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Best Beef Jerky Teriyaki Recipe

If you’ve been craving the perfect balance of savory and sweet, then look no further than the Best Beef Jerky Teriyaki Recipe. This mouthwatering recipe combines tender strips of beef with a homemade teriyaki marinade that will have your taste buds dancing with delight. With just the right amount of tangy soy sauce and a hint of ginger, this recipe is sure to become your new go-to for homemade beef jerky. Get ready to savor every delicious bite!

Best Beef Jerky Teriyaki Recipe

Best Beef Jerky Teriyaki Recipe Ingredients


To make the best beef jerky teriyaki, you’ll need a high-quality cut of beef. Look for lean cuts like top round, sirloin, or flank steak. These cuts have less fat and will result in a meaty and delicious jerky.

Teriyaki marinade

The teriyaki marinade is the star of this recipe. It adds a flavorful and tangy twist to the beef jerky. You can either make your own marinade using ingredients like soy sauce, brown sugar, ground black pepper, garlic powder, ginger powder, and liquid smoke, or you can use a store-bought teriyaki marinade for convenience.

Soy sauce

Soy sauce is a key ingredient in the teriyaki marinade that adds a savory and salty flavor to the beef jerky. Look for a low-sodium soy sauce if you want to control the saltiness of your jerky.

Brown sugar

Brown sugar provides a touch of sweetness to balance out the savory flavors of the teriyaki marinade. It also helps to caramelize the beef as it dries, creating a mouthwatering glaze.

Ground black pepper

Ground black pepper adds a subtle heat and depth of flavor to the beef jerky. You can adjust the amount to suit your taste preferences.

Garlic powder

Garlic powder gives the jerky a savory and aromatic taste. It enhances the overall flavor profile of the teriyaki marinade and complements the beef perfectly.

Ginger powder

Ginger powder adds a hint of warmth and spice to the marinade. It pairs well with the other ingredients and gives the beef jerky an irresistible flavor.

Liquid smoke

Liquid smoke is an optional ingredient that mimics the rich smoky flavor traditionally achieved through the smoking process. It adds depth to the jerky’s taste profile and enhances its overall appeal.

Optional spices

Feel free to experiment with additional spices to customize the flavor of your beef jerky. Some popular choices include cayenne pepper for extra heat, onion powder for a subtle sweetness, and paprika for a touch of smokiness.

Best Beef Jerky Teriyaki Recipe Preparing the Beef

Choosing the right cut

When it comes to making beef jerky, selecting the right cut of meat is crucial. Look for cuts that are lean and have minimal fat content. Fat can spoil and become rancid during the drying process, resulting in an unpleasant taste and texture. Opt for cuts like top round, sirloin, or flank steak, as they are well-suited for jerky making.

Slicing the beef

Once you have your chosen cut of beef, it’s time to slice it into thin strips. Aim for slices that are about 1/8 to 1/4 inch thick. To make the process easier, partially freeze the meat for about 30 minutes beforehand. This will firm up the beef, making it easier to slice evenly. Use a sharp knife or a meat slicer to achieve consistent and uniform slices.

Marinating the beef

Marinating the beef is a vital step in the jerky-making process, as it infuses the meat with both flavor and tenderness. Combine your teriyaki marinade ingredients in a bowl, mixing them well to ensure all the flavors are evenly distributed. Place the sliced beef strips in a resealable plastic bag or a container with a tight-fitting lid. Pour the marinade over the beef, making sure all the pieces are well-coated. Seal the bag or container and marinate in the refrigerator for at least 4-24 hours, allowing the flavors to penetrate the meat.

Best Beef Jerky Teriyaki Recipe

Best Beef Jerky Teriyaki Recipe Making the Teriyaki Marinade

Basic teriyaki marinade recipe

To make a basic teriyaki marinade, combine soy sauce, brown sugar, ground black pepper, garlic powder, ginger powder, and liquid smoke in a bowl. Mix until the sugar has dissolved and the ingredients are well incorporated. Adjust the seasonings according to your taste preferences. This classic teriyaki marinade will give your beef jerky a delicious and authentic flavor.

Customizing the marinade

If you want to put your own spin on the teriyaki marinade, feel free to get creative with additional ingredients or spices. You can add a splash of pineapple juice for sweetness, a dash of Worcestershire sauce for depth, or even a touch of sesame oil for a nutty aroma. Experiment with different combinations until you find your perfect teriyaki marinade.

