used for large cuts of beef.
- While the meat is in the freezer, combine and mix the soy sauce, worcestershire, liquid smoke, black pepper, Frank's RedHot, and water in a medium size bowl or ziplock bag.
- Remove meat from the freezer and slice against the grain between ⅛" - ¼" in thickness. If using already sliced beef, cut into thin strips against the grain at about an inch wide. Or skip the freezing phase and use a jerky slicer for evenly sliced strips.
- Add sliced beef to the mixture and marinate for 6-24 hours in the refrigerator.
- After the meat has finished marinating, remove from refrigerator and pat dry with paper towels.
- Dry in either a smoker, dehydrator, or oven. A pellet smoker was used when making this jerky.
- Smoke for 3-5 hours at 180-200F until the jerky is finished.
- The jerky is finished when it bends and cracks but doesn't break in half. White fibers will also be seen in the meat.
- Allow to cool several hours before storing in airtight containers.
- Marinate longer for more flavor
- Substitute your favorite hot sauce
- Double the hot sauce to really spice it up
Guru Guru says
This was my first crack at making jerky and it turned out great. Nex batch I'm going to put just a drop of mad dog 357 for extra spice.
Steven Greenfield says
How much is a serving size that the Nutrition Information panel describes?
I break it down into about 5 servings. The weight of a serving is going to vary depending on the final dry weight of your jerky. Expect to lose about 50% of weight when drying, so if you start with 1lb of meat you will have around 1/2lb when it's finished drying. So that's 8oz of meat and a serving is 1/5 of that which would make each serving 1.6oz.
I recently got into Jerky making and have been loving it. Your guides and recipes have helped tremendously!
With everything going on right now, finding good cuts of meat around here is a lengthy process, but I've been able to secure ground lean meats more easily, so I've been using the LEM jerky gun. Things have turned out great when using dry rubs with water or very little liquid as you stated in your Ground Beef Jerky guide.
So my question would be, for recipes like this with lots of liquids, how would you go about converting it into a ground beef recipe? And would I need to let the meat set in the fridge for 24 hours or since it's ground beef, is it good to go right after seasoning? I've experimented a bit but I've had mixed results.
Hey Zach, sorry for the late response. To make the ground jerky, just cut down on liquid ingredients and keep dry ingredients the same. On this recipe do 2tbsp of each; soy sauce, Worcestershire, and red hot. 1tsp of liquid smoke, omit the water and keep everything else the same. No need to marinate 24 hours. An hour of two in the fridge will help bind the meat together, that’s all it needs. Let me know how it turns out!
JAMES PARSONS says
I have to fight my wife and kids and gide some if I want to get any of this when I make it, even the ones who don't like spicy food.
That's the only downfall of making jerky, everyone wants it! You are going to just have to make double next time... Haha.
Lew Newby says
Will, I've been smoking Jerky for some time and I really appreciate your site. The first time I did this recipe I only eliminated the liquid smoke and loved the flavor but didn't get any heat. Next time I added 1/2 tsp.+ of Cayenne Pepper to the marinade and mixed well. Same great flavor with a pop of heat but not super hot. This is my favorite Jerky recipe and the pellet grill gives it just enough smoke. My Grandkids and Great Grandkids also like a pop of heat.
Glad to hear Lew! I want to get a pellet grill and start making jerky with it, I have heard it comes out great. There is something about a little heat in jerky that makes it taste sooooo good. I bet all the kids love it and can't wait to come to your house!
Lew Newby says
You're thinking about a pellet grill and I'm thinking about a dehydrator. 4 hours of smoke i about all I want on my Jerky. 3 hours is probably better and I like smoke on my meat. If you do get a pellet grill I might suggest that you get one with a low temp of 160° F. My lowest setting is 180 but it does make great Jerky. I have a Camp Chef Smokepro DLX but I installed a different controller and lost the lower temp capability.
Will Mathes says
Just another jerky maker out here in Colorado! This will be my first venture into the spicy realm of jerky but I couldn’t be more excited. I’ll be using different types of yellow bird hot sauce from down on Texas. After reading your recipe and realizing we’re both named will and live up in the Rockies, I had to say hello! Smooth travels!
Hey Will! Nothing better than the living up here, the outdoors are amazing! Never heard of yellow bird hot sauce. Going to have to give them a try! Let me know how your spicy jerky turns out and which yellow bird hot sauce you like the best.
It's not my first time to go to see this web page, i am browsing this site
dailly and take good facts from here every day.
1/4cup of liquid smoke seems like a lot is that correct? I don’t want to ruin my jerky lol.
I tried to look back and find my original hand written recipe to find out what the real amount is. I know it was not 1/4 cup, that is A LOT! Thanks for pointing that out! I changed it to 1 tbsp. It also depends on the type of LS you buy. Some are more concentrated than other. I would check the bottle to see what they recommend per 1lb of meat. Start small, you can always add more after tasting the marinade!
I put 1&1/2 tsp in.
And although it had a strong smoke aroma, after 16hrs in the marinade and dehydrating the jerky turned out brilliant. I also used franks red hot (extra hot). Still not stupidly hot but had a real nice kick to it.
