The trick to chilli beef jerky is to choose between hot, spicy, sweet, zesty and/or smoky. Various ingredients, including lime, garlic, onion, brown sugar, honey, pineapple juice, beer and Worcestershire sauce can make a huge difference.
Venison jerky is a perfect candidate for this kind of recipe. Most of these ingredients, including the chili peppers themselves, soften and flavor the meat, allowing you to skip the nitrate-based curing salt, if you choose to.
Since there are many variations to this exotic jerky, we’re going to mix it up. We’ll share a few examples of each to show off how versatile it is.
Chili lime beef jerky
We’re usually accustomed to tasting red chili peppers in Mexican recipes, like classic tacos. A small amount of lime juice and zest add a perfect balance of flavor, which blends with the beef in a mouth-watering, spicy beef recipe.
- 2 lbs. lean beef
- 2 cups beer (dark ale, or an authentic pilsner, such as Modelo)
- 1 cup lime juice
- ½ cup soy sauce
- 1 tbsp. honey
- 1 tsp. red chili powder
- ½ tsp. ancho chile powder
- ½ tsp. onion powder
- ½ tsp. garlic powder
Combine all of the ingredients, except beef, and mix thoroughly into a marinade. Cut the beef into 1/8”-thick slices, against the grain and completely submerge them in the marinade within a seal-able container. Refrigerate for 8-24 hours.
Set your beef jerky maker to 165 degrees F. Place the strips on the dehydrator trays and dry for about 5 hours, until fully cooked. Let cool for 30 minutes before storing.
Sweet, Spicy, Venison jerky
This is a perfect recipe for bulk beef jerky or venison jerky. It comes sweet citrus with spicy red pepper to make a flavorful, yet pleasantly mild blend.
- 2 lbs. lean beef or venison
- 1 1/3 cups soy sauce
- 1 cup pineapple juice
- 1 cup brown sugar
- 2/3 cups apple cider vinegar
- 1/2 cup teriyaki sauce
- ½ cup Worcestershire sauce
- ½ cup smoked paprika
- 4 tsp. black pepper
- 2 tbsp. onion powder
- 2 tbsp. garlic powder
- 2 tsp. red pepper powder
Mix, marinate and dry all of the ingredients, just as in the previous recipe. If using venison meat, be absolutely sure to cut against the grain to break the tough muscle fibers and make the marinade more effective, in terms of flavor.
Another technique is to use your meat dehydrator to dry these ingredients into a beef jerky seasoning. This way, it’s ready when you are, and your food has a much longer shelf life!
Expert tips for organic beef jerky
Making jerky in bulk allows you to save money, but it doesn’t guarantee that your jerky will be healthy. Using the same logic, we can purchase organic ingredients, such as red pepper, ancho chile, paprika, garlic and honey in bulk and dry them for long-term storage.
Consider this recipe for Chili garlic sauce, for example. While you can replace many of the ingredients in these recipes with sriracha, nothing will compare with this organic hot sauce that’s made at home!
- 25 red chili peppers
- 3 tbsp. sesame oil
- 3 tbsp. vinegar
- 1 tbsp. organic cane sugar
- 2 whole organic garlic heads
- 2 shallots
- 1 pinch kosher, pink Himalayan or sea salt
Peel and lightly fry the garlic in oil. Slice open the chili peppers, remove seeds, and soak in water for 15 minutes. Blend the garlic, peppers, sugar, vinegar and salt in a food processor into a liquid puree.
Blend the shallots into a mince, then fry them in oil, quickly over high heat. Combine all of the ingredients together, then re-blend. Let the chili garlic sauce sit for a few hours to develop flavor.
Set your dehydrator thermostat to 135 degrees. Pour the sauce onto solid drying trays and desiccate for about 7 hours, until the sauce is dry and brittle.
Store the dried chunks of sauce in vacuum-sealed bags. When you’re ready to use some, pull out a solid piece and blend into a fine powder.
A beef dehydrator machine is more than capable of creating an enormous array of delicious jerky recipes!