Easy Air Fryer Spicy Beef Jerky: A High-Protein Snack

Air Fryer Spicy Beef Jerky

Making air fryer spicy beef jerky at home is a convenient and flavorful way to enjoy a high-protein snack. This homemade beef jerky recipe is ideal for those who want a quick, tasty, and easy beef jerky recipe. Using an air fryer, you can achieve the perfect texture and spice level in a fraction of the time compared to traditional methods.

What is Beef Jerky?

Beef jerky is a type of dried meat that has been seasoned and preserved. Originating from methods used by ancient cultures to preserve meat, it remains popular today for its high protein snack value and low-fat content. Healthy snacks like beef jerky are perfect for people looking to maintain a balanced diet without sacrificing flavor.

Air fryer spicy beef jerky served with sides on a white plate

Why Make Spicy Beef Jerky in an Air Fryer?

Using an air fryer to make beef jerky offers several benefits of air fryer cooking:

  • Faster cooking time: Air fryers significantly reduce the time needed to dehydrate the beef compared to traditional methods.
  • Ease of use: The process is straightforward, requiring minimal monitoring.
  • Energy efficiency: Air fryers use less energy than conventional ovens and dehydrators.

These advantages make it clear why air fryer vs. dehydrator debates often favor the air fryer for quick beef jerky.

Ingredients Needed

To make beef jerky, you’ll need the following beef jerky ingredients:

  • 1 pound beef (top round or flank steak works best)
  • 1/4 cup soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper (adjust to taste for spicy beef jerky)
  • 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes (optional for extra heat)

For the beef jerky marinade, these ingredients will provide a well-balanced flavor with a good amount of spice.

Cooking Equipment

To make spicy beef jerky, you’ll need the following equipment:

With these tools, you’ll be well-prepared to create delicious homemade beef jerky in your air fryer.

How to Make Your Air Fryer Spicy Beef Jerky

Preparing the Beef:

1. Trim the beef: Start by trimming any excess fat from the beef. This helps prevent spoilage and ensures even drying.

Trimming excess fat from beef on a cutting board
Trimming excess fat from beef on a cutting board

2. Slice beef for jerky: For best results, slice the beef against the grain into thin strips, about 1/4 inch thick. Uniform slices ensure even cooking and texture.

Slicing Beef for Jerky
Slicing Beef for Jerky

Marinating the Beef:

3. Prepare the beef jerky marinade: In a mixing bowl, combine soy sauce, Worcestershire sauce, honey, garlic powder, onion powder, smoked paprika, black pepper, cayenne pepper, and red pepper flakes (if using).

Mixing Beef Jerky Marinade
Mixing Beef Jerky Marinade

4. Marinate beef: Place the beef strips into a ziplock bag or shallow dish. Pour the marinade over the beef, ensuring all pieces are well-coated.

Marinating beef strips in a ziplock bag with marinade
Marinating beef strips in a ziplock bag with marinade

5. Overnight marination: Seal the bag or cover the dish, and let it marinate in the refrigerator for at least 4 hours, preferably overnight, for optimal flavor.

Air Frying the Jerky:

6. Arrange the beef: Lay the marinated beef strips in a single layer in the air fryer basket. Avoid overlapping to ensure even cooking.

Arranging marinated beef strips in an air fryer basket
Arranging marinated beef strips in an air fryer basket

7. Air fryer settings: Set the air fryer to 160°F (71°C) and cook for 1-2 hours. Check the jerky halfway through and rotate the strips for even drying.

Essential note: Cooking times may vary based on the thickness of the slices and the specific air fryer model. Always check the beef jerky for doneness; it should be dry and firm but still slightly pliable.

Tips for Perfect Air Fryer Spicy Beef Jerky

To achieve the best jerky texture and flavor, keep these beef jerky tips in mind:

  • Uniform slices: Ensure all beef strips are of equal thickness, about 1/4 inch, for consistent drying.
  • Monitor doneness: Check the jerky periodically after the 1-hour mark. The jerky should be dry and firm but still slightly pliable.
  • Adjust cook times: If your air fryer runs hot, you might need to shorten the cooking time. Conversely, if the jerky isn’t drying well, extend the time in 30-minute increments.
  • Flavor balance: Feel free to adjust the spice level in the marinade to suit your taste. Add more cayenne or red pepper flakes for extra heat or reduce for a milder flavor.

