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Recipe: Amy’s Paleo Beef Jerky

Recipe: Amy’s Paleo Beef Jerky
Amy Coppola

So here is the much anticipated Beef Jerky recipe. This is a great take-along, tide-you-over-till-your-next-meal kind of a snack. It’s super easy, and if you have a dehydrator with a timer or a plug-in timer, you can set it the night before and wake up to a fresh batch that’s ready to go!


Here’s how I do it:

To slice the meat, I use a mandoline set to about medium thickness (about the size of thick sliced bacon). If you don’t have a mandoline, hand slicing works, too, it just takes a little longer. Tip: put your meat in the freezer for about an hour to an hour and a half before slicing; this firms it up and makes it much easier to work with. 🙂

Slice all the meat and put it aside in a container. I use glass Snapware containers.

In a microwave safe bowl, mix all the other ingredients together, except the red pepper flakes.  Then, pop it in the microwave for about a minute.  Next pour the warmed mixture over your meat, being sure to coat all the pieces. This is where the Snapware comes in handy, just click the lid on and give it a good couple of shakes.

Stick it in the fridge for at least 6 hours, overnight is best. You don’t have to, but whenever I open the fridge I give it a good shake or two.

When it’s time to dehydrate, I take the meat out of the fridge, and place it in a colander. Using hot water, rinse the meat. Now it’s time to start laying the meat on the dehydrator trays. Be sure the  meat doesn’t overlap or it won’t dry properly.

After you finish each tray, sprinkle some red pepper flakes over the meat. How much you put on depends on how spicy you like it. If you’re not into spicy beef jerky, a bit of black pepper can be used instead. For my dehydrator, I set it to 160 degrees Fahrenheit for about four hours. You will want to check your own macine to make sure it’s set for the correct time and temp.

The jerky is done when the outside of the meat cracks when you bend it.  I had to do a few batches before I really got a feel for this, and you probably will, too. Fortunately, even the batches I over-cooked and under-cooked ended up yummy.

When its done, let the jerky cool to room temperature. Then, when I’m ready to store it, I put the jerky in a gallon size zip lock bag with a paper towel in it (to absorb any excess moisture) and stick it in the fridge.

That’s it 🙂 I hope you enjoy this delicious snack as much as we do!

  • I’m going to try this recipe/method soon. My initial attempts at Clean/Paleo Beef Jerky were definitely not tasty. 🙂

    • Awesome! I’d love to hear how it turns out for you. This recipe had 50 or 60 comment before I moved it here to the new blog and they were overwhelmingly favorable — it would be great to get some conversation going again even if the article is 2 years old now. 🙂

      • Emma Tucker

        Well, since you asked for further conversation… I tried this with London Broil, using soy sauce (I know…) since I don’t have tamari or coconut aminos, and it was delicious, spicy, chewy happiness. My addiction to beef jerky just started a month ago, and already got too expensive, so I’m super happy to be able to make my own! Other changes: didn’t use mandoline (but I cut it just as thin by hand), and don’t have a dehydrator (so 190*F oven for about 2 hours, propped open with wooden spoon, was perfect) Now to play with different flavors and marinades….

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  • Erica

    oh my goodness, YUM! I just tried this recipe yesterday and it was my very first jerky making attempt. The results are delicious! I used coconut aminos

  • Radovan Kohlmayer

    Angelo, thank You for the recipe. We just finished our first jerky ever and it is great! Our kids cannot have enough of it even though it is a bit spicy and they usually would not eat spicy food.
    Our cut of meat kind of thinned out. It was done in about 3 hours @ 160f.

    • That’s excellent. We’ve seen kids who don’t like spicy food eat this stuff, too. 🙂

  • leighgrace47

    I’m craving red meat often and know to stay away from sodium nitrate so I thought making my own beef jerky would be a quick any-time fix. My husband is concerned about the safety of me eating it though, because I’m pregnant. Perhaps he just wants more for himself (wink) but does anyone have any thoughts on the safety of homemade beef jerky for pregnant women?

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  • Mandie

    Yum!! Just made this for the first time. I love it! I’m not a fan of most store bought jerkies. And the stuff from the meat market is $25/lb! So this recipe is great. Thanks for sharing!

  • Rae

    Can anyone tell me how to make this in my oven? I don’t have a dehydrator.

    • Set the oven temperature as low as it will go. Ideal temperature is 140 degrees farenheight, which will dehydrate the food without cooking it.

      My oven only goes to 170 degrees but works fine. Using a wooden spoon (no plastic! it could melt), prop open the oven door to vent. This lets air circulate and dehydrate the food faster. If you have an oven circulation fan, this could be helpful as well but I have not used one before.

      It will take 2-6 hours to make the jerky depending on slice thickness and oven temperature. My batches are around 4 hours long.

      After about 2-3 hours check for doneness.

      Take a piece of jerky and bend it. If it bends easily or feels juicy it needs more time.

      When it starts to stretch or tear the fibers when you bend it it is near done.

      You can let a strip cool out of the oven for 10 minutes and do this test again. When warm the jerky is easier to bend, so cooling it first can let you know if it is dry like jerky.

      Remove and let the jerky air dry.

      Don’t package it immediately. Give it 24 hours to fully to dehydrate at room temperature, but you can start eating it right away.

      When I did my first batch, I thought it was done and took it out of the oven. After nibbling on it and testing it out after cooled for 30 minutes I decided it needed more time. No big deal, back into the oven.

  • Jim Claussen

    Thanks for this recipe. My beef is marinating and I’ll put it in the dehydrator in the morning. The marinade smells so good that I can already tell this is going to be great.

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  • Brooke

    Ok. So this is definitely NOT a paleo recipe!! Tamari sauce is made with soy which is a huge NO NO, along with worcestershire sauce which is full of sugar….and liquid smoke is out of the question if you are considered Paleo. Maybe replace these things with coconut aminos or balsamic vinegar??

  • Jennifer Parrish

    I was wondering about all those ingredients. Paleo recipes usually consist of 5 items or less.

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