Smoked Spicy Beef Jerky - The Peasant's Daughter (2022)

If you have never made your own jerky, you are definitely in for a treat. This recipe for smoked spicy beef jerky on the Traeger Grill is so very, very good and requires only a few simple ingredients. Make this spicy beef jerky in bulk and enjoy on the trail or whenever you're craving a healthy, nutritious and all-natural high-protein snack.

Smoked Spicy Beef Jerky - The Peasant's Daughter (1)

Table of Contents: hide

1What Cut(s) of Beef Are Best For Making Jerky?

1.1For this smoked, spicy beef jerky recipe we will be assuming Eye of Round in the recipe instructions, but you may choose from the following cuts of beef:

2Using Veal To Make Jerky

3Beef Jerky Nutrition Facts

4Finding Quality Beef Online

5Traeger Grill vs. Dehydrator vs. Other

6Make The Spicy Marinade

8Choose Your Wood Pellets

8.1For beef Traeger specifically recommends:

This is my recipe for smoked spicy beef jerky on the Traeger Grill — but any smoker will do. In fact, so will your dehydrator if you do not have a smoker.

Plan ahead — this recipe for smoked spicy beef jerky is incredibly basic, but it does require an overnight marinade for the best results.

Homemade jerky tastes nothing like the packaged stuff. Even the high-end stuff. You're really in for a treat, and I promise you that this will become a go-to recipe if you love jerky.

Oh and homemade jerky is SO much less expensive than buying it.

What Cut(s) of Beef Are Best For Making Jerky?

Choosing the right cut of beef is important to your end-result.

There are definitely cuts that will be too tough for jerky-making, or too fatty. And as much as I love fat, you want to skip it for spoilage reasons.

Now, there are fatty smoked jerky-like meat preparations out there that are absolutely mind-blowing and probably some of my favourite ways to prepare beef — but that will have to be saved for another article.

For this smoked, spicy beef jerky recipe we will be assuming Eye of Round in the recipe instructions, but you may choose from the following cuts of beef:

  • Eye of Round (again, my favourite)
  • Bottom Round
  • Flank (slice against the grain!)
  • Sirloin Tip
  • Lean Ground Beef

Using Veal To Make Jerky

Veal is a wonderful meat to use for making jerky.

Veal is tender, lean, and mild, making most cuts suitable. You can freely pick the least expensive cut and end up with wonderful jerky on your smoker.

Choose veal that is red and comes from calves weaned onto pasture. One of the bonuses of buying veal is that it will likely have been grass-fed and grass-finished no matter where you live.

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Beef Jerky Nutrition Facts

Beef (especially pastured grass-fed beef) is a very nutrient-dense meat.

It's an incredible source of high-quality bioavailable protein for starters. A 3.5-ounce (100-gram) serving of 10% fat cooked beef will have over 26 grams of protein.

And the protein from animal foods is much more bioavailable and of higher quality.

But beef is way more than protein. It also contains Vitamin B12, an essential nutrient only found in animal foods that your body requires for optimal blood, brain, and nervous system functioning.

Beef is an excellent source of Zinc, Selenium, Heme-Iron, Niacin, Phosphorous, Vitamin B6 — as well as many other vitamins and minerals in smaller amounts.

Antioxidants and other bioactive compounds make up an important part of beef as well in the forms of Creatine, Taurine, Glutathione, Cholesterol (dietary cholesterol, an important compound for health, does not affect blood serum levels of cholesterol in the majority of people) and Conjugated Linoleic Acid (CLA's).

Beef from animals grass-fed on lush, healthy pastures is even higher in many important nutrients.

I always recommend grass-fed and finished animals that are raised on regenerative pastures, giving back to the earth — often much more than they take.

Try and choose local beef at least if that is not within your limits yet. Supporting your local farmers is always a great idea.

Finding Quality Beef Online

Visit your local butcher, if you have one! Same with farmer's markets. Talk to these people directly, they have so much wisdom to share!

If you are looking for online sources:

For both Americans and Canadians there are services like ButcherBox.

For Canadians only, a wonderful service is TruLocal.

Another great online source for those of you in America is Farm Foods.

Traeger Grill vs. Dehydrator vs. Other

I own a Traeger which is why my smoker recipes are geared towards and mention that particular brand name.

If you're wondering, I absolutely love my Traeger and would recommend it to anyone.

I assume other pellet smokers or something like a Green Egg or other brand of Kamado Grill are similar enough and you can use this recipe as-is with no major issues.

I've also made this beef jerky in my dehydrator and it was absolutely delicious, just lacking that smoky flavour.

