Sweet, spicy, smoky, chewy—this homemade jerky, made in the oven, has it all! It’s the perfect balance of a little sweet and a little smoky.
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 oven jerky recipe is perfect for the guys!
Oven Beef Jerky is a great weekend project that takes about 10 minutes of hands-on time. The jerky cooks in a low 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.
What I love about this 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.
You just need five ingredients for this easy jerky!
- Bottom round beef roast is the best cut of meat for jerky. Ask your butcher to cut it for you!
- Brown sugar adds a bit of sweetness
- Chipotles in adobo add smokiness and spice
- Garlic salt and sea salt contribute even more flavor to the jerky
How to make jerky in the oven
Cut a bottom round beef roast into ¼ of an inch slices. I highly recommend asking your butcher to do this for you!
Marinate the beef in a mixture of brown sugar, chipotles in adobo, garlic salt, and sea salt. Let the mixture sit overnight in the refrigerator (or at least 8 hours) to let the flavors permeate the meat.
Chipotles in adobo are just dried and smoked jalapeños. That’s what gives this recipe a little kick!
Lay the marinated beef on a sheet pan covered with foil and fitted with a wire rack. I use this sheet pan and wire rack set. It’s also great for cooking bacon in the oven.
Cook the meat for 4–5 hours in a 175°F oven. After about 1 hour, your home will start to smell amazing!
Let the jerky cool before eating. You can store it in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.
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.
I’m also thinking about this oven 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. Here are few more inexpensive hostess gift ideas!
What’s the best beef to make jerky?
Bottom round roast is ideal for making jerky. It is lean and less tender, which creates a chewy jerky.
What are chipotles in adobo?
Chipotles in adobo are dried and smoked jalapeños. You can find them in a can in the international foods aisle at your local grocery store.
If you make this recipe, please leave me a comment below, or tag me on Instagram or Pinterest. I love hearing from you!
Oven 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 5 days.
the saltiness you dislike in commercially produced store bought jerkies, is a necessary ingredient. Salt is necessary in acting as a preservative when making jerky self stable, as it draws out moisture along with the slow low dehydrating temperature….it also acts an inhibitor in preventing bacteria growth.
Great recipe but waaaaaayyyyy to salty. Would keep the garlic salt as is and cut the sea salt by 1/3 (or omit.)
Jeanette Beadnell says
I’m assuming, since the recipe did not say to add the sliced beef to the marinade. I’m assuming to add to the marinade and refrigerate. Why only refrigerate for 3 days. Beef jerky normally doesn’t need refrigerated and can be stored for months?
Kate Shungu says
Hi Jeanette, the recipe says to add the beef to the marinade in step #2: “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.” The bottom round is the beef. This jerky contains significantly less sodium than store-bought jerky. As with any meat product, I wouldn’t want to take a chance on it sitting out on the counter, particularly if it wasn’t vacuum sealed. While it might be fine longer than three days in the fridge, I found that the chewy texture gets compromised after that time period.
Morag Keefe says
I can’t wait to try this Kate! We’ve got a lot of jerky lovers in our family. Thanks for the great gift idea!
Kate Shungu says
That’s so great to hear, Morag! Hope your family loves it!!
Brian Holzgraefe says
Beautiful presentation Kate! I was on a jerky making kick over the winter after picking up a tiered dehydrator at Aldi for under $20. At the time I was going for recipes without added sugar, and used unsweetened almond sauce, cherry concentrate, and date puree to sweeten it up.
I think I’ll be pulling the dehydrator out and making up some batches for gifts this weekend. Thanks for the inspiration!!
Kate Shungu says
Thanks, Brian! That is a steal of a deal on a dehydrator!! Love the idea of doing no-sugar-added recipes. Your gift recipients will be thrilled, I’m sure!