Sriracha Beef JerkySteven Raichlen
Beef jerky was originally made as a way to preserve beef without refrigeration. Fat spoils more quickly, which is why jerky is traditionally made with lean beef.
This Sriracha Beef Jerky starts with a simple marinade, made with Thai Sriracha for fire power. Use a lean cut like top round and slice into long thin strips. Marinade for at least 4 hours before smoking. The result is tender and almost crispy, with a slow burn from the Sriracha and a nice nutty flavor from the sesame oil. I never dreamt that jerky could be so complex.
Other Jerky Recipes:
Sriracha Beef Jerky
- Yield: Makes 30 to 36 strips
- Method: Hot smoking (at a relatively low temperature)
- Equipment: Bradley digital smoker; hickory or the fuel of your choice
- 2 pounds lean beef, such as top or bottom round or flank steak
- 1/2 cup sriracha
- 1/4 cup soy sauce or Asian fish sauce
- 1/4 cup sesame oil
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 3 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro
Step 1: Freeze the beef for 1 hour or until firm but not frozen solid. This facilitates slicing.
Step 2: Meanwhile, make the marinade: In a large mixing bowl combine the sriracha, soy sauce, sesame oil, garlic, and cilantro and whisk to mix. Set aside.
Step 3: Using a sharp chef’s knife, slice the beef along the grain into 1/8- to 1/4-inch thick slices, trimming off any visible fat or connective tissue. Transfer the beef strips to a sturdy resealable plastic bag and pour the marinade over the meat, massaging the bag to coat each strip. Marinate the jerky strips in the refrigerator for at least 4 hours and up to 24: the longer, the spicier the jerky.
Step 4: Remove the beef strips from the marinade and arrange on a wire rack over a baking sheet. Let drain and dry for 30 minutes. Discard the marinade.
Step 5: Meanwhile, set up your smoker following the manufacturer’s instructions and preheat to 160 degrees. Add the wood as specified by the manufacturer.
Step 6: Place the rack in the smoker (or arrange the beef strips on the smoker racks) and smoke until dried but still pliant, 3-1/2 to 4 hours.
Step 7: Transfer the hot jerky to a large heavy-duty resealable plastic bag. (The resulting steam relaxes the meat.) Let cool to room temperature. Dig in now or later.
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