A lot of people buy readymade smoked beef jerky. But when I found out how easy a homemade jerky recipe was, I had to try it! This gluten free and paleo beef jerky is bursting with wonderful flavour making it a favourite homemade beef jerky recipe. It is a great recipe for a smoker like a Traeger grill. Read on for all the details for how to make this pellet grilled smoked beef jerky. Happy grilling!
Get ready to elevate your snack game with our homemade smoked beef jerky! Not only is it a delicious and satisfying snack, but it’s also packed with protein. Plus, it’s so easy to make at home using this simple recipe. Get ready to elevate your snack cuisine!
Homemade beef jerky makes a great snack and it’s fun to experiment with other flavours. It will keep for several months (well, maybe not in this house!) and still be just as delicious.
What Beef is Best for Smoked Beef Jerky?
If you want to know how to make beef jerky, you’ll be curious which type of beef works best. Flank steak is ideal. Choose the leanest cut you can find and trim off visible fat before making your jerky. This is the key to delicious jerky!
Bottom round steak and top round are also tasty and lean. London broil is another option for your homemade jerky recipe. Sirloin tip is lean but less tender and it costs more too. Tenderloin makes a wonderful homemade jerky recipe but it’s expensive.
To ensure the best texture, you need to cut the meat just right. This is just as important as choosing a good cut. Slice it against the grain and take your time to get the thickness right. If it’s too thick it will be chewy and if it’s too thin it will dry out during dehydration. Practice makes perfect!
Smoked Jerky Ingredients
The ingredients I used to flavour the jerky were coconut aminos, hoisin sauce, garlic, ginger, onion, chilli powder, and black pepper. These ingredients include sweet, savoury and spicy elements.
This is a great recipe smoking beef jerky on a pellet grill or pellet smoker like a Traeger grill. Not everyone has a smoker but it’s a great investment! Especially for smoked beef jerky fans. An electric smoker will work, too. This Traeger jerky recipe is so easy and will become your go-to recipe!
How to Make Smoked Beef Jerky
You need to whisk all the jerky marinade ingredients together until well combined. The meat needs to be cut against the grain into ¼-inch thick slices with a very sharp knife. Next add the beef slices to the marinade and let it marinate overnight (or for at least 3 hours) in the refrigerator covered with plastic wrap or in a sealed container. In fact you can marinate it for up to 4 days for the richest flavour.
The pellet grilled smoker to smoke beef jerky needs to be 165 degrees F. This is a typical temperature for a recipe for a smoker like a Traeger grill. Smoking temperatures are always cooler than grilling ones. A low temperature like this is perfect for making jerky.
After the meat has marinated, you will want to try to remove the excess marinade. Remove from the refrigerator and place the slices of meat on a cookie sheet lined with foil and paper towels. Place down one layer of meat, and then add a paper towel layer. Continue this layering until you have placed all of the meat on the baking sheet. Absorbing the extra moisture will help the meat cook more evenly.
When it’s hot enough, arrange the sliced beef strips on the grill grates and smoke jerky for 4 hours. If it’s done you will be able to pick up a strip by one end. It should be firm but a little pliable. If it bends a lot, give it another half-hour and check again.
Let the homemade smoked jerky cool on a wire cooling rack and enjoy! I am certain it won’t last long once it is cooled, so it is good thing that making beef jerky is so easy. Store the jerky strips in an airtight container.
Tips for Homemade Beef Jerky
If you aren’t confident in cutting the beef the right thickness, just ask the butcher to do it. Discovering how to make smoked beef jerky is even simpler if the meat is sliced already! Another way to simplify the cutting is to pop the beef in the freezer to partially freeze for half an hour first. This makes it harder so it’s easier to get the cuts the right thickness. A meat slicer will also work if you have one.
No smoker but in the mood for smoked beef jerky? You can make it in the oven or in a dehydrator set around the same temperature. You won’t get the same smoky taste but you could always add a few drops of liquid smoke to the recipe for a similar result.
To make the most flavourful pellet grilled smoked beef jerky, arrange the sliced meat strips not touching in a dish. Then pour the marinade over it. This ensures all sides of every meat strip are in contact with the marinade. Whisk the marinade well before adding it to the beef.
