Home » Blog » Recipes » Chili Beef Jerky

Chili Beef Jerky

, ,

Chili beef jerky makes the perfect snack to have on hand. This recipe is a great way to use up extra meat, providing you with a delicious protein-packed snack to take on the road. 

Chili Beef Jerky

Make this amazing chili beef jerky in your smoker, oven, or food dehydrator. We recommend preparing it in your smoker, as it will impart tons of flavor. But keep in mind that since jerky meat is sliced thin, it is prone to over-smoking. Follow our recipe guide for the perfect chili beef jerky!

What is jerky?

Jerky is generally long, thin strips of slow-smoked dried beef. The traditional method of making jerky was to leave the meat out in the sun. However, modern jerky has surpassed this method and includes much more than beef. You can make jerky out of proteins like turkey, salmon, and, my favorite, venison. Jerky is chewy, salty, and satiating but lightweight and long-lasting without refrigeration.

What type of meat is used for beef jerky?

If this is your first attempt, it’s best to keep it simple. Start with a lean, easy-to-use cut like top round. Trim away all of the fat from the meat. You do not want any fat on jerky since it is prone to turning rancid. Next, cut the beef across the grain into 1/4″ slices.

beef jerky

How do you flavor beef jerky?

You can season jerky with a spice mixture or with a marinade. We prefer the marinade, but rubs are great too. Please keep it simple by sprinkling the meat with salt and pepper before taking it to the smoker. If you use a more involved spice rub or a marinade, apply it to the meat, cover, and place into the refrigerator for 12-24 hours.

  • 1 pound top round steak 
  • Worcestershire sauce
  • Soy sauce
  • Brown sugar
  • Garlic 
  • Black pepper
  • Dried red chili
  • Onion powder

Smoking Chili Beef Jerky

Smoking jerky is not like smoking beef or pork roast. It should be done using very low heat and with low smoke output. Do not use extra smoking chips in your smoker when making jerky. You’ll end up with a bitter-tasting mess. 

Set the temperature to just under 150 degrees F. An electric smoker will introduce small amounts of smoke, but a charcoal unit or smoking over hardwood generates plenty of it. Smoke the chili beef jerky until it is completely dry. Depending on the exact method used, your smoking equipment, and the climate in your area, it can take anywhere between 12 hours to 3 days.

Beef Jerky

How do you store it?

  • First, ensure your chili beef jerky is completely dried and cooled off. Condensation build-up on the jerky can cause problems (spoilage). So, let it cool off for a couple of hours.
  •  I recommend storing your chili beef jerky in vacuum-sealed bags, extending for up to a few weeks to 2 months if left unopened. For added shelf-life, add oxygen absorbers to the bags. Label the bags with the date of preparation.
  •  Once opened, the jerky must be eaten within 5-6 days.
  •  Storing jerky in a resealable bag in your pantry will have a 1-week shelf life. 
  •  Freezing jerky: If stored properly in a vacuum-sealed bag, jerky can be stored for up to 12 months in your freezer.
  • You will get an authentic smoke flavor by starting the beef jerky in your smoker. Complete the drying process in your oven or food dehydrator.
Chili Beef Jerky

Chili Beef Jerky

By starting the beef jerky in your smoker, you will get that authentic smoke flavor. Complete the drying in your oven or by using a food dehydrator.
5 from 1 vote
Print Pin Rate
Course: Snack
Cuisine: American BBQ, American Food
Keyword: beef jerky in the smoker, beef jerky recipe, chili beef jerky, how to make beef jerky, smoker beef jerky
Prep Time: 25 minutes
Cook Time: 4 hours
Total Time: 4 hours 25 minutes
Servings: 8
Calories: 127kcal


  • 1 pound top round steak trimmed and cut into long thin strips
  • 1/2 cup Worcestershire sauce
  • 1/2 cup soy sauce
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 4 cloves garlic peeled and lightly crushed
  • 2 teaspoons fresh ground black pepper
  • 2 teaspoons ground dried red chili
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder


  • Combine all ingredients except the meat in a resealable plastic bag and mix well. Add steak and marinate for 1 hour in the refrigerator.
  • Prepare smoker for a 4 hour smoke at about 150 degrees F.
  • Remove meat from the marinade and place it on a sheet of foil. Spread the meat out evenly.
  • Place in smoker and smoke until the surface begins to blacken or about 3 hours. Cover the strips loosely with foil. You want to keep the smoke off but let moisture escape. Continue smoking for 1 to 2 hours.
  • Meat should be well dried. You can continue to dry the beef jerky in a food dehydrator or your oven at a very low temperature.


Calories: 127kcal | Carbohydrates: 12g | Protein: 15g | Fat: 2g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 35mg | Sodium: 1025mg | Potassium: 414mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 9g | Vitamin A: 165IU | Vitamin C: 3mg | Calcium: 47mg | Iron: 3mg

Buy Our Books!


, ,

5 from 1 vote (1 rating without comment)

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Recipe Rating

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.