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Sweet and Spicy Beef Jerky


Sweet and Spicy Beef Jerky is a great snack that is easy to make at home in your food dehydrator. I’ll give you three keys to success for making perfect beef jerky every time.

Prep Time - 10 mins
Cook Time - 3 hrs 30 mins
Marinating time - 1 d
Total Time - 3 hrs 40 mins

This easy Sweet & Spicy Beef Jerky recipe comes together in a snap. 
  • Course: Snack
  • Cuisine: American
  • Keyword: beef, jerky
  • Servings: 12 servings
  • Author: Jennifer

Ingredients
  • 2-3 lbs lean beef sliced 1/8 inch thick, against the grain
  • 1 bottle (16 oz) Moore’s Original Marinade
  • 3 Tbsp Weber Smokey Mesquite Seasoning
  • 1 Tbsp brown sugar
  • 2 tsp Original Texas Pete Hot Sauce or more, to taste
  • 2 tsp crushed red pepper flakes

Instructions
  1. In medium bowl, stir together marinade and seasonings. Coat both sides of sliced beef with marinade. Cover and refrigerate 12-24 hours. (Preferably 24 hours.)
  2. After marinating, drain meat well then load jerky slices flat on Excalibur dehydrator trays. Do not overlap slices.
  3. Turn cook temperature to 160 degrees F. Dehydrate beef jerky for 3 hours then check for doneness. Surface should be dry and leathery with no moisture. 
  4. Continue dehydrating in 30 minute increments until done. Excalibur dehydrator takes 3 1/2 to 4 hours to fully dehydrate beef jerky. Could take up to 15 hours depending on your dehydrator.
  5. Allow beef jerky to cool completely then store in air-tight container. 


Excalibur Food Dehydrator
This recipe was developed using the Excalibur 9-tray Food Dehydrator with Temperature Control. I highly recommend this food dehydrator because it’s so easy to use and the food always turns out great.
Here are some key points to the Excalibur Food Dehydrator:

  • 9 trays – 15 square feet of drying space means more food can be dried at the same time
  • Trays do not need to be rotated during cooking – saved time and effort.
  • Removable trays – allow you to make room for bulky items or to raise dough.
  • Temperature control – adjustable cooking temperature from 105 to 165 degrees F allows you to accommodate many different kinds of food from fruits and vegetables to meats.

It’s really a great machine for making beef jerky or dehydrating other foods.

Key to Success #1 – Cut Against the Grain
When you pick the meat for your beef jerky, look for a cut that has a lower amount of fat. We like to use eye of round steak, but you could use top round or bottom round or even flank steak.

At most grocery stores, you can get the butcher to slice your meat for you. A lot of times, you can tell them you want it sliced for jerky and they’ll take care of the rest. If you want to be specific, ask for a thin 1/8 inch slice and ask for it to be cut against the grain.

Cutting meat against the grain will make it easier to bite into because the fibers will not be as long and tough.

Key to Success #2 – Marinate The Meat
This delicious marinade really brings a lot of flavor to the beef jerky. Even though it only uses a few ingredients, it really doesn’t need anything else.

As written, the Sweet and Spicy Beef Jerky recipe brings quite a bit of heat but you can add more Texas Pete if you like your beef jerky extra hot. Or you can add a bit more brown sugar if you like your flavors milder.

The marinade needs to really soak down into the meat so give it a good 12 hours or more, preferably 24 hours. And be sure to place the meat in the refrigerator while marinating. Keep the meat at a safe temperature until it’s time to dry it.

Key to Success #3 – Do Not Over-dry
A lot of factors go into dehydrating foods so it’s difficult to say exactly how long it will take to dehydrate any particular batch. If the weather is humid outside, it could take longer. If the meat has more moisture in it, it could take longer.

While I give you the approximate times for the Excalibur Food Dehydrator, it’s better to look for the signs that the beef jerky is properly dried.

The surface of the beef jerky should be dry and leathery with no moisture visible. In the Excalibur, this usually takes between 3 1/2 and 4 hours. It may take longer in your machine. After 3 hours, check for doneness then continue checking every half-hour until done.

You may find that some pieces of beef jerky are finished before others and it’s okay to remove the pieces that are done while you allow the others to continue drying.

Storing Beef Jerky
After the beef jerky is finished cooking, lay the pieces out on a paper towel or waxed paper until the jerky cools completely.

Beef jerky is best stored in an air-tight container or even a plastic storage bag. For ultimate freshness, the beef jerky can be stored in the refrigerator until ready to use.



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