Summary –Slice 1 LB. of round beef into one-inch strips. Marinade overnight in spices and cook in your air fryer at 160° F for an hour. Full details of the method and recipe below.
For those of you that love beef jerky, you are in for a treat. Did you know that your air fryer can deliver some of the best results? Well, you do now! Air fryer beef jerky is delicious and perfectly cooked.
The best bit…it is at a fraction of the retail cost. Beef jerky can be really expensive, especially if you opt for spiced or flavored versions.
With this air fryer method, we can flavor and marinate whatever we like while ending up with a perfect result.
If you are worried that this method might be too complicated, let me reassure you, this is as simple as cooking French fries.
What is beef jerky?
For those of you that don’t know…beef jerky is a snack! The original method is thought to have come from native American’s, who smoked the meat to give it a longer shelf life.
Essentially, the meat is marinated and then dried so the moisture falls below 50%. It has quite a strong taste and it is very chewy.
In recent years, it has become more popular as people into their fitness eat it. It is known for it’s low fat and high protein qualities which are so desired in this area.
Why I like it
Beef jerky is something that I make every now and again. I keep it in a jar and it lasts a long time! Its ideal as a little snack but the main reason I make it…my husband. He eats beef jerky to up his protein intake after he comes back from his work out.
It is perfect for that purpose as it is relatively cheap compared to protein bars and it also keeps for a long time. It is also 100% natural as opposed to protein bars which have all kinds of sugars and sweeteners in them.
What kind of beef to I need to use?
Traditionally, round beef has been used. In the UK, I believe they call it the silverside of the beef. The important thing is to use a very lean beef. If there is any fat on there, you need to remove it.
How do I slice the beef?
The ideal initial slice will be three quarters of an inch (¾”). You need to cut across the grain so when you look at the face of the slice, you should see some lovely marbling with the fat.
You then need to slice the beef, approximately an inch wide is fine.
How to make beef jerky in an air fryer
Preparation – air fryer beef jerky recipe
You can make your beef jerky just by using salt. However, that is not considered traditional beef jerky where it is normally flavored.
For this recipe, I will show you my spicy beef jerky recipe that I make. Its simple and full of flavor!
- 1 LB. Lean beef
- Half cup Soy sauce
- 2 tablespoons of Liquid Smoke
- 1/8 teaspoons of ground clove
- 1/8 teaspoons of ground ginger
- 1/8 teaspoons of cinnamon
- ½ teaspoon of Black pepper
- Half cup of brown sugar
Cooking your beef jerky in air fryer
Honestly, it could not be simpler. Simply decide how much you are going to cook in one batch.
If you are going to be doing a larger batch, I recommend that you place some foil in the bottom of your air fryer and pace some of the beef on it.
I then place a trivet in there and add another layer of beef. This means that I can double the amount I make in one go.
- Cut and prepare your beef. Slice your round of beef in ¾” slices initially, going against the grain. Then slice then again into one-inch strips
- Place all the ingredients into a zip lock bag which will form the marinade. Place your sliced beef into the bag and seal
- Marinade overnight
- When you are ready to cook, place your marinated beef into an air fryer at 160° F for 45 mins.
- Flip all the meat and cook for another 15 minutes. Total cooking time is an hour.
- Your air fryer beef jerky is ready.
How to store your cooked beef jerky
Storing it could not be simpler, all you need is an airtight jar. However, there are a couple of things to consider.
Overall, you beef jerky will last for 2 months in your air tight jar, but you need to eat it within 7 days once you open it. If you do as I do, I store it in a few smaller jars which means I open them over a longer period.
If you are looking to freeze your beef jerky, it will be good for 6 months.
Frequently asked questions
What meat is used for jerky?
Traditionally it is beef but there is nothing to stop you making jerky out of other meats. Indeed, there is quite the community of people that like to experiment using other meats like elk!
Dehydrator vs air fryer
The whole point of making jerky is to reduce the amount of moisture in that. You can do this in a dehydrator or in an air fryer. The difference is the time. The process is much shorter using an air fryer.
How do you dehydrate jerky in an air fryer?
It needs to be slow cooked at 160° F for an hour in total. I have detailed the process above for you to follow.
Can you use wood chips in air fryer for beef jerky?
It is unconventional but I have read about people using woodchips for chicken wings. I would assume that the principle is the same but I suspect that you may need to preheat them at a higher temperature for it to work properly. I have never actually tried this so please do your research first.
Can you make air fryer beef jerky teriyaki?
Yes, of course you can. In fact, there are no limitations to the flavors you can accomplish. Simply make a marinade with the flavor you want and leave enough time for it to soak in properly.
Do I need to preheat the air fryer?
Normally, the advice is to always preheat your air fryer. In this case, we are cooking at a low temperature over a longer period. I doubt it would make much of a difference if you didn’t.
Do I need to use any oil?
Not with this process. The meat contains its own fats in any case.
So, there we have it, my version of spicy air fryer beef jerky. It really is delicious and definitely something that you should consider making. Even if it is not something that you might like, I’m sure it will be appreciated by many people you know!
Let me know what you think…is this something you have tried? Do you have any great beef jerky recipes that you want to share? Leave a comment below!
See you soon… Jayne x
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