Bourbon BBQ Sauce Beef Jerky Recipe

This is one of my favorite BBQ sauces. I always make extras so I can use it on steak and chicken later in the week. The Bourbon BBQ Sauce Beef Jerky recipe uses it to infuse rich flavors into the meat before it is dehydrated.

Bourbon BBQ Sauce Beef Jerky Recipe

Bourbon BBQ Sauce Beef Jerky Ingredients


For the Bourbon BBQ Sauce Marinade

2 cups ketchup
1 cup Bourbon whiskey
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup water
1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
3 tablespoons chopped garlic
1 tablespoon ancho chile powder or chile powder of your choice
2 tablespoons liquid smoke
2 tablespoons Worcester sauce
1/2 tablespoon chipotle chile powder or chile powder of your choice
1 tablespoon molasses
2 tablespoons whole grain mustard

For the Beef Jerky

3 lbs. of meat (about 1360 gm)
1/2 to 1 cup bourbon BBQ sauce marinade

Bourbon BBQ Sauce Beef Jerky Instructions


For the Bourbon BBQ Sauce Marinade

Whisk together all of the bourbon BBQ sauce ingredients in a pot over medium-high heat and bring to a simmer. Gently simmer for 5 to 10 minutes and then remove from the heat.

Let the sauce cool completely before adding it to the beef.

For the Bourbon BBQ Sauce Beef Jerky

Trim all the fat, gristle, and silver skin from the beef. Slice the beef into thin strips 1/8" to 3/8" thick, against the grain. Set the strips down in a large container like a bowl, flat tray, or sealable plastic bag.

Pour the bourbon BBQ sauce marinade over the meat and mix well. Store the meat in the fridge for at least 4 to 8 hours, or overnight.

Making Bourbon BBQ Sauce 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 Bourbon BBQ Sauce 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 Bourbon BBQ Sauce 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 bourbon BBQ sauce 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 jerky in tightly sealed containers then refrigerate or freeze. The bourbon BBQ sauce beef jerky will last in the refrigerator for a month or two and in the freezer for several months.