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.
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