Jerky Made From Ground Beef

beef jerky pieces
B. Carla McMahon/E+/Getty Images
  • 8 hrs 5 mins
  • Prep: 5 mins,
  • Cook: 8 hrs
  • Yield: 4 servings
Ratings (11)

With this easy-to-follow recipe, you can make jerky from dehydrated ground beef at home.

The benefits of homemade jerky are the ability to control not only the taste, but also the smokiness and how salty the end product will be.

This jerky is loaded with umami flavors with just the right amount of chewiness. 

What You'll Need

  • 1 pound ground beef
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon lemon zest
  • 2 tablespoons onion (grated)
  • 1 tablespoon tamari or soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 teaspoons sweet paprika
  • 1 clove garlic (grated)
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper (ground)
  • Optional: 1/2 teaspoon liquid smoke
  • Optional: 1/8 teaspoon ground cayenne pepper

How to Make It

  1. ep the ground beef chilled until you are ready to use it. 
  2. In a large bowl, mix together lemon juice, lemon zest, onion, tamari or soy sauce, Worcestershire sauce, sugar, olive oil, paprika, garlic, salt, pepper, optional liquid smoke, and optional cayenne pepper. Let the ingredients sit for 15 minutes for the flavors to "marry."
  3. Add the ground beef and combine well (clean hands are the best kitchen tool for this job). Put the mixture in the refrigerator for 1 hour.
  1. Lay out a sheet of waxed or parchment paper on a work surface. Scoop 1/4 of the jerky mixture onto it. Place another sheet of paper on top and roll it out to a thickness of 1/4 inch.
  2. Remove the top sheet of paper, if you used one. Put one of the dehydrator trays on top of the jerky and flip the whole thing over to transfer the jerky to the dehydrator tray. Remove the remaining sheet of parchment or waxed paper.
  3. Patch any holes by putting in more of the raw jerky mixture. 
  4. Dehydrate for 4 to 8 hours at 155 F. Check after 4 hours. You want the jerky fully dried but chewy, not crunchy. Don't worry if you're not 100 percent sure that you've correctly identified that consistency; the next step helps ensure food safety.
  5. When the jerky seems dried but still chewy, transfer it to baking trays and finish it off in a preheated 275 F oven for 10 minutes. This is an important step because not all dehydrator temperature settings are accurate. You want the meat to get to an internal temperature of 160 F to 165 F to be safe. Jerky is too thin for a meat thermometer, so this ensures it’s fully cooked. This only cooks the meat ​and isn’t a substitute for drying it in the dehydrator.
  6. Cut the jerky into strips. Once it is completely cool, store it in airtight containers at room temperature.
Nutritional Guidelines (per serving)
Calories 368
Total Fat 17 g
Saturated Fat 6 g
Unsaturated Fat 8 g
Cholesterol 101 mg
Sodium 383 mg
Carbohydrates 19 g
Dietary Fiber 2 g
Protein 35 g
(The nutrition information on our recipes is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate. Individual results may vary.)