Teriyaki sauce is one of the most popular flavors when it comes to beef jerky. This recipe knocks the socks off any store bought teriyaki jerky I have ever tried.
Original Post Date: May 4th, 2016 *Recipe updated with more pictures and step by step instructions*
Slicing The Meat
Choose a lean cut of beef, I used beef eye of round when making this jerky. You can find a complete list of the best cuts of meat to make beef jerky with by clicking here!
The first step of slicing meat for jerky is to trim the cut of meat of all visible fat. You can see the white fat in the picture below, 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.
Slice the meat with a very sharp knife either with the grain for a more chewy jerky or against the grain for a more tender jerky. a ¼″ in thickness is just right.
The beef eye of round was sliced with the grain giving this jerky a little more of a chew. I still don't have a favorite way of slicing meat. Sometimes I am in the mood for an easy chew and sometimes I like a tougher jerky.
I was just craving some long lasting chew and that's why I went with the grain on this recipe.
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.
Not sure what way the grain runs? Need more information on slicing meat for jerky? I have put together a page on Slicing Meat for Jerky where you can find EVERYTHING you need to know when slicing meat for jerky.
Making The Marinade
This simple recipe is made great by utilizing local honey and only a touch of sesame oil which brings together all the flavors.
Since I did not use any whole ingredients that needed to be chopped up into small bits, I did not use a blender and simply added all the ingredients into a ziplock bag and mixed well.
Next, add the beef strips into the ziplock bag and mix well to make sure all of them are evenly coated with the marinade.
Marinate in the refrigerator for 6-24 hours mixing the bag up several times to further make sure the strips are evenly coated. This makes sure the every piece of finished jerky has a consistent flavor.
Drying The Jerky
Once the meat has finished marinating, strain any excess marinade in a colander. I marinated this beef for a total of 23 hours before straining. The longer the marinade process, the more intense flavor the jerky will have!
Before adding the meat to your smoker, dehydrator, or oven; lay out paper towels placing the meat strips on top. Pat dry the strips to remove even more of the excess marinade. This step will help speed up the drying process and prevent the meat from being ‘sticky’ after it has finished drying.
After patting the strips dry, place them on your smoker racks, dehydrator trays, or oven rack.
If using an oven or smoker, you can pierce the strips on one end with toothpicks that way you can hang them from the racks. Make sure to place some aluminum foil underneath the rack to catch any dripping liquid for easy cleanup.
The all trustworthy Masterbuilt Smoker was fired up to give this Teriyaki Jerky some real smoke flavor. I decided against the mesquite in the picture above and went with some hickory chips. It provided a nice mild hickory smoke flavor. I love making jerky in a smoker, you just can't replicate that real smoke flavor.
If you do make this in a dehydrator or oven, liquid smoke does give the jerky a nice smokey flavor. Definitely add some to your marinade in the previous steps to replicate that amazing smokey flavor!
I dried the strips for 1.5 hrs at 160°F then turned up to 200°F for 1 hr while hitting it with a handful of hickory wood chips. One handful of wood chips is all you need when smoking jerky.
After it gets that tasty smoke from the handful of chips, the temp is lowered back down to 160°F and finished off. Mine took another 8 hours to finish, bringing the total time in the smoker to 10.5 hrs.
You can see the jerky dries nice and even when hung from the smoker racks.
RELATED PAGE: DEHYDRATOR REVIEWS – CLICK HERE
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.
When making jerky in a dehydrator or oven I find my jerky is normally finished around the 4-5 hour mark. When using a smoker it is closer to 6-8 hours.
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!
So, how was it? They turned out great! It had the perfect amount of spice for my liking and a great chew. So get some beef and give this Mexican heat beef jerky a try!
Old Pro Tips:
- Make sure the smoker is hot when adding the wood chips. If they burn at too low of a temperature it will give the jerky a sour flavor
- Use liquid smoke if using a dehydrator or oven
- Use Prague Powder #1 to increase the shelf life of the jerky and help kill any bacteria
- Slice strips at ¼″ thickness for a good jerky feel
For more in depth directions on how to Smoke your beef jerky, visit my page: How to Make Beef Jerky in a Smoker
- ½ cup soy sauce
- 1 tbsp rice vinegar
- 2 tbsp honey
- 2 tbsp brown sugar
- 1 tsp sesame oil
- 1 tsp garlic powder
- 1 tsp dried ginger
- ¼ tsp Curing Salt (Prague Powder #1)
- Trim all visible fat from the beef, wrap in plastic wrap, and place in the freezer for an hour or two to partially freeze.
- While the meat is in the freezer, combine the soy sauce, rice vinegar, honey, brown sugar, sesame oil, garlic powder, & dried ginger in a bowl or ziplock bag and mix well.
- Remove the meat from the freezer and slice ¼" strips against the grain for an easy chew. Slice with the grain for a chewier jerky. Or skip the freezing phase and use a Jerky Slicer for even sliced strips.
- Add sliced beef to the mixture and marinate for 8-24 hours in the refrigerator.
- After the meat has finished marinating, remove from refrigerator and strain excess marinade.
- Pat dry the strips with paper towels.
- The jerky is finished when it bends and cracks, but does not break in half.