This Sriracha beef jerky is a spicy version of our basic jerky that’s jazzed up with Sriracha sauce. Making jerky is a talent that you are either born with or you’re not. You either get it or you don’t, and no amount of reading or practice will make you much better at it. James Lum, or the Jizzler as he was sometimes known, was our resident Sriracha jerky specialist. A real Cinderella story, James, a Virginia native, started as a dishwasher and porter and quickly worked his way up to be our principal beef cutter and resident expert on everything jerky. As of this writing, he’s gone on to open his own butcher shop in Charlottesville. I think I might be tearing up, I’m so proud. James was born with this talent. I hope you were, too.–Tom Mylan
LC What Folks Are Saying About This Recipe Note
“I have to say that the recipe makes a darn fine jerky with a really nice kick.” “The marinade comes together quickly and has that peppery-salty-spicy goodness you want in a jerky.” “Most jerky I’ve made ended up tasting like nothing more than heavily-salted shoe leather. Not so this one.” That’s what folks are saying about this Sriracha beef jerky recipe.
Sriracha Beef Jerky
- 3 tablespoons brown sugar
- 1 1/2 ounces kosher salt
- 1 1/2 tablespoons freshly ground black pepper
- 4 teaspoons garlic powder
- 4 pounds sirloin tips or eye round fat trimmed and meat sliced 1/4 inch (3 mm) thick
- 5 tablespoons plus 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
- 4 tablespoons plus 1 teaspoon store-bought or homemade Sriracha sauce
- 1/2 teaspoon soy sauce
- Combine the dry ingredients in a small bowl and mix well. Put the sirloin tips in a large nonreactive food-safe container and rub all over with the spice mixture.
- Combine the Worcestershire, Sriracha, and soy sauce in a bowl and mix well, then toss the sirloin tips with the mixture. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight.
- Spread the meat out on the dehydrator racks. The slices should not be touching each other or folded over on themselves or they will not dehydrate properly.
- Dry the jerky at 165°F (74°C), rotating the racks from top to bottom every 30 minutes or so, until the meat is very dark brown, shiny, and slightly flexible when ready. The exact time will vary depending on the humidity and your dehydrator and the exact thickness of the meat. Check the meat after 3 hours and then every subsequent hour until done.
- The jerky will keep at room temperature for up to 1 month in a paper bag.
Recipe Testers’ Reviews
I’ve made a few different batches of jerky over the years, and I must say this Sriracha beef jerky recipe now ranks at the top of my dried beef standings. Why? First, the use of sirloin tips is a nice choice, as the meat has enough “marbling” fat to keep it tasty and tender even when dried, without too much surface fat which needs to be cut away—because no one wants to be chewing on big chunks of fat when enjoying jerky. Second, this recipe calls for cutting the meat a little thicker than most, resulting in jerky with a great chew, not one that is so thin that it turns brittle when dehydrated. Finally, most jerky I’ve made ended up tasting like nothing more than heavily-salted shoe leather. Not so this one. The blend of salty and sweet in the rub along with the umami richness of the Worcestershire sauce and the kick of the Sriracha in the marinade make for a perfectly balanced spice on this jerky. Fair warning—this makes a LOT of jerky, so unless you’re hosting a Boy Scout jamboree in your back yard this weekend, you may want to do the math required to make a partial batch. The full batch I made nearly filled a gallon sized resealable bag. Now that is a lot of spicy-meaty goodness.
I come from a long line of jerky makers, so I was particularly interested to see how this recipe would turn out. And I have to say that the recipe makes a darn fine jerky with a really nice kick. I definitely could see making this recipe again in the future. The seasoning is spot-on, so don’t change a thing. The marinade comes together quickly and has that peppery-salty-spicy goodness you want in a jerky. Hands-on time is fairly minimal, about 20 minutes to make the marinade and place all the strips on the rack. The real time is being patient while the meat dehydrates, but that can happen while you’re off doing other things. It’s a lot of meat, especially when sirloin is priced at $16 per pound at my local butcher (it might be cheaper elsewhere, so if you can find it, go for it). I instead opted for eye round, which was a good $10 per pound cheaper and still made a nice jerky. It took quite a while to get the jerky to the right consistency of dry and flavorful but still possessing a good bite. I also can’t stress the importance of rotating the racks, as the top rack will turn to ash while the bottom remains uncooked if left alone. I filled an entire 1-gallon bag (35 to 40 good-sized strips). I would definitely make this again.
Originally published September 15, 2015