Air Fryer Beef Jerky: The Perfect Homemade Snack

Beef jerky is a delicious, healthy, and portable snack that is perfect for any occasion. And the best part? You can easily make it at home using your air fryer. Say goodbye to the hassle of using a dehydrator.

How to Make Beef Jerky in an Air Fryer

Making beef jerky in an air fryer is simple and straightforward. Although the recipe requires a bit of organization, the results are well worth the effort. The key is to marinate the sliced beef overnight (or at least for a few hours) to allow the flavors to develop.

Air Fryer Beef Jerky

Choosing the Right Beef

For the best homemade jerky, opt for lean cuts of beef that are also flavorful. Top round and bottom round steaks are ideal choices. Unlike quick roasting, where tender cuts are preferred, jerky benefits from tougher cuts. These cuts result in chewier jerky. If you prefer a softer, melt-in-your-mouth texture, go for a tender beef cut.

Marinade: Add Flavor to Your Jerky

The marinade is what gives your beef jerky its distinct taste. My go-to marinade combines Worcestershire sauce for a rich, smoky flavor, honey for sweetness (brown sugar is a great substitute), and soy sauce and onion powder for an added punch. Feel free to experiment with different marinade flavors that suit your taste.

Here are a few ideas to get you started:

  • Teriyaki beef jerky: soy sauce, brown sugar, garlic powder, and ground ginger.
  • Smoked beef jerky: add a touch of liquid smoke or smoked paprika to the marinade.
  • Spicy beef jerky: incorporate some chili flakes into the marinade.
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Preparing the Beef

Now that you have the marinade ready, it’s time to prepare the beef for jerky.

Step 1: Trim the beef. Start by removing any excess fat from the outside of the beef. This step helps with the drying process.

Step 2: Slice the beef. Slice the beef into thin strips, no thicker than 1/4 inch. Partially freezing the beef can make it easier to achieve thin slices. Alternatively, your local butcher can slice it for you. Remember to slice with the grain, not against it.

Step 3: Make the marinade. In a bowl, mix all the marinade ingredients together. Add the beef strips, making sure they are well-coated with the marinade.

Step 4: Marinate. Cover the bowl and refrigerate the beef, allowing it to marinate for at least 3 hours, preferably overnight.

Step 5: Drain and pat dry. After marinating, remove the beef from the refrigerator and drain any excess marinade. Thoroughly pat the beef strips dry with a paper towel.

Air Frying Your Jerky

Preheat your air fryer to 160°F/71°C. It is essential to cook the jerky at this temperature to ensure it is safe to consume. Keep an eye on the cooking time, as it may vary depending on the thickness of the beef and the efficiency of your air fryer. It’s always best to monitor it closely toward the end of the cooking process.

Air Fryer Beef Jerky Recipe Card

Other Delicious Air Fryer Recipes

Once you’ve mastered the art of making air fryer beef jerky, you might want to explore other mouthwatering dishes:

  • Air fryer deer jerky
  • Air fryer beef tenderloin
  • Air fryer steak bites with mushrooms
  • Air fryer steak
  • Air fryer roast beef
  • Air fryer chicken breast
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Rowdy Hog Smokin BBQ is passionate about bringing you the best recipes and cooking tips. Try out our air fryer beef jerky recipe and discover a world of flavor in the comfort of your own home.

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