Video: Texas Pepper Beef Jerky | Special Beef Cut Used That Breaks All The Rules | So Freaking Good

Texas Pepper Beef Jerky | Special Beef Cut Used That Breaks All The Rules | So Freaking Good

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How Long Do You Dehydrate Beef Jerky

The main thing that will affect the dehydration process is the thickness of the slices of beef. The timing for dehydration can swing between 4 to 15 hours. That’s a huge time window and can be confusing. The average is 4 hours at 160 degrees.  Below is my list to success.

Texas Pepper Jerky Survival Guide CheckList

Which cut of beef are you using?

There are a variety of cuts of beef you can use to make Texas Pepper Beef Jerky. The usual choice cuts of beef for Beef Jerky are low in fat. Now, fat is flavor and helps keep things moist and tender. Which isn’t the thought process of making Beef Jerky though. Beef jerky was designed to have a longer shelf life and could stand up to long times away from the house. Over the years, Beef Jerky has become so popular that you can find it almost anywhere nowadays.

Bonus: Today I’m going to share a cool cut of meat with you that has become easier to find and breaks the rules of Beef Jerky making, and it turns out so very good.


Which Select Cuts of Beef Should You Use?

Suggested Cuts Of Beef To Use For Making Beef Jerky


beef jerky choice selection of cuts of beef eye of round

Eye of Round – One of the more popular cuts of beef to use for making jerky.

  1. Low in Fat

  2. Lower in cost

  3. The fat cap needs to be trimmed (remove the white fat)

  4. The meats grains run the length of the beef and make for easy slicing against the grain for maximum tenderness


Bottom Round – Another top pick for Beef Jerky. This muscle can be found as part of the outer muscle of the upper leg.

  1. Overall a tougher cut of beef, but still makes really good beef jerky.

  2. Another cut of beef that’s very affordable

  3. Lean with low marbling, some can be marbled more than others. Look for grass fed

  4. Very Flavorful


Flank Steak– Great choice for Beef Jerky, higher quality cut of beef with all the flavor

  1. Key to working with flank steak is making sure you cut “against” the grain, or the beef will be very tough

  2. Higher in cost than “Rounds” listed above

  3. One of the more tender choices for Beef Jerky

  4. Tons of Flavor


types of beef and meat to use for making beef jerky


Top Round – Simlar to the Bottom Round cut, but is more tender and sits right on top of the bottom round

  1. Overall a less tough cut than bottom round

  2. Another cut of beef that’s very affordable

  3. Lean with low marbling, some can be marbled more than others. Look for grass fed

  4. Very Flavorful


how to use a dehydrator for making beef jerky

Brisket– one of our readers ” @Smokehouse Jerky Co, left a comment suggesting we not forget about Brisket because they LOVE making Beef Jerky out of Brisket

  1. Has more intermusclar fat. Brisket are made up of to sections 1)The Point 2) The Flat. Opt for the flat as it has less fat

  2. Higher in cost, but a highly favorful choice of Beef

  3. End product offers a more tender piece of Beef Jerky…Win Win….


Top Sirloin– Not as mainstream as the other mention above, but still a very nice choice for making quality Beef Jerky

  1. Has more intermusclar fat. When shopping, opt for a piece with less marbling ( Offers longer shelf life )

  2. Higher in cost than “Rounds” listed above

  3. One of the more tender choices for Beef Jerky

  4. Very Flavorful ( When you read the world Sirloin, just assume the Beef cut will have more flavor


Deer / Venison – Incredible flavor and belongs in the tender catogory. Makes Amazing Jerky

  1. Maridates very well ( A way to remove some of the gamieness)

  2.  Very lean, making it perfect for jerky

  3. Meat can be found online or your locate hunting buddy

Other cuts of meat to consider that aren’t as mainstream but work really well.

  1. Elk
  2. Pork – Use the pork tenderloin due to the low amount of fat
  3. Beef Tenderloin

What Kind Of Marinade Should I Use For Beef Jerky?


Classic Texas Pepper Beef Jerky Ingredients

  • Soy Sauce
  • Worcestershire sauce
  • Brown Sugar
  • Liquid Smoke
  • Fresh Cracked Black Pepper

The fun part of Jerky making is there aren’t any rules when it comes to flavoring with marinades. Use what you like is the key. The balance of sweet and spicy is the way to creating a jerky that is familiar to your friends and family.

