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 healthy 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!
Healthy 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 smoked 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.
Bottom round 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!
How to Make Smoked Beef Jerky
This is a great recipe for a pellet grill or smoker like a Traeger grill. Not everyone has a smoker but it’s a great investment! Especially for smoked beef jerky fans. 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.
You need to whisk all the healthy homemade beef jerky ingredients together until well combined. The meat needs to be cut against the grain into ¼-inch thick slices. Next add the beef to the marinade and let it marinate overnight (or for at least 3 hours) in the refrigerator. In fact you can marinate it for up to 4 days for the richest flavour.
The pellet grilled smoker for your smoked 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.
When it’s hot enough, arrange the steak strips on the grate and smoke them 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 pellet grilled gluten free and paleo beef jerky cool on wire racks and enjoy!
Tips for Health 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 for half an hour first. This makes it harder so it’s easier to get the cuts the right thickness.
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 Gluten Free and Paleo 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 your healthy homemade 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.
If you like this pellet grilled smoked beef jerky, you might also like Smoked Beer Can Chicken with Mexican BBQ Sauce, Smoked Cheddar Bacon Stuffed Burgers, Herb Grilled New York Steak with Bacon and Scallions, or Easy Beef and Potato Bake – One Pot Meal.
Healthy Homemade Smoked Beef Jerky Recipe
Healthy 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.
- 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.
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.
Let me know if you try out this delicious smoked beef jerky. It is a great recipe for a smoker like a Traeger grill. This healthy 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!