Sweet, spicy, smoky, chewy—this homemade Sweet and Spicy Beef Jerky recipe does not disappoint! My husband Longe raved about it, and I have to agree. It’s the perfect balance of a little sweet and a little smoky, with a gentle heat that hits you in the back of the throat.
A few times per year, the conundrum comes up: what do we get the men in our lives for Father’s Day, their birthdays, and Christmas? It’s been awhile since I’ve made a homemade gift, but this year is the exception. Because this sweet and spicy beef jerky recipe is perfect for the guys!
Sweet and spicy beef jerky is a great weekend project that takes about 10 minutes of hands-on time. The jerky cooks in a slow oven (175°F) for 4–5 hours, and you’ll want to be home while it cooks. The end result is well worth the 5 hour wait.
It starts with bottom round beef roast. I told the gentleman behind the meat counter that I was making beef jerky, and he offered to slice it for me. He cut it into perfect, nearly ¼ of an inch slices. I highly recommend asking your butcher to do this for you!
I marinated the sliced bottom round with brown sugar, sauce from a can of chipotles in adobo, garlic salt, and kosher salt. I let it sit in the fridge overnight, and I’d recommend letting it sit for at least 8 hours for all of the flavors to permeate the meat. Chipotles in adobo are just dried and smoked jalapeños. That’s what gives this recipe a little kick!
I laid the marinated bottom round on a sheet pan covered with foil and fitted with a wire rack. This is the one I have, and I love it! It’s also great for cooking bacon in the oven. The sweet and spicy beef jerky cooks for 4–5 hours in a 175°F oven, and after about 1 hour, your home will start to smell amazing!
What I love about this sweet and spicy beef jerky recipe is how the meat is still a little chewy. I find most store-bought beef jerky to be too hard and overly salty. Making a homemade version is one way to control both factors. And it’s much easier on the budget, too! I found bottom round for $4/lb. The recipe calls for 1¼ lbs, so I spent about $6 (including the other ingredients) on a whole pan full of jerky. That’s pretty good considering many store-bought jerky varieties are the same price for just 2–3 ounces.
This recipe also makes for a fun project that you can do with slightly older kids (old enough to handle raw meat). And it’s undoubtedly one that Dad or another man in your life will love! Or honestly? I’m thinking about this Sweet and Spicy Beef Jerky recipe as the perfect hostess gift! It’s best stored in a mason jar, so pop it in a jar and tie a pretty ribbon on it, and your gift is done.
Have you tried making homemade beef jerky before? I’d love to know in the comments below!
Sweet and Spicy Beef Jerky Recipe
- 1¼ lbs bottom round roast sliced into ¼ inch thin slices (ask your butcher to do this)
- 3 tablespoons sauce from a can of chipotles in adobo
- 3 tablespoons brown sugar
- 1 teaspoon garlic salt
- 1 teaspoon sea salt
- nonstick cooking spray
- Trim excess fat off the bottom round roast slices.
- In a medium bowl, combine the bottom round, chipotle in adobo sauce, brown sugar, garlic salt, and kosher salt. Stir gently to combine. Cover and refrigerate for at least 8 hours, or overnight.
- Preheat oven to 175°F. Cover a sheet pan with a piece of foil. Place a wire rack on top of the foil. Spray the wire rack with nonstick cooking spray.
- Place the slices of bottom round in a single layer on the wire rack. Place in the oven and slow roast for 4½–5 hours, or until the beef is very dry and chewy.
- Let cool and serve. Store in a glass jar in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.