Classic BBQ Beef Jerky Recipe

Sometimes the easiest way to flavor your beef jerky is to use traditional flavors. This classic BBQ beef jerky recipe relies on the classic BBQ rub that is often used on brisket or pulled pork.

The bbq beef jerky has both a sweet and spicy component to it. You can always up the spice factor by adding more cayenne or another chile powder of your choice. You can even sprinkle hot sauce over the meat before adding the spice mix.

Classic BBQ Beef Jerky Recipe


Classic BBQ Beef Jerky Ingredients


For the BBQ Rub

5 tablespoons brown sugar
4 tablespoons salt
1/4 cup paprika
3 tablespoons freshly ground black pepper
1 1/2 tablespoons onion powder
1 1/2 tablespoons garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon mustard powder
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1/2 teaspoon celery seeds

For the BBQ Beef Jerky

3 pounds of meat (about 1360 grams), preferably eye of round or similar lean cut
4 to 8 tablespoons BBQ rub

Classic BBQ Beef Jerky Instructions


For the BBQ Rub

Combine all the spices in a small bowl and mix well.

For the BBQ Beef Jerky

Trim all the fat, gristle, and silver skin from the beef. Slice the beef into thin strips against the grain. Set the strips down in a large container like a bowl or a flat tray.

Coat the beef strips with the spices, mixing it all together well to be sure they are all coated.

Place them in a plastic bag or bowl and refrigerate for several hours or over night.

Making Classic BBQ Beef Jerky in the Oven

Preheat the oven to 160°F / 71°C, or the lowest setting it will go.

Remove the beef slices from the container and layer the strips in a single layer on a baking tray, or drying rack on top of a cookie sheet. Make sure the beef strips don't overlap and have a little space between them to enable good air circulation.

Arrange the oven shelves leaving at least 4 inches of space from the top and bottom sources of heat to achieve even heating. Place the strips in the oven to start dehydrating them.

Making Classic BBQ Beef Jerky in a Dehydrator

Preheat your dehydrator to at least 141°F / 60.5°C and up to 165°F / 74°C.

Place the strips in a single layer on the dehydrator trays. Be sure to leave some space between the jerky strips for sufficient air flow. If you are not using wire or mesh trays you may need to turn the beef jerky over once in the middle of the drying process.

Dry the beef jerky for 6 to 10 hours. If thicker strips of meat are used it may take longer.

Finishing the Classic BBQ Beef Jerky

To test the beef jerky remove a strip or two from the oven racks or dehydrator trays with clean kitchen tongs. Dried beef jerky strips should be chewy but still tender. When bent, it should be flexible enough not to break but it should crack instead.

Once the BBQ beef jerky is sufficiently dry, remove it from the dehydrator and let it cool for 30 to 60 minutes. If there is any oil or moisture on the beef jerky use paper towels to blot it dry.

Put the BBQ beef jerky in tightly sealed containers then refrigerate or freeze. They will last in the refrigerator for a month or two and in the freezer for several months.