Great recipe will be using it again!!!
Clint the Aussie says
Damn guys. I would never waste an awesome sauce like Franks on jerky I save it for my wings. Use the dehydrator to dry your own chilli like jalapeño habanero I’m using ghost chilli today.
Kelly Kirchner says
Have you ever made jerky in the oven instead of a dehydrator? If so, which one do You prefer?
Yep. Check out Making Jerky in an Oven. I like using my dehydrator.
Hey Will, I like your recipe and I will definitely try it, especially since I like Frank'S a lot. This is my first time, I just bought a dehydrator with a max temp of 165, and I've read on other sites that you should still cook the meat before or after the process. With my max temp being 165, do I still have to cook it before or after, or is that going to be suitable enough to just stick the raw meat in, finish the process and just eat it without sticking it in the oven before or after? Thanks for your time.
Hey Bret. Congrats on the new dehydrator! Check out what I wrote on my Jerky Safety Page about this.
nice write up on a great recipe!
I like to dehydrate my jerky for 8 hours at 145 and then for one hour at 95, or the lowest setting!
I’ve been looking for a different recipe to change things up a little, but this is my standard recipe.
2.5 to 3 pounds of Eye of Round thinly cut
10oz of Worcestershire (usually comes in a 10oz bottle)
2/3 cup of soy
Fine black pepper
Crushed red pepper
Then I add one kind of variant, either 2 boiled and chopped jalapeños or 2 sun dried chili peppers.
Dehydrate at 145 for 8 hours
I only use a round NESCO snackmaster dehydrator.
I can’t wait to try this Franks Jerky recipe!
Sounds like a pretty good recipe! I'm going to have to give that one a try for sure.
Paul Ternahan says
I'm trying your recipe today!
A buddy of mine and I made this many times over the past 10 months. We use Frank's wing sauce as it gives a bit more of the Frank's flavor that we like, but the original recipe is great too. I don't even make other types of jerky anymore. This is my go-to. Thank you!
Nice man! Everyone has their go to recipes.... It's nice knowing it is going to turn out tasting great!
Thanks for the awesome recipe! Will be using this very soon 🙂
Wayne Logue says
What temp did you use when dehydrating this recipe?
I start with the dehydrator on 160F for about 3 hours and then turn it down to 145F until it is finished. Thanks for coming by Wayne!
Wayne Logue says
I am new to jerky making in my home, but grew up with my father keeping a converted refrigerator with a lawn mower engine attached to a fan and a ton of hard wood for smoke going 24x7. Most of our jerkey was venison or home raised and slaughtered beef, it was also considered 'too good for the kids" so I don't recall having it too often. I am now stationed in Saudi Arabia so the handed down family recipes are in storage back stateside.
I have been following a recipe that is ok, but not GREAT; will be trying yours next. I have one small problem, I cannot have wheat; full blown allergic (not gluten, allergy) so I am using a tamari type soy sauce as it has no wheat. I am also avoiding sugar but Splenda seems to bring enough relief from any spice. What I am struggling with is getting s good strong jalapeño or pepper spice other than black pepper flavor. Any tips?
I'm glad your finding ways to make the jerky while working around your allergy! I use Tamari every so often. (my wife buys a lot of gluten free products, no allergy though. She just likes spending more money than necessary on stuff. Haha) I normally use fresh jalapenos when making any of my recipes that require that flavor. Keep the seeds in and even blend in a blender to break up the pepper better. I have used a dried jalapeno powder to top the jerky before drying as well to give it a little more kick. A recipe I really like is my Habanero Tabasco Jerky. It's a spicy jerky, but not peppery. But if you are looking for a little kick to your jerky, it's a great one to try. The Dos Pepper Jerky is good as well. It does have black pepper but also some lemon pepper which makes balances out the pepper flavor a little. I hope that helps a little bit! Is it hard finding ingredients over in Saudi Arabia?
Thanks for the tips! Ingredients in the Kingdom (of Saudi Arabia) would be a challenge, but we get American products, including frozen (they freeze just about everything to get it to us) beef. At the commissary. The product list at the commissary is very limited, but the Saudis love American products, so other than the wheat issue, (have Amazon as a back up source for that) mainly the beef would be an issue. No country cuts up or raises beef like the U.S. Sourcing things takes research and finding the store that carries it. Then if all else fails Amazon it. Lucky to have what is provided for us on the compound.
Nice! Wasn't sure if you could amazon stuff over there. That's my go to when I can't find what I need in the store. Can't beat it..
Hey, this last batch of jerkey came out acceptably dehydrated but the seasoning is still a bit damp; I have to lick or wipe off my fingers. I am concerned that it may not store as long and wondered if you have a solution to this. Do I up the temp, the drying time or dilute with water to thin the marinade out?
I didn't have any problems like that. Did you pat the strips dry with paper towels before drying them? That normally prevents it from having excess marinade on the jerky.
I work in the Kingdom. If you are in Riyadh then check out Chopped meats. they will cut the meat for you and they are great cuts of beef. They even have wagyu beef. I use the beef from there to make my jerky.