32 Marinades for Homemade Jerky

Wheather you are trying out a low carb, paleo, whole 30 diet; or you just appreciate a great, portable high protein snack making homemade jerky is a fantastic way to enjoy nutrient-dense snacks on-the-go.

The problem with store bought jerky is two-fold,  1. It’s EXPENSIVE and 2. Some ingredients are unwanted or questionable. Thankfully, making homemade jerky is easy using a Ronco Beef Jerky Machine.

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There are 5 basic steps to making homemade jerky.

  • Step 1. Proper Food Selection
  • Step 2. Food Preparation
  • Step 3. Food Placement
  • Step 4. Monitoring Dehydration
  • Step 5. Food Storage

Step 1. Proper Food Selection

  • Starting with the right ingredients is very important when making jerky. Homemade jerky should only be made with the freshest, highest quality ingredients.
  • Select only fresh meat and seafood that is in good condition. Foods that show any signs of decay should not be dehydrated—they can negatively impact other foods that are dehydrated and be a food safety issue.
  • Select meats that are similar in size so that they dehydrate at comparable rates.
  •  Ask your butcher or fishmonger to sell you only the freshest meats and seafood for jerky.
  • When making jerky out of ground meats, extra care should be used, as ground beef tends to have more pathogens present. Ask your butcher to ground the meat for you from a fresh cut of meat, or grind it yourself at home.
  • Extra care should also be taken when using wild game for jerky; you should be certain that your source for game meat has processed the meat in a sanitary manner.

Step 2. Food Preparation

  • Use only clean and sanitary kitchen tool and utensils when preparing meat for jerky.
  • To prepare your meat for dehydration, slice it into uniform slices. To make the meat easier to slice, place it in the freezer for about two hours prior to cutting.  Do not freeze solid, just place in the freezer long enough to slightly harden the meat. This will make cutting uniform slices easier.
  •  If you want to marinate your meat, prepare a marinade or rub according to recipe instructions.
  • Remove any extra fat from your meat with a sharp knife. Fat does not dehydrate properly and will prematurely spoil your jerky batch.
  • Slice meat along its grain into very thin strips about 1/8-1/4 inch in width. The important thing to keep in mind when slicing your meat is to cut to a uniform width so that it all dehydrates at the same rate. You can also pound out your sliced meat with a clean meat mallet to make slices uniform in thickness.
  • Place meat/seafood into the marinade, and allow it to soak up flavors by covering it and placing it in the fridge for 2-24 hours. The longer you marinate your meat, the more flavorful it becomes
  • Marinate the meat at a temperature of 36-40°F

Step 3. Food Placement

  • Place marinated or seasoned meat onto your Ronco Beef Jerky trays in one layer. Allow about ½ inch between each piece of meat so that they are not touching, this allows for proper airflow. The pieces do not have to be completely dry—some marinade may remain on the meat.

Step 4. Monitoring Dehydration

  • After your trays are loaded, place them onto the Beef Jerky Machine Base in descending order with tray 5 on the top, working down to tray 1 on the bottom. Plug in your Ronco 5- Tray Beef Jerky Machine. Rotate and turn your trays every few hours.
  • Check your jerky occasionally during dehydration. Different meats will dehydrate at different rates. When your jerky is dehydrated to your liking, remove the dehydrated pieces and consolidate the jerky that still requires more time onto fewer trays.
  • Jerky is done in 6 to 24 hours depending on the thickness of meat, moisture levels, and home temperatures. Properly dehydrated jerky will be chewy and leathery; it will not have any moist spots and will bend like a green branch, but not crumble into pieces.Making homemade jerky is easy, how to make homemade beef jerky, easy homemade beef jerky, beef jerky machine, jerky marinade

• Step 5. Food Storage

  • Before storing jerky, allow it to cool and air dry completely uncovered to prevent condensation from forming and spoiling your batch.
  •  Store jerky in non-aluminum, airtight containers in dry, temperature controlled, well-ventilated areas. Storing your jerky in areas that are cool, dry, and dark will help it to last longer, and maintain its quality. Jerky may also be stored in an airtight container in your refrigerator or freezer.
  • Package Jerky in small amounts to prolong shelf life. It is best to store in one-portion sizes to avoid the risk of contamination from opening and closing the storage container.
  •  Glass jars, reusable plastic containers or resealable plastic freezer bags all make good storage containers.
  • Jerky should be packed with the least amount of air as possible. Vacuum-packaging is a good option for long-term jerky storage.
  • Label jerky package with date and flavor.

Great, now that you have the basics down why not try one of these 32 flavor packed jerky marinades on your homemade jerky? Marination times vary according to foods, here’s a handy chart to follow for different meats.

