Jerky Made From Ground Beef Recipe

beef jerky pieces
B. Carla McMahon/E+/Getty Images
  • 8 hrs 5 mins
  • Prep: 5 mins,
  • Cook: 8 hrs
  • Yield: 4 servings
Ratings (7)

With this easy-to-follow recipe, you can make jerky from dehydrated ground beef. This jerky is loaded with umami flavors and has just the right amount of chewiness. Plus, by making homemade jerky, you not only can control the taste but also eliminate some of the harmful preservatives used in mass-produced jerky. Enjoy!

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. 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 into 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. Either pat it down by hand or put a second sheet of paper on top and roll it out. Either way, it should be about 1/4-inch thick.
  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 so thin that inserting a meat thermometer into it can be difficult, so this move ensures it's fully cooked. Keep in mind that doing this only cooks the meat. It's not a substitute for drying the meat in the dehydrator.
  6. Cut the jerky into strips. Once it is completely cool, store it in airtight containers at room temperature.