Try my favorite Teriyaki sauce


  • 1/2 cup soy sauce
  • 1/4 cup mirin (Japanese sweet rice wine)
  • 2 tablespoons sake (or dry white wine)
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 1 teaspoon minced fresh ginger
  • 1 teaspoon minced fresh garlic
  • 1/2 teaspoon sesame oil
  • Optional: 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes for a hint of heat

Best Beef Jerky Teriyaki Recipe Marinating the Beef

Marinating time

For the best flavor and tenderness, marinate your beef jerky for at least 4-24 hours. This allows the flavors from the teriyaki marinade to penetrate the meat thoroughly. The longer you marinate, the more intense the flavor will be. If you’re short on time, you can marinate for a minimum of 2 hours, but keep in mind that the taste may be less pronounced.

Marinating techniques

When marinating the beef, ensure that all the slices are coated with the marinade. To achieve this, you can gently massage the marinade into the meat or rotate the slices to ensure even coverage. If you’re using a resealable plastic bag, consider squeezing out as much air as possible to maximize the marinade’s contact with the meat.

Using a marinade injector

If you want to take your marinating game to the next level, consider using a marinade injector. This handy tool allows you to inject the teriyaki marinade directly into the beef, ensuring that every bite is bursting with flavor. Simply fill the injector with the marinade and inject it into multiple spots on each slice of beef. This method is especially effective for thicker cuts of meat, ensuring an even distribution of flavor throughout.

Best Beef Jerky Teriyaki Recipe

Drying the Jerky

Air drying

Air drying is one of the most traditional methods of drying beef jerky. After marinating, remove the beef from the marinade and pat it dry with paper towels to remove excess moisture. Place the beef strips on a wire rack or hang them from skewers to allow air to circulate around each piece. Find a cool, dry, and well-ventilated area, such as a pantry or a garage, to dry the jerky. It can take anywhere from 8 to 24 hours for the jerky to fully dry, depending on factors like humidity and thickness of the slices. Flip the beef jerky halfway through the drying process to ensure even drying on both sides.

Using a dehydrator

If you prefer a more controlled and efficient drying process, using a dehydrator is a great option. After marinating and patting the beef dry, arrange the strips on the dehydrator trays, leaving space between each piece for proper airflow. Set the dehydrator to a temperature of around 160°F (70°C) and let it run for approximately 4-6 hours. Check the jerky periodically and remove any pieces that have reached your desired level of dryness. Using a dehydrator significantly reduces the drying time compared to air drying, making it a convenient choice.

Best Beef Jerky Teriyaki Recipe Smoking the Jerky

Adding a smoky flavor

To add a robust smoky flavor to your beef jerky, you can incorporate smoking into the drying process. After marinating and drying the beef, Prepare your smoker by preheating it to a low temperature, around 160-180°F (70-80°C). Place the jerky on the smoker racks, ensuring there is adequate space between each piece. Use wood chips such as hickory, mesquite, or applewood to generate smoke. Close the smoker and let the jerky smoke for approximately 2-4 hours, or until it reaches your desired level of smokiness. Keep in mind that smoking can extend the overall drying time.

Using a smoker

If you’re keen on achieving an authentic smoky flavor, using a dedicated smoker is the way to go. Smokers are designed to infuse food with rich, smoky aromas, taking your beef jerky to the next level. Simply follow the instructions for your particular smoker model, ensuring that you maintain a low and steady temperature throughout the smoking process. Monitor the jerky closely to prevent overcooking or drying it too quickly. Experiment with different wood chips and combinations to find your favorite smoky flavor profile.

Storing and Shelf Life

Storing the jerky

Once your beef jerky is fully dried and ready, proper storage is essential for maintaining its freshness and flavor. Place the jerky in an airtight container or resealable bags, removing as much air as possible. Oxygen is the enemy of freshness and can accelerate spoilage. For added protection, you can also place a small silica gel packet inside the container to absorb any lingering moisture. Store the jerky in a cool, dark, and dry place such as a pantry or cupboard.

Shelf life

Properly stored beef jerky can last up to 1-2 months at room temperature. However, its shelf life can vary depending on factors such as the fat content, the drying method used, and the overall moisture content. For extended storage, consider refrigerating or freezing the jerky. Refrigerated jerky can last up to 6 months, while frozen jerky can maintain its quality for up to 1 year. Remember to label and date the containers to keep track of their freshness.

Safety Tips

Handling raw meat

When working with raw meat, it’s important to practice proper food safety measures to prevent cross-contamination and the spread of bacteria. Make sure to wash your hands thoroughly before and after handling raw meat. Use a separate cutting board and knife for meat preparation to avoid potential contamination with other ingredients. Clean all surfaces, utensils, and containers that come into contact with raw meat with hot, soapy water.

Food safety considerations

To ensure the safety of your homemade beef jerky, it’s crucial to follow food safety guidelines. Marinate the beef in the refrigerator, as the acidic components of the marinade can help inhibit bacterial growth. When drying the jerky, maintain a proper internal temperature of at least 160°F (70°C) to kill any potential bacteria. If you’re smoking the jerky, ensure that the smoker reaches a safe temperature before adding the meat. Properly dried jerky should be firm, dry, and not sticky to the touch.