32 Jerky Marinades for Homemade Jerky

These marinades are suitable for fish, poultry, seafood, game, and beef. The marinades will accommodate around 2 pounds of sliced meat. Feel free to try these marinades in other dishes too!

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  1. Korean BBQ Jerky

  • 1 cup soy sauce
  • 3/4 cup  honey
  • 1 cup pear nectar
  • 1 jalapeno, chopped (seeded if you wish)
  • 1/2 cup sake
  • 1/2 yellow onion, chopped
  • 1/8 cup toasted sesame seeds
  • 4 tbsp ginger, grated
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 2 tbsp sesame seeds
  • black pepper

Whisk all ingredients together in a bowl. Marinate according to chart.

2. Spicy Korean Jerky

 

  • 4 tbsp rice vinegar
  • 1 tbsp honey
  • 4 tsp soy sauce
  • 2 tsp Doenjang (fermented soybean paste)
  • 2 tbsp Korean red pepper powder or 2 1/2 tbsp Gochujang
  • 2 tablespoons toasted sesame seeds

Whisk all ingredients together in a bowl. Marinate according to chart.

3. Vietnamese Lemongrass Jerky

 

  • 6-8 Thai chilis, chopped
  • 1 tbsp dark soy sauce
  • 1/3 cup lightly packed brown sugar
  •  2 1/2 tbsp fish sauce
  • 2 tbsp soy sauce
  • 1 large stalk lemongrass, trimmed, halved lengthwise and cut into super thin half circles (1/3 cup total)

Whisk all ingredients together in a bowl. Marinate according to chart.

4. Thai Curry Jerky

 

  • 1 cup coconut water
  • 1 tsp curry powder
  • 1/3 cup soy sauce
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • 4 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp cumin
  • 2 tsp brown sugar
  • 1/2 tsp coriander
  • 1 tsp freshly ground ginger
  • 1/4 tsp nutmeg
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 1/4 tsp ground black pepper

Whisk all ingredients together in a bowl. Marinate according to chart.

5. Real Peppery Jerky Marinade

 

  • ½ cup dark stout beer
  • 1/4 cup soy sauce
  • 1/4 cup Worcestershire sauce
  • 2 tablespoons cracked multi-colored peppercorns, + 2 more tablespoons for sprinkling before dehydrating the meat
  • 1 teaspoon curing salt

Combine all ingredients with the first 2 tablespoons of pepper. Marinate according to chart. Remove from marinade, place meat on Jerky Trays and top with the other 2 tablespoons of pepper.

6. Molasses & Pepper Marinade

 

  • 1/2 cup soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoons molasses
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice (freshly squeezed)
  • 1 tablespoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon liquid smoke

Whisk all ingredients together in a bowl. Marinate according to chart.

7. Orange Soy Marinade

 

  • ¼ cup soy sauce
  • ¼ cup orange juice concentrate, thawed
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • ¼ cup onion juice
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 2-tablespoon ketchup
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced.

Place all ingredients in medium mixing bowl, and whisk until incorporated.

Making homemade jerky is easy, how to make homemade beef jerky, easy homemade beef jerky, beef jerky machine, jerky marinade8. Lemon Soy Marinade

 

  • 1/3-cup soy sauce
  • 1/4-cup fresh lemon juice
  • 2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
  • 2 tablespoon Apple Cider vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon grated lemon peel
  • 2 cloves garlic, crushed

Place all ingredients in medium mixing bowl, and whisk until incorporated.

9. Hoisin Citrus Marinade

 

  • ¼ cup fresh orange juice
  • ¼ cup rice wine vinegar
  • 2-tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
  • 2 tablespoon Hoisin sauce
  • 1-teaspoon hot sauce
  • 2 cloves garlic, crushed

Place all ingredients in medium mixing bowl, and whisk until incorporated.

10. Raspberry Marinade

 

  • 1 (12 ounces) jar of raspberry jam- either with or without seeds to your preference
  • 1/2 cup red wine vinegar
  • ½ cup chili sauce
  • 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard

Place all ingredients in medium mixing bowl, and whisk until incorporated.

11. Spicy & Sweet Jerky Marinade

 

  • 1/2 cup pineapple juice
  • 2/3 cup soy sauce
  • 1/4 cup teriyaki sauce
  • 1/4 cup Worcestershire sauce
  • 1/3 cup balsamic vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons liquid smoke flavoring
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon onion powder
  • 1 tablespoon garlic powder
  • 2 teaspoons cracked black pepper, or to taste
  • ¼ teaspoon curing salt
  • 1 teaspoon red pepper flakes

Place all ingredients in medium mixing bowl, and whisk until incorporated.

