Jerky Made From Ground Beef

beef jerky pieces

Carla McMahon/Getty Images

Ratings (13)
  • Total: 8 hrs 5 mins
  • Prep: 5 mins
  • Cook: 8 hrs
  • Yield: 4 servings
Nutritional Guidelines (per serving)
368 Calories
17g Fat
19g Carbs
35g Protein
See Full Nutritional Guidelines Hide Full Nutritional Guidelines
×
Nutrition Facts
Servings: 4 servings
Amount per serving
Calories 368
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 17g 21%
Saturated Fat 6g 29%
Cholesterol 101mg 34%
Sodium 383mg 17%
Total Carbohydrate 19g 7%
Dietary Fiber 2g 6%
Protein 35g
Calcium 97mg 7%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)

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. 

Ingredients

  • 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

Steps to Make It

  1. Keep 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.

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. Patch any holes by putting in more of the raw jerky mixture. 

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

  9. Cut the jerky into strips. Once it is completely cool, store it in airtight containers at room temperature.