Jamaican Ground Beef Jerky Recipe

This spice mixture is very flavorful and has quite a kick to it. You can make a more mild version of our Jamaican Ground Beef Jerky recipe by reducing the various chile powders, or omitting them all together.

The Jamaican spice mix is a take on a classic jerk rub that you would use on beef, chicken, or pork before grilling or roasting it. It goes great beef jerky and results in a very tasty jerky.

Jamaican Ground Beef Jerky Recipe

Jamaican Ground Beef Jerky Ingredients


For the Jamaican Spice Mixture

3 cup dark brown sugar
1/4 cup salt
1 tablespoon black pepper
1 tablespoon garlic powder
1 tablespoon onion powder
1 to 3 teaspoons scotch bonnet or habanero chile powder
2 teaspoons dried thyme
1 teaspoon ground coriander
1 teaspoon ground allspice
1 teaspoon cumin
1/2 teaspoon dried ginger
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg

For the Jamaican Ground Beef Jerky

3 pounds lean ground beef
1/4 to 1/2 cup Jamaican spice mixture

Jamaican Ground Beef Jerky Instructions


For the Jamaican Spice Mixture

First make the Jamaican rub by combining all of the ingredients in a bowl and mixing well.

For the Jamaican Ground Beef

Get nice, quality ground beef in your nearest supermarket, butcher shop, or grocery store. If you prefer to make homemade ground beef, cut the meat into 1 1/2" cubes and grind them with a food processor or meat grinder. Try to find the leanest ground beef you can find because the fat will not preserve well.

Put the ground beef into a large bowl and mix the other seasonings into it. Using your hands is probably the most effective way to mix it but you can use a large spoon or spatula if you prefer.

Chill the mixture for 4 to 6 hours, or overnight. This intensifies the flavor of the seasonings in the ground meat.

To Extrude the Jamaican Ground Beef Jerky

For best results use a jerky gun or jerky press to apply the ground jerky strips directly onto the drying sheet. Alternatively, you can place the ground beef on a flat surface and roll or press it until it is 1/8" to 3/8 thick then cut it into strips using a knife and place them on the drying sheets.

Make sure the ground beef strips don't overlap and have a little space between them to enable good air circulation.

Making Jamaican Ground Beef Jerky in the Oven

Preheat the oven to 160°F / 71°C, or the lowest setting it will go to, if it doesn't go that low.

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. It should take between 6 and 12 hours.

Making Jamaican Ground Beef Jerky in a Dehydrator

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

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 Jamaican beef jerky for 6 to 12 hours. If thicker strips of meat are used it may take longer.

Finishing the Jamaican Ground Beef Jerky

To test the Jamaican 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 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 Jamaican 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.