If you only have a dehydrator or that is what you wish to use, cause maybe it's too cold right now for you to go outside — you can add a couple of drops of liquid smoke into the marinade.

Make The Spicy Marinade

We will be making sambal olek, a spicy Indonesian hot sauce that is compromised of one ingredient — chili peppers.

Yes, seriously. Hot sauce in its purest form. Vinegar and other spices can also be added, as well as garlic, depending on the individual recipe.

My recipe is just three things: chili, vinegar, salt.

And you know what? If you don't have apple cider vinegar, I encourage you to go wild and experiment with white wine or even balsamic. It can't taste bad.

What Is Sambal Olek & Other Options

Sambal just refers to any chili, and Oelek refers to the mortar and pestle you would traditionally use to pound the chilis into a fine paste.

I highly recommend buying the largest mortar and pestle you can find for your kitchen. It's a wonderful and versatile old-timey kitchen appliance that genuinely makes a difference to the end result of many sauces — like Traditional Basil Pesto.

It's also fun to use. Alternatively, use your food processor or blender, adding water in a slow stream if needed.

You can just buy Sambal Olek, although it will have additives.

You can also buy sambal oelek or garlic chili paste (or make it by adding garlic to my basic recipe), which is a wonderful alternative for this smoked spicy beef jerky recipe.

Choose Your Wood Pellets

Which wood pellet flavour will work best for this recipe?

They all work. You can even mix the stronger flavoured pellets (like hickory or cherry) with milder woods like apple.

For beef Traeger specifically recommends:

Alder: The most versatile pellets because of their mild flavour and aroma.

Cherry: Hearty and very flavourful but not over-powering, cherry wood pairs beautifully with beef.

Hickory: Hickory pellets are very popular and have a strong flavour that complements most meats. If the hickory is too strong, you can pair it with a milder wood.

Maple: Mild, with a hint of sweetness, maple pairs exceptionally well with pork and turkey, but also works with beef and might be a very interesting choice for this spicy jerky recipe.

Mesquite: Another extremely popular choice for BBQ, mesquite pellets infuse your meat with a deep super-smoky flavour.

Oak: Oak is a great middle ground as far as smoke intensity goes.

Pecan: Deliciously nutty and even a little spicy, pecan pellets are great for beef.

Smoked Spicy Beef Jerky - The Peasant's Daughter (4)

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Smoked Spicy Beef Jerky

If you have never made your own jerky, you are definitely in for a treat. This recipe for smoked spicy beef jerky on the Traeger Grill is so very, very good and requires only a few simple ingredients. Make this spicy beef jerky in bulk and enjoy on the trail or whenever you're craving a healthy, nutritious and all-natural high-protein snack.

  • Author: The Peasant's Daughter
  • Prep Time: 20 minutes
  • Cook Time: 4 hours
  • Total Time: 4 hours 20 minutes
  • Yield: 2 lbs 1x
  • Category: Snack
  • Method: Smoking
  • Cuisine: North America

Ingredients

Scale

  • 3-4 lbs eye of round roast
  • 2-3 chili Peppers
  • 2 tablespoons vinegar (rice, white wine, or apple cider prefered)
  • Kosher salt
  • 3 garlic cloves (optional)

Instructions

For The Sambal Olek

  1. Place roughly chopped red chili peppers into a mortar and pound it into oblivion with the vinegar and just a small pinch of salt salt. If you're using garlic, add it now and stir to combine.
  2. If using a food processor, just place all ingredients into the processor and pulse until finely blended, adding a small amount of water if needed.

Make The Jerky

  1. If your beef is fresh, place it in the freezer for 30-45 minutes as partially frozen beef is easier to slice thin.
  2. Once partially frozen, take a very sharp knife and slice your roast into thin slices.
  3. In a bowl large enough to fit everything, mix the beef thoroughly with a liberal sprinkling of salt. Don't hold back on the salt, treat it as if you're dry-brining the meat. The slices should be liberally coated but not completely encrusted. This will likely be about 2 tablespoons.
  4. Next add the sambal olek, and using your hands, mix everything thoroughly in the bowl.
  5. Refrigerate for 12-24 hours.
  6. After the time has passed, take the marinading meat out and rinse it thoroughly under running cold water. Do not add any more salt or sauce.
  7. Lay the thin beef strips flat and dry with a towel.
  8. Set your Traeger to the Smoke setting and allow to preheat for 5 minutes with the lid closed.
  9. Use either a grill-basket or simply lay he beef flat directly on the grill.
  10. Check on the beef every 45 minutes or so, it should be done in 3-4 hours.
  11. You will know it is done because the meat will be dry and shrunken but still pliable.
  12. Store in the refrigerator for weeks and enjoy!

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