This recipe shows you how to make delicious and easy, sweet and spicy beef jerky in the air fryer. No air fryer, no problem! Alternative cooking methods are shown as well!
Quick, easy and delicious snacks are a must! Especially when you live a busy life like myself. This Sweet and Spicy Beef Jerky is perfect for just that! I can throw it in a bag and it’s perfect for car rides, tournaments or just a midday snack.
Why we love this recipe
Having a big family gas station stops can get pricey QUICK, finding easy ways to save is almost a requirement.
With this easy air fryer hack I can make a big batch and just have it on hand. Even better, is that it's kid and adult approved, I mean who doesn’t love a good jerky?
The best cut of meat to use for beef jerky:
When grocery shopping for the meat for your jerky, look for flank steak, skirt steak, chuck eye, rib eye, or London broil. All of these options are semi-lean, full of flavor and will marinate, as well as dehydrate well.
Rib eye and chuck eye steak do have a bit more fat, which is okay. The fat from the steaks help create a great texture, as well as added flavor for the jerky.
Is this beef jerky spicy?
No, the brown sugar in the recipe balances the heat perfectly in the recipe. You can also use however much or little of the Siracha and red pepper flakes as you would prefer.
If spicy foods are not your thing, feel free to omit the spicy components altogether. Rest assured though, this is the perfect balance of sweet and spicy!
Where can I find thinly sliced beef?
Oftentimes you can ask the butcher in the meat department at your local grocery store where to find it. Even more, a lot of butchers are willing to thinly slice a cut of beef right out of the refrigerator section.
Also, if you have an Aldi nearby they sometimes carry shaved meat. Another option is going to the Asian supermarkets, as they often times carry thinly sliced rib eyes.
How to cut your own steak super thin:
To get a nice clean, thin slice of steak, use a super sharp knife or use a meat slicer (linked in recipe card). Using semi-frozen beef vs. completely frozen or completely thawed beef works best.
Be sure to cut against the grain, and shave the beef in no more than ¼ inch strips. The thicker the slices of beef, the longer the dehydration process will take. Thicker pieces will also alter the texture of the jerky.
What if I do not have an air fryer?
If you don’t have an air fryer, no worries! Although the air fryer method is much quicker because of the hot air circulating, an oven works too! Set your oven temp under 200 (150 degrees is ideal) for 3-4 hours. A dehydrator would work as well if you happen to have one.
How to adjust the texture of the beef jerky:
For a more crispy snap to your jerky, you will want to leave your jerky in the air fryer a bit longer. A shorter cook time will yield a more tender and chewy beef jerky.
Sweet and spicy beef jerky that is made easy in the air fryer. No air fryer, no problem! Alternative cooking methods are shown.
- 1 pound Beef, sliced very thin
- 2 tablespoons Soy sauce
- ¼ cup Brown sugar
- 1 tablespoon Sriracha, (adjust according to desired spice level)
- 1 teaspoon Red pepper flakes
- 1 teaspoon Black pepper
- Place separated slices of meat in a gallon plastic bag with a zipper, and set it aside.
- In a large bowl, combine all of the other ingredients: soy sauce, brown sugar, sriracha, red pepper flakes, and black pepper, and mix it until fully combined.
- Pour the marinade mixture directly over the beef into the plastic bag. Zip the bag up and squeeze and turn it to ensure all of the meat gets covered with the marinade.
- Place the bag in the refrigerator and allow it to marinate at least 2-3 hours, or overnight.
- Spray the air fryer with non-stick spray. Place the meat directly on the tray, in ONE single layer. Try not to overlap the meat too much, (see options for dehydration racks below).
- Close the air fryer, and press the dehydrate button (temp should read 150 degrees). Set the time to 1 ½ hours, and close.
- After 45 minutes, open the air fryer and flip the meat over. Close and continue to cook the additional time.
- Remove the beef jerky from the air fryer and enjoy, or place in an airtight container or bag. Beef jerky can be stored in a cool dry place, for up to ne week.
Check the post above for alternative dehydration methods.
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365 by Whole Foods Market, Sugar Light Brown Organic, 24 Ounce
Amazon Brand - Solimo Gallon Food Storage Bags, 120 Count
Food Dehydrator Stand Racks for Gowise Phillips USA Cozyna Ninjia Airfryer, Fit all 4.2QT - 5.8QT and above air fryer,Dehydrator Rack for Air Fryer Oven & Pressure Cooker to Dehydrate Fruits, Meats, Veggie Chips With 4 Stackable Layers, Food-Grade Stainless Steel Drying Rack Stacker Trays
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 192Total Fat: 11gSaturated Fat: 4gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 5gCholesterol: 49mgSodium: 308mgCarbohydrates: 4gFiber: 0gSugar: 6gProtein: 15g
This website provides approximate nutrition information as a courtesy and for convenience only.