Storing Your Air Fryer Spicy Beef Jerky

Proper storing beef jerky is essential to maintain its freshness and extend its beef jerky shelf life:

  • Cool and dry storage: Store the jerky in an airtight container in a cool, dry place. This helps prevent moisture from spoiling the jerky.
  • Vacuum sealing: For longer storage, vacuum seal the jerky. This removes air and keeps the jerky fresh for months.
  • Refrigeration: If you don’t have a vacuum sealer, store the jerky in the refrigerator. It can last up to a month in the fridge.
  • Freezing: For even longer storage, freeze the jerky in airtight bags. Properly stored, it can last up to six months.

By following these jerky storage tips, you can enjoy your perfect beef jerky whenever you need a high-protein snack.

FAQs on Air Fryer Spicy Beef Jerky

In the Bottom Lines

Making homemade beef jerky in an air fryer is a convenient and satisfying way to enjoy a delicious, high-protein snack.

This method is quicker and easier than traditional methods. Air fryer recipes offer simplicity and efficiency, making it accessible for anyone.

Spicy jerky lovers can easily adjust the heat level to their preference. With proper preparation and storage, your beef jerky will stay fresh and flavorful.

Give it a try and enjoy the convenience of your air fryer for this tasty treat.

More Delicious and Healthy Air Fryer Recipes

See all in at KitGiz for Air Fryer Recipes.

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Air Fryer Spicy Beef Jerky

Air Fryer Spicy Beef Jerky

Making air fryer spicy beef jerky at home is a convenient and flavorful way to enjoy a high-protein snack. This homemade beef jerky recipe is ideal for those who want a quick, tasty, and easy beef jerky recipe.

  • Total Time: 1 hour 15 minutes
  • Yield: 10 servings 1x

Ingredients

Scale
  • 1 pound beef (top round or flank steak works best)
  • 1/4 cup soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper (adjust to taste for spicy beef jerky)
  • 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes (optional for extra heat)

Instructions

1. Trim the beef: Start by trimming any excess fat from the beef. This helps prevent spoilage and ensures even drying.

Trimming excess fat from beef on a cutting board

2. Slice beef for jerky: For best results, slice the beef against the grain into thin strips, about 1/4 inch thick. Uniform slices ensure even cooking and texture.

Slicing Beef for Jerky

Marinating the Beef:

3. Prepare the beef jerky marinade: In a mixing bowl, combine soy sauce, Worcestershire sauce, honey, garlic powder, onion powder, smoked paprika, black pepper, cayenne pepper, and red pepper flakes (if using).

Mixing Beef Jerky Marinade

4. Marinate beef: Place the beef strips into a ziplock bag or shallow dish. Pour the marinade over the beef, ensuring all pieces are well-coated.

Marinating beef strips in a ziplock bag with marinade

5. Overnight marination: Seal the bag or cover the dish, and let it marinate in the refrigerator for at least 4 hours, preferably overnight, for optimal flavor.

Air Frying the Jerky:

6. Arrange the beef: Lay the marinated beef strips in a single layer in the air fryer basket. Avoid overlapping to ensure even cooking.

Arranging marinated beef strips in an air fryer basket

7. Air fryer settings: Set the air fryer to 160°F (71°C) and cook for 1-2 hours. Check the jerky halfway through and rotate the strips for even drying.

Notes

Cooking times may vary based on the thickness of the slices and the specific air fryer model. Always check the beef jerky for doneness; it should be dry and firm but still slightly pliable.

  • Author: Suborna Tanchangya
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 1 hour
  • Category: Snack
  • Method: Air Frying
  • Cuisine: American

Nutrition

  • Serving Size: 1 ounce
  • Calories: 116
  • Sugar: 2 grams
  • Sodium: 590 milligrams
  • Fat: 3 grams
  • Saturated Fat: 1 gram
  • Unsaturated Fat: 2 grams
  • Trans Fat: 0 grams
  • Carbohydrates: 4 grams
  • Fiber: 0 grams
  • Protein: 20 grams
  • Cholesterol: 40 milligrams

Keywords: air fryer spicy beef jerky

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