12. Chipotle Lime Beef Jerky

 

  • 1 cup low sodium soy sauce
  • 1/2 cup fresh squeezed lime juice
  • 1/8 cup agave syrup
  • 1 tablespoon chipotle powder
  • 1 teaspoon granulated garlic
  • 1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 2 teaspoons onion juice
  • 1/2 tablespoon fresh cracked pepper
  • 4-5 sprigs fresh oregano
  • ¼ teaspoon curing salt

Place all ingredients in medium mixing bowl, and whisk until incorporated.

13. Jerk Jerky Marinade

 

  • 5 scallions
  • 1 yellow onion, peeled
  • 3 scotch bonnet or habanero peppers, (remove seeds or leave them for a real kick)
  • 4 garlic cloves, peeled
  • 5 sprigs of fresh thyme
  • 1 tablespoon brown sugar
  • 2 teaspoons allspice berries
  • 1 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/4 cup red wine vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons low sodium soy sauce
  • ¼ cup orange juice
  • ¼ cup lime juice
  • 1 teaspoon fresh grated ginger
  • ¼ teaspoon curing salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper

Place scallions, onion, peppers and garlic in a food processor or blender, blend into a paste. Turn off processor add in all other ingredients and pulse to incorporate.

14. Japanese Steakhouse Jerky

 

  • 1 ½ cup low sodium soy sauce
  • ¾ cup rice wine vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1-2 teaspoons wasabi paste (depending on taste)
  • 1 tablespoon onion powder
  • 1 teaspoon white pepper
  • 5 garlic cloves finely chopped
  • 4 tablespoons sesame seeds, pan toasted
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh ginger

Place all ingredients in medium mixing bowl, and whisk until incorporate. 

15. Mojo Marinade

 

  • 2/3-cup lime juice
  • 2/3 cup orange juice
  • 1 small yellow onion
  • 4 garlic cloves
  • 2 tablespoon fresh oregano
  • ½ teaspoon ground cumin
  • ½ teaspoon curing salt
  • ½ teaspoon ground black pepper

Place onion, garlic, and oregano in a food processor or blender blend into a paste. Turn off processor add in all other ingredients and pulse to incorporate.

16. Classic Beef Jerky Marinade

 

  • 1/4 cup soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
  • 2 tablespoons liquid smoke
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 2 teaspoons curing salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon meat tenderizer
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1 teaspoon paprika

Place all ingredients in medium mixing bowl, and whisk until incorporated.

17. Fajita Marinated Jerky

 

  • 1 (12 ounces) can beer- any kind you like is fine
  • ¼ cup fresh lime juice
  • 1 onion
  • 4 garlic cloves
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
  • 1-tablespoon chili powder
  • 1-teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • ½ teaspoon curing salt

Place onion, garlic, and bay leaf in a food processor or blender blend into a paste. Turn off processor add in all other ingredients and pulse to incorporate.

18. BBQ Jerky Marinade

 

  • 1 – cup ketchup
  • 1/2 – cup water
  • 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 1/4 cup red wine vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons molasses
  • 1 teaspoon dry ground mustard
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper
  • ½ teaspoon curing salt
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 1/2 tablespoon lemon juice

Place all ingredients in medium mixing bowl, and whisk until incorporated.

19. Lemon Pepper Marinade

 

  • 3/4 cup Worcestershire sauce
  • 1/4 cup soy sauce
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon liquid smoke
  • 2 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon garlic powder
  • 2 tablespoon lemon pepper seasoning

Place all ingredients in medium mixing bowl, and whisk until incorporated.

20. Black Cherry Marinade

 

  • 3 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon molasses
  • ¼ cup dark cherry juice concentrate
  • 3 teaspoons paprika
  • 2 teaspoons onion powder
  • 2 teaspoons garlic powder
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper

 

Whisk all ingredients together in a bowl. Marinate according to chart.

21. Southern Vinegar Marinade

 

  • 3/4 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
  • 2 tablespoon maple syrup
  • 2 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
  • ½ teaspoon hot pepper sauce
  • 1 tablespoon fresh thyme
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley
  • 1 tablespoon minced shallot

Place all ingredients in medium mixing bowl, and whisk until incorporated

22. Mustard Ginger Marinade

 

  • 2/3-cup sherry wine vinegar
  • 2-tablespoon soy sauce
  • 1-tablespoon coarse ground mustard
  • 1-tablespoon honey
  • 2 tablespoons minced fresh ginger
  • 1 tablespoon minced shallots
  • ½ teaspoon curing salt
  • ¼ teaspoon ground white pepper

Place all ingredients in medium mixing bowl, and whisk until incorporated.

