This flavorful recipe strikes a perfect balance between sweetness and spiciness, with the option to adjust the heat to your liking. Whether you’re a fan of zesty office treats or delightful neighbor gifts, this jerky will win hearts and leave everyone wanting more.
The Fiery Dr. Pepper Jalapeno Beef Jerky Magic:
Be ready to experience a taste sensation like no other. This unique beef jerky recipe has become a beloved favorite among many, thanks to its delectable blend of sweetness and jalapeno spice. Don’t be surprised if you find yourself making a double batch, as this irresistible jerky tends to disappear quickly.
Step-by-Step Guide: How to Make Fiery Dr. Pepper Jalapeno Beef Jerky
Let’s embark on a flavorful journey, as we walk you through the entire process of crafting this fantastic jerky. From selecting the ideal meat to achieving the perfect level of dryness, you’ll soon be savoring a mouthwatering snack!
Step 1: Select the Meat
Choosing the right cut of beef is essential for making top-notch jerky. Opt for a nice roast with minimal fat marbling, such as an eye of round roast, top round, sirloin roast, or rump roast. Though the latter options may have slightly more fat/gristle, they still work wonderfully. This recipe calls for 2-3 pounds of eye of round roast, which your butcher can conveniently cut for you.
Step 2: Slice the Beef
Achieving the perfect jerky-thin slice is crucial. If your butcher doesn’t slice the meat for you, place the roast in the freezer for 30-60 minutes before slicing to make the process easier. Use a sharp knife to slice the beef evenly to ensure uniform drying.
You have the choice of slicing the meat with or against the grain. Slicing against the grain results in easier-to-chew jerky, making it an ideal option, especially for children. However, if you prefer a tougher texture, slicing with the grain creates those long, tear-off strips of jerky.
Step 3: Marinate the Beef
Marinades play a significant role in jerky-making, and this Dr. Pepper Jalapeno marinade stands out with its perfect sweet, savory, and heat balance. The key to enhancing the flavors is to properly reduce the marinade. For a spicier kick, slice the jalapenos thinner or add an extra jalapeno to the marinade. Some have even substituted habanero peppers for an added spice factor.
Step 4: Dehydrate the Dr. Pepper Jalapeno Beef Jerky
The final step is to dehydrate the jerky in a smoker, oven, or dehydrator. For the smoker method:
- Preheat your smoker to 170 degrees F.
- Pat the excess marinade off the jerky and dust with additional black pepper if desired.
- Smoke the jerky for 2-3 hours (or up to 4-5 hours for thicker slices) until it reaches 165 degrees F and is slightly pliable without breaking.
Alternative Dehydrating Methods
If you don’t have a smoker, you can use your oven by laying the jerky on a cooling rack, leaving the oven slightly cracked for proper drying. Alternatively, use a dehydrator, following the machine’s instructions for unique drying timelines.
Curing the Jerky
For those who prefer curing salts, add 1 level teaspoon of Prague Powder #1 or instacure #1 to the marinade recipe. If you don’t use curing salt, the jerky will last up to two weeks in the fridge in a zip-top bag or up to two weeks on the counter.
- 1 2-3 pound beef eye of round roast (thinly sliced against the grain)
Dr. Pepper Jalapeno Marinade:
- 2 cups Dr. Pepper
- 2 jalapenos (sliced)
- 2 tablespoons kosher salt
- 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
- 2 teaspoons black pepper
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 teaspoon onion powder
- Prepare the marinade by combining all the marinade ingredients in a medium saucepan. Bring to a boil and simmer for 10-15 minutes until the mixture reduces by half. Chill the marinade completely.
- Place the sliced beef in a gallon-sized zip-top bag and pour in the marinade. Massage the marinade into the meat and refrigerate for 8-12 hours or overnight.
- Preheat your smoker or oven to approximately 170 degrees F, using maple or cherry wood for extra flavor.
- Remove the meat from the marinade and pat dry with paper towels. Dust with additional black pepper if desired.
- Smoke the jerky on the grill grates of your smoker for 2-3 hours (adjust for thickness), ensuring the jerky reaches 165 degrees F with a meat thermometer.
- Remove the jerky from the smoker while still warm and place it in a clean gallon-sized zip-top bag without sealing it all the way. Allow the jerky to steam slightly for added moisture.
- Savor the delicious Fiery Dr. Pepper Jalapeno Beef Jerky immediately, and be prepared for its addictive qualities!