This recipe for Peppered Beef Jerky from Traeger's Jerky Cookbook (which is absolutely amazing, by the way) is one of our all time favorites and definitely makes the list of "Most Requested Recipes." This recipe calls for Morton Tender Quick® Salt. As its name implies, it is a “quick” cure containing salt, sugar, sodium nitrite, and sodium nitrate that is ideal for small pieces of meat. The company recommends 1 tablespoon of cure per pound of meat, but in jerky-making, half that (1 tablespoon per 2 pounds of meat) positively affects the meat’s texture without making it unbearably salty. It is, however, optional. We have had luck finding it at our local grocers, but also at outdoor sporting goods stores. We used thinly sliced strips of beef top round, but the flavors of this recipe are great with wild game.
Peppered Beef Jerky
Prep Time: 5 minutes plus several hours in the marinade
Cook Time: 4-5 hours depending on thickness
Pellet Recommendation: Hickory, Oak
• 1 12-ounce can or bottle of dark beer
• 1 cup soy sauce
• 1/4 cup Worcestershire sauce
• 3 tablespoons brown sugar
• 1 tablespoon Morton Tender Quick® curing salt (optional)
• 1/2 teaspoon garlic salt
• 3 to 4 tablespoons coarsely ground black pepper, divided use
• 2 pounds trimmed beef top or bottom round, sirloin tip, flank steak, or wild game
In a mixing bowl, combine the beer, soy sauce, Worcestershire sauce, brown sugar, Curing salt, garlic salt, and 2 tablespoons of black pepper. With a sharp knife, slice the beef into 1/4-inch thick slices against the grain. (This is easier if the meat is partially frozen.) Trim any fat or connective tissue. Put the beef slices in a large resealable plastic bag. Pour the marinade mixture over the beef, and massage the bag so that all the slices get coated with the marinade. Seal the bag and refrigerate for several hours, or overnight.
When ready to cook, start the Traeger grill on Smoke with the lid open until the fire is established (4 to 5 minutes).
Remove the beef from the marinade and discard the marinade.
Dry the beef slices between paper towels.
Sprinkle the beef slices generously on both sides with the pepper. Arrange the meat in a single layer directly on the grill grate.
Smoke for 4 to 5 hours, or until the jerky is dry but still chewy and somewhat pliant when you bend a piece.
Transfer to a resealable plastic bag while the jerky’s still warm. Let the jerky rest for an hour at room temperature. Squeeze any air from the bag, and refrigerate the jerky. It will keep for several weeks.