Best Beef Jerky Teriyaki Recipe

Flavor Variations

Spicy teriyaki

If you crave a little kick in your jerky, consider adding some spices to create a spicy teriyaki variation. You can incorporate cayenne pepper, red pepper flakes, or even hot sauce into the teriyaki marinade. Adjust the amount of spice to your desired heat level. The combination of the tangy teriyaki flavors with the added heat will give your beef jerky a deliciously fiery twist.

Sweet and tangy teriyaki

For individuals who have a penchant for sweeter flavors, there exists an enticing avenue to customize their jerky experience. By subtly tweaking the composition of the teriyaki marinade, a delightful transformation occurs—one that accentuates the inherent sweetness of the teriyaki sauce while seamlessly harmonizing it with the savory undertones.

To embark upon this journey, one need only adjust the proportions of certain elements. Elevating the presence of brown sugar, for instance, is akin to coaxing out the gentle sweetness that resides within the teriyaki profile. This incremental addition results in a tapestry of flavors where the sweetness blooms in a measured and enticing manner. It’s a dance of taste, where the subtlety of the brown sugar intertwines with the existing symphony of ingredients.

For those seeking an extra layer of depth and complexity, the introduction of honey acts as a revelation. The golden nectar brings a touch of viscous elegance to the marinade, enveloping each slice of meat in a glaze that’s as enchanting as it is sumptuous. As the meat absorbs the teriyaki marinade, the honey interplays with the other elements, producing a nuanced spectrum of flavors. The sweetness from the honey casts its spell, and in harmony with the teriyaki sauce, it conjures an irresistible allure.

The final result of these thoughtful adjustments is nothing short of remarkable—a jerky that transcends the boundaries of conventional taste. This sweet and tangy marvel indulges the palate in an exquisite dance, where the playful sweetness is artfully counterbalanced by the savory depths of teriyaki. It’s an experience that caters to the most discerning taste buds, inviting a symphony of sensations that’s sure to leave an indelible impression.

So, for those who are drawn to the sweeter side of life, this journey of culinary innovation beckons. With the simple act of adjusting the brown sugar and introducing honey, a universe of flavors awaits exploration. This sweet and tangy jerky stands as a testament to the artistry of customization—where the boundaries of taste are expanded and a wholly unique gustatory experience comes to life.

Serving Suggestions

As a snack

Beef jerky teriyaki is a fantastic snack on its own. Its savory and slightly sweet flavors make it a satisfying treat for any time of the day. Whether you’re hiking, camping, or simply craving a quick and nutritious snack, reach for a bag of homemade beef jerky. It’s portable, non-perishable, and packed with protein, making it an ideal choice for on-the-go snacking.

In recipes

Don’t confine the enjoyment of beef jerky teriyaki solely to snacking! Its versatility knows no bounds and it can seamlessly transition into a star ingredient in a multitude of culinary endeavors. Beyond being a tantalizing treat, beef jerky teriyaki has the potential to effortlessly elevate your dishes with its savory flair.

Picture this: as you slice beef jerky teriyaki into delectably small pieces, you unlock a realm of culinary possibilities. These savory morsels can be integrated into vibrant stir-fries, where their intense flavor and chewy texture infuse the dish with an irresistible twist. Imagine the harmonious balance they bring to fried rice, their umami notes mingling with each grain of rice for an experience that transcends the ordinary.

Incorporating beef jerky teriyaki into salads transforms mere greens into a symphony of taste and texture. The chewiness of the jerky complements the crispness of vegetables, providing a dynamic interplay that dances across your palate. And let’s not forget its potential to revolutionize classics like chili and tacos. When ground into a seasoning, the robust essence of beef jerky teriyaki imparts a layer of depth that transforms these dishes into unforgettable culinary triumphs.

Moreover, envision crafting your own marinara sauce from scratch, enriched by the bold flavors of beef jerky teriyaki. The nuanced blend of umami and sweet notes adds a dimension that elevates the sauce to new heights. From Italian-inspired pasta dishes to fusion creations that know no bounds, the possibilities are as limitless as your imagination.

Armed with the comprehensive knowledge acquired from this guide, you possess the wisdom to fashion the ultimate beef jerky teriyaki recipe. Whether it’s discerning the optimal cut of beef or mastering the delicate art of marination and drying, you’re primed to embark on a culinary journey that promises delectable rewards. Gather your ingredients with enthusiasm, channel your inner chef, and anticipate the gratification of savoring every single bite of your extraordinary homemade beef jerky teriyaki creations. This culinary adventure is yours to explore, and with each tantalizing mouthful, you’ll relish in the delightful flavors you’ve crafted with care and creativity.

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