This Homemade Healthy Beef Jerky Recipe is an easy and cheap snack – all you need to do is bake it in the oven on low!
Ingredients and substitutions
- Top sirloin steak – top-round or bottom-round steak is also good for jerky.
- Soy sauce – coconut aminos or tamari are the best soy sauce substitutes.
- Worcestershire sauce – white wine vinegar would also work here.
- Honey – maple syrup will also add some sweetness to your jerky.
- Hot sauce – use more or less hot sauce or tabasco depending on how much spice you like.
- Black pepper – freshly cracked pepper will give the jerky more of a peppery flavour.
- Onion powder – double up on the garlic powder if you don’t have any onion powder on hand.
- Garlic powder – swap out for more onion powder or use finely minced garlic cloves.
- Paprika – cayenne will provide a similar flavour but has more of a kick.
- Red pepper flakes – cayenne or chili powder would also be good here.
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How to make beef jerky
Step 1: Freeze then slice the steak.
Freeze steak for 1 hour and then slice as thinly as possible against the grain, trimming away any fat.
Step 2: Marinade the steak strips.
Mix together marinade ingredients then add to a large freezer bag. Add steak strips to a bag and let marinate at least 30 minutes.
Step 3: Squeeze out the excess liquid.
Preheat oven to 170 F. Place steak strips on a paper towel-lined plate and squeeze excess liquid out of strips with paper towel until dried.
Step 4: Add the beef to bamboo skewers.
Add steak strips to bamboo skewers, then hang along the highest rack of the oven.
Step 5: Hang the skewers in the oven.
Close your oven door, propping it open slightly with an oven mitt. Be sure to do this so some moisture can escape from the oven, and cook for 5 hours.
Step 6: Remove from the skewers and store for later!
When finished, remove jerky from skewers and store in the fridge up to 14 days.
Beef jerky marinade flavours
You can switch up in the ingredients in your beef jerky marinade for a different flavour. There are nearly endless options when it comes to the different flavour combinations you can try!
Here are some great flavour options for your beef jerky:
- Lemon pepper with soy sauce and lemon pepper seasoning
- Chili lime with lime juice, Worcestershire sauce, soy sauce and chili garlic sauce
- Bring the heat by adding diced jalapeno to the sauce
- Asian-inspired with soy sauce, rice vinegar and ginger
- Sweet and spicy with balsamic vinegar, pineapple juice and teriyaki sauce
- Caribbean-inspired using jerk seasoning
- Thai-inspired using cumin and coriander
Frequently Asked Questions
This homemade beef jerky recipe is definitely a healthy snack. It’s low in calories, high in protein and low in fat since you’re using a lean cut of meat. Plus, since you’re making your own homemade jerky at home, you don’t have to worry about all the extra preservatives and sodium that you’d get from store-bought jerky.
I used top sirloin steak to make my healthy beef jerky, since it’s a super lean cut of meat and you cut away any of the excess fat. You can also use top-round or bottom-round steak for beef jerky. Along with top sirloin, these are the most tender and flavourful cuts of beef. You can also try making your jerky with pork or venison!
For this recipe, you’ll actually be using your oven to dehydrate the beef instead of a dehydrator. It will need to cook in the oven for 5 hours at 170° Fahrenheit. It takes a while but it’s totally worth it.
How long does homemade beef jerky last?
If you are going to eat the homemade healthy beef jerky within 3 to 4 days, you can keep it on the counter at room temperature in an airtight container or Ziploc bags. If you want it to last longer than that, I recommend storing it in the fridge, since it’s not as shelf-stable as the store-bought versions. It should last in the fridge for up to 2 weeks.
Can you freeze beef jerky?
Yes, you can! This beef jerky recipe can be frozen for 7 to 12 months. Pack it into an airtight container or Ziploc bag and make sure to get as much air out as possible before sticking it in the freezer. Just pull it out of the freezer and let it defrost in the fridge overnight before eating.
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Meal Prep Tools
- Grab some glass meal prep bowls to store your jerky.
- Freeze this recipe in glass microwave-safe bowls up to 3 months.
- And of course I get all my grass-fed beef from Butcher Box.
- Use these Ziploc bag holders for mess-free marinating.
- **Get my full list of tools here**
Healthy Homemade Beef Jerky Recipe
- 16 oz top sirloin steak
- 3/4 cup low sodium soy sauce
- 1/4 cup Worcestershire sauce
- 2 tbsp honey
- 2 tsp hot sauce (such as Tabasco)
- 2 tsp black pepper
- 1 tsp onion powder
- 1 tsp garlic powder
- 1 tsp paprika
- 1/2 tsp red pepper flakes
- Freeze steak for 1 hour and then slice as thinly as possible against the grain, trimming away any fat.
- Mix together marinade ingredients then add to a large freezer bag. Add steak strips to a bag and let marinate at least 30 minutes.
- Preheat oven to 170 F. Place steak strips on a paper towel-lined plate and squeeze excess liquid out of strips with paper towel until dried. Add steak strips to bamboo skewers, then hang along the highest rack of the oven.
- Close your oven door, propping it open slightly with an oven mitt. Be sure to do this so some moisture can escape from the oven, and cook for 5 hours.
- When finished, remove jerky from skewers and store in the fridge up to 14 days.
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Comments & Reviews
Rodney Morris says
This is the best Jerky recipe ever! Especially if you enjoy a little heat.
Taylor Stinson says
So happy you enjoyed!
I have made beef jerky for a long time, but not in oven. It is so wonderful like this! We love it!
Love the texture and taste, eye of round roast great call! Thank you.
Taylor Stinson says
I’m so happy you enjoyed Darrin! 🙂
Colbi T says
So if I do it in the dehydrator do I do all the steps up until putting them in the oven? And for how long usually?
Taylor Stinson says
Hey Colbi! Sorry I wouldn’t be able to advise on the dehydrator method since I didn’t do it this way myself.
Simon Périgny says
I use a dehydrator (Excalibur 9 trays).
A couple things:
1- The length of time will depend on the actual thickness of your pieces of meat. Myself, I use a slicer. I go against the grain as it makes tender jerky.
2- The more dehydrated your meat becomes, the more resistant to mold it will be, as mold requires oxygen, moisture, organic matter and a “livable” temperature. Because I slice my meat quite finely (I’d say somewhere along the lines of 0.1 inch thick) and it becomes very dry, I store my jerky at room temperature for several weeks. I haven’t had a single batch spoil yet (15 years and counting).
3- Another enemy of jerky is fat. I cannot say this enough. Fat will go rancid. I use eye of round and trim all the fat, and the connective tissue. I lost a few batches at the beginning because there was some fat and I had neglected to trim it off.
4- I usually dehydrate at 165 for 5 hours. I do not turn the meat because it is thin enough, but if you go for a thicker cut, I would suggest you turn your meat over, halfway through, as the side that touches the tray will not dry as fast.
Love this recipe and directions, however i did mine with londo n broil at 160d and as Patti above mentioned i proper the door open with a wooden spoon. It was done in 3 hours. Is it safe to not refrigerate? It’s definitely cooked all th e way. i love in southern florida, and have noticed differences in oven times did to elevation, just wondering if this is the case.
Taylor Stinson says
Hey Jennie! You could definitely leave it in a container on the counter for a few days without putting it in the fridge – thinking 3 to 5 days tops. If you’d like it to last up to 2 weeks, I’d store it in the fridge. I unfortunately can’t speak to oven times and elevation but I will say that all ovens are different and can result in changes in cook times – I know this from experience in baking!