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Stacks of peppered beef jerky on a rectangular wooden cutting board.
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4.82 from 32 votes

Peppered Beef Jerky

This Peppered Beef Jerky recipe is packed with classic jerky flavor with a black pepper kick. It's the perfect recipe to try if you're making beef jerky for the first time. While I prefer to dehydrate my beef jerky on my smoker, I've included adaptations in this recipe so you can make it in an oven or classic dehydrator as well.
Prep Time10 minutes
Cook Time2 hours
Marinade Time8 hours
Total Time10 hours 10 minutes
Course: Snacks
Cuisine: American
Keyword: Beef Jerky, Peppered Beef Jerky
Servings: 8
Author: Susie Bulloch (heygrillhey,com)


  • 2 pounds eye of round roast sliced thin against the grain

Peppered Beef Jerky Marinade

  • 4 cloves garlic minced
  • 1 cup soy sauce
  • 1/2 cup Worcestershire sauce
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 2 teaspoons onion powder
  • 2 teaspoons red pepper flakes
  • 2 Tablespoons black pepper
  • 1 cup beer or beef stock


  • In a large zip top bag, combine all ingredients for the marinade. Mix well to dissolve the sugar.
  • Add the sliced eye of round to your marinade and toss gently in the bag to coat all sides of the meat with the marinade. Refrigerate 8 hours, or up to 24 hours. The longer it marinates, the saltier and stronger the flavor will be.
  • Remove the strips of marinated beef from the bag and place on paper towels. Pat dry.
  • Preheat your smoker, oven (with the door cracked), or dehydrator to run at around 170 degrees F. Transfer the strips to the grill grate, jerky rack, or cooling rack and season the top with additional black pepper, if desired.
  • Smoke/cook for 2-3 hours (depending on the thickness of your slices, some thicker pieces can take 4-5 hours). Check often after the first hour to be sure your jerky is drying evenly. You are looking for jerky that is firm and still slightly pliable, but not soft. If you bend your jerky and it breaks, you've cooked it a little too long
  • Place the finished jerky in a gallon zip top bag while it is still warm. Don't seal closed all the way. The jerky will steam in the bag slightly and this step will make the jerky moist. If you added the curing salt, the jerky will last a couple of weeks on the counter. If you did not add in the curing salt, it will last a couple of weeks in the refrigerator.



If you prefer to add curing salt to you marinade, read this post on Curing Meats Safely.


Calories: 168kcal | Carbohydrates: 2g | Protein: 26g | Fat: 6g | Saturated Fat: 2g | Cholesterol: 70mg | Sodium: 73mg | Potassium: 427mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 1g | Vitamin A: 156IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 34mg | Iron: 3mg