How To Use a Dehydrator For Beef Jerky

  1. The first thing to do is inspect the dehydrator. Open it up and look around for anything that wasn’t cleaned well from before. Never hurts to be safe and wipe everything down again.
  2. Check to make sure the dehydrator is still working. Plug it in and turn it on. Might sound obvious, but is overlooked. The dehydrator just sits in your closet most of the time, and things just happen to equipment that sits around. Would be very disappointing to be ready with your marinaded meat only to find out the machine doesn’t work.
  3. Dehydrating beef needs to be done around 160 Fahrenheit or 71 Celsius. That’s the magic sweet spot. I would suggest testing the temperature range that your machine offers. Never know, a slightly lower temperature could be where your machine produces the best Beef Jerky.
  4. You can make Beef Jerky in the oven. Set your oven to 150-170 degrees and keep an eye on it. Cook time will vary greatly this way. Tip: Cook on a roasting rack for even cooking
  5. You can smoke your Beef Jerky as well. Get your fire up around 140-160 degrees. Place the jerky on a wire rack. This will make it easy for you move the Beef Jerky around while smoking. Make sure the wire rack is square, so you optimize the space in your smoker. Give the square wire rack a 180-degree turn after 30 minutes.  Then 90 degrees on the second turn. Idea is to keep flipping the square wire rack, were the side closest to the fire flips to the opposite side from the fire.

How to Smoke Beef Jerky

  1. Using a Grill or Smoker with a side box the system works the same for both cookers. Make sure the fire is offset. Meaning it is not directly under the Beef Jerky. Indirect heat for smoking. Never direct.
  2. Build the fire at least 30 to 40 minutes before placing any meat on the Smoker. You will need to get the fire down to around 150 to 160 degrees. NOT over 165 or your no longer smoking the meat. Allowing the fire to burn awhile is the key. Build a large enough fire that once the temperature is down to 150 – 160 degrees, that the temp will hold. Have very small pieces of wood to add to the fire to keep it going. DO NOT add large pieces or rise a flare up and increase of heat past the desired temperature zone.
  3. Keep an eye on the cooking. This is not an exact science for smoking jerky. You must pay attention. Once you’ve completed the process successfully, I suggest writing down a few notes on what you thought worked well and what you might change next time to help control your temperature.
  4. Average smoke times are 3 hours to 6 hours. You must pay attention to the cooking process. Or risk over dried meat.
  5. If you think the meat is cooking too quickly, move the meat further away from the heat and spray with water or whatever flavor you want.

Video: Texas Pepper Beef Jerky | Special Beef Cut Used That Breaks All The Rules | So Freaking Good

Breaking ALL The Rules on Beef Jerky

Ok, we now know using Beef with a lot of fat is against the rules. Why? The short answer is the fat will become rancid. Fat exposed to “Air” will begin to “Age” and gain a funk that is often associated with very expensive Dry Aged Steak. So what I’m saying is there is a happy medium and a way to success.


sirloin flap cut of beef

How to use a Fatty / Highly Marble piece of Beef For Beef Jerky

  • Trim off most of the excess fat. Just remove what you can see around the edges and on top and bottom. If you see a large piece in the middle you can try to remove it.
  • Be sure to slice the Beef around 1/ 4 inch thick
  • Longer marinades aren’t suggested, due to the fat being able to over hydrate with the marinade. Just changes the flavor too much.
  • You have to store the Beef Jerky in an airtight place and in the refrigerator. Zip-Lock bags in the refrigerator.
  • The main fallback, the Beef Jerky will have a shorter shelf life. One week, about.

The cut of Beef I used to make my Marbled Beef Jerky. The very special and one of my very favorites. Sirloin Flap.

I wrote an article covering Sirloin Flap right here. 

sirloin flap bavette

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texas pepper beef jerky

Texas Pepper Beef Jerky

Steven Pennington
Classic Texas Beef Jerky Recipe you'll love and want to make again and again 🙂
4.8 from 5 votes
Prep Time 10 mins
Cook Time 4 hrs
Total Time 4 hrs 10 mins
Course Snack
Cuisine Classic Texas
Servings 10 Servings



  • 1 Pound or more. Classic Beef Jerky: Eye of Round Top Round, Bottom Round, Flank Steak, Top Sirloin


  • 10 oz bottle of Kikkoman Teriyaki
  • 1 Cup of Soy Sauce
  • 1 Tsp of Liquid Smoke
  • 3 Tbsp of Worcestershire Sauce
  • 1 Tbsp of Kikkoman Wasabi Sauce
  • 1 Tbsp of Brown Sugar
  • 2 Tbsp of Jalapeno Mustard You could minsc up a jalapeno and add to mustard you already have


Slicing the Meat

  • Key: Make sure you slice against the grain. Look at which way you see the long intramuscular strains running. The cuts need to be cutting the long strains and not running along the strains. Which ends up keeping the strains straight long lines.
  • You do not want to slice the meat too thick. Shoot for around a 1/4 inch. This will help with even dehydrating times.

Dehydrating the Meat

  • Layout the Beef on each dehydrator tray and add a healthy amount of fresh cracked black pepper to each side. Be careful the meat isn't overlaying one another. You do not want to have a overloaded dehydrator due to uneven cook times.


Texas Pepper Beef Jerky | Special Beef Cut Used That Breaks All The Rules | So Freaking Good

Keyword Texas Pepper Beef Jerky
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!


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which cuts to use to make beef jerky

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