How to Cut Meat for Beef Jerky
It’s important to cut your meat perfectly. Press down on the beef with one hand. You need to put some pressure on it (enough to leave indentations!) Cut it into thin strips (about ¼-inch is good) using the sharpest knife you have. This is a good tip for any recipe for a smoker like a Traeger grill. Sharp knives are your friend!
How to Eat Smoked Beef Jerky
This pellet grilled gluten free and paleo beef jerky makes a great snack by itself. It’s easy to carry around and is always tasty. There are some other ways to enjoy it though. Cut or crumble yourhomemade beef jerky up and then try one of these:
- Crumble it over salad.
- Simmer it in tomato sauce then serve over spaghetti and meatballs.
- Mix it into cornbread to add meatiness.
- Toss it into Brussels sprouts instead of bacon.
- Add it to beans along with a pinch of cumin.
Homemade Jerky FAQs
Oak, pecan, hickory, maple or apple are good options for wood chips.
No, you do note need to flip your jerky during the smoking process.
Smoke the jerky until it bends but doesn’t crack. To test, take a piece from the smoker and let it come to room temperature. If it is pliable when you fold it in half and the meat fibre is starting to break but looks chewy then it is done. If the jerky is floppy, then put it back into the smoker. If it snaps in half, then you have already overcooked it.
If you store homemade beef jerky in an airtight container at room temperature, it will last about a week. If you store your jerky in the refrigerator in an airtight container, it should last 1 to 2 weeks.
Homemade Smoked Beef Jerky Recipe
Homemade Smoked Beef Jerky
- 1 1/4 Cup coconut aminos
- 2 Tbsp. hoisin sauce
- 1 Tbsp. garlic powder
- 1/2 Tbsp. ginger powder
- 1 Tbsp. onion powder
- 1 Tsp. black pepper
- 1 Tsp. ancho chili powder
- 2 Lb. flank steak
- Combine coconut aminos, hoisin sauce, garlic, ginger, onion, chili powder and black pepper in a large, sealable mixing bowl. Whisk well.
- Slice steak into ¼” thick slices against the grain. Add to the bowl and seal. Place into the fridge and let marinate at least 3 hours, preferably overnight.
- After the meat has marinated, remove from the refrigerator and place the slices of meat on a cookie sheet lined with foil and paper towels. Place down one layer of meat, and then add a paper towel layer. Continue this layering until you have placed all of the meat on the baking sheet. Absorbing the extra moisture will help the meat cook more evenly.
- Set smoker to 165 degrees F and preheat with the lid closed for 15 minutes.
- Once preheated, arrange sliced steak directly on the grill grate and smoke for 4 hours.
- Check to be sure the jerky is done by lifting one end of the meat, if it holds its shape (and is somewhat pliable) the jerky is ready. If it bends too much, place back onto the smoker and check again after 30 minutes.
- Place on a wire rack lined baking sheet to cool for 30 minutes. Store any leftovers in a ziplock in the fridge.
- Oak, hickory, pecan and apple woodchips are good options for jerky
The nutrition information provided are only estimates based on an online nutritional calculator. I am not a certified nutritionist. Please consult a professional nutritionist or doctor for accurate information and any dietary restrictions and concerns you may have.
Don’t be fooled by store-bought jerky that’s often loaded with preservatives and additives – make your own and you’ll taste the difference! Perfect for on-the-go snacking, road trips, or game day munchies. Give this homemade smoked beef jerky a try and you’ll never go back to store-bought again.
Let me know if you try to make jerky in a smoker. It is a great recipe for a smoker like a Traeger grill. This homemade beef jerky just happens to also be a gluten free and paleo beef jerky, too! All the details are above for how to make this pellet grilled smoked beef jerky….so enjoy!
Other Recipes to Try
Bella Bucchiotti is a storyteller, food lover, dog mom and adventure seeker living on the Pacific coast. She shares her passion for food, dogs, fitness, adventures, travel and philanthropy, in hopes of encouraging followers to run the extra mile, try new recipes, visit unfamiliar places and stand for a cause. Bella lives with Type 1 Diabetes and Celiac Disease.
I have always wanted to try to make my own jerky
This is my go to jerky recipe. So simple and the results are wonderful. My wife and I can’t go back to store bought.
So glad you love it !!
My hubby makes great beef jerky. I can’t wait to impress him with your recipe.