23. Wasabi Marinade

 

  • 1/3 cup dry sake
  • 3 tablespoons mirin
  • ¼ cup soy sauce
  • ¼ cup rice wine vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 1/2-tablespoon wasabi powder
  • ¼ teaspoon curing salt
  • ½ teaspoon ground black pepper

Place all ingredients in medium mixing bowl, and whisk until incorporated.

24. Honey Hoisin Marinade

 

  • 1 1/4 cup soy sauce
  • 1/3 cup honey
  • ¼ cup tomato sauce
  • 2 tablespoons hoisin sauce
  • 2 tablespoons dry sherry
  • 2 tablespoons rice wine vinegar
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 tablespoons minced fresh garlic
  • ½ teaspoon crushed red peppers
  • 1 teaspoon five spice powder

Place all ingredients in medium mixing bowl, and whisk until incorporated.

25. Chipotle Orange Marinade

 

  • ½ cup fresh orange juice
  • 2 tablespoons orange zest
  • ¼ cup fresh lime juice
  • 1/3-cup honey
  • 2 tablespoons chopped chipotle chilies in adobo sauce
  • 3 tablespoons of the adobo sauce
  • ¼ cup diced onion
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • ½ teaspoon curing salt
  • ½ teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1/3 cup chopped fresh cilantro leaves

Place all ingredients in medium mixing bowl, and whisk until incorporated.

26. Pineapple Chili Marinade

 

  • ½ cup unsweetened pineapple juice
  • ¼ cup fresh lime juice
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoons chili powder
  • 1/3 cup dry white wine
  • 2 diced and seeded jalapeños
  • ¼ cup chopped red onion
  • ¼ cup diced pineapple
  • ¼ cup chopped fresh cilantro
  • ¼ teaspoon curing salt
  • ½ teaspoon ground black pepper

Place all ingredients in medium mixing bowl, and whisk until incorporated.

27. Maple Bourbon Marinade

 

  • 1 cup pure maple syrup
  • ½ cup bourbon
  • ½ cup apple cider vinegar
  • ½ cup orange juice
  • 1 tablespoon orange zest
  • 1 tablespoon dark brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
  • ¼ cup soy sauce
  • ½ teaspoon white pepper

Place all ingredients in medium mixing bowl, and whisk until incorporated.

28. Tamarind Ginger Marinade

 

  • 1½ cups water
  • 3 tablespoons tamarind paste
  • 1 ¼ cup mirin
  • 2/3 cup soy sauce
  • ¼ cup brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons minced fresh ginger
  • 4 cloves garlic minced
  • 1 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes

Place water and tamarind in a medium saucepan. Cook over medium-high heat, stirring constantly until paste dissolves. Add in mirin, soy sauce, ginger, garlic, and red pepper flakes. Boil until mixture is reduced to 1 1/3 cups, about 15 minutes. Cool completely before adding in meat, poultry or seafood.

29. Thai Chili Herb Marinade

 

  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoons fish sauce
  • ¼ cup rice wine vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons dark brown sugar
  • 1-2 serrano chilies
  • 4 garlic cloves
  • 3 tablespoons minced fresh ginger
  • 1/3 cup fresh basil
  • 1/3 cup fresh mint
  • 1/3 cup fresh cilantro

Place all ingredients into a food processor and pulse until a paste forms. Spread thick marinade over your desired choice of protein and marinate according to chart.

30. Sweet and Sour Citrus Marinade

 

  • ¾ cup fresh lemon juice
  • ½ cup soy sauce
  • 6 tablespoons honey
  • 3 tablespoons minced shallots
  • 1 teaspoon dry mustard
  • ½ teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1 teaspoon curing salt
  • ½ teaspoon freshly ground pepper

Place all ingredients in medium mixing bowl, and whisk until incorporated.

31. Habanero Teriyaki Marinade

 

  • 1/4 cup teriyaki sauce
  • 1 habanero pepper (stem removed)
  • 1 teaspoon curing salt
  • 1 teaspoon pepper
  • 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 tablespoon liquid smoke
  • ¼ cup light brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon paprika

Combine all ingredients in a food processor and pulse to combine, until pepper is pureed. *Leave feeding tube on the processor, as habanero fumes are very strong.

32. Sriracha Jerky Marinade

 

  • 5 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 3/4 cup soy sauce
  • 1/2 cup red wine vinegar
  • ¼ cup Worcestershire sauce
  • 2 tablespoons ground black pepper
  • 1 1/4 tablespoons garlic powder
  • 5 tablespoons sriracha sauce

To incorporate whisk all ingredients together in a bowl. Marinate according to chart.