Dr. pepper and beef jerky

Dr. Pepper Beef Jerky Recipe: 23 Flavors of Deliciousness (Step by Step)

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When you need a pick-me-up, Dr. Pepper is always there with 23 flavors to satisfy your taste buds. Fruity, spiced and a little earthy, it’s a unique combination that many people find irresistible.

And now, with our Dr. Pepper beef jerky recipe, you can get it in snackable form, too!

With a five-ingredient marinade and your favorite cut of beef, it couldn’t be easier to make your own Dr. Pepper beef jerky. Here’s how!

Dr. Pepper Beef Jerky Ingredients

Ingredients for Dr. Pepper beef jerky
Ingredients for Dr. Pepper beef jerky

Selecting the Perfect Beef

You might not think that your choice of cut would make a huge difference in your beef jerky, but you’d be surprised! It’s all to do with the amount of fat in the cut.

The fattier your beef, the more likely your jerky is to spoil prematurely. Fat goes bad a lot faster than the beef itself!

We used eye of round to make our Dr. Pepper beef jerky. It’s our favorite cut for many reasons — it’s easy to find, relatively affordable and very low in fat, so you get more bang for your buck.

But you can also use other cuts like sirloin tip, bottom round and top round. In fact, any cut can work as long as you’re able to remove the fat from it.

Preparing the Beef to Make Jerky

Beef - Eye of round
Beef – Eye of round

Removing the Fat

Speaking of fat removal, it’s time to do just that. Trim as much fat as you can from your beef to maximize the shelf life of your jerky.

The more thorough you are with your trimming, the better your jerky will come out. It’s worth it to take a few extra minutes and do a complete job here!

Slicing the meat for beef jerky
Cutting off all fat from beef

Freezing the Beef

Here’s a hot jerky-making tip: freeze your beef for an hour or two before slicing it.

A brief stint in the freezer makes the beef firm up just a little without turning into a chunk of ice. This slightly more solid consistency makes it much easier to cut the beef into thin slices without any knife accidents!

Take the beef out of the freezer when you notice ice crystals just beginning to form on the surface. Any longer and the beef may be too frozen to cut.

Slicing the Beef

When you’re ready, slice the beef into strips no thicker than ¼ inch. The thinner the strips, the less time the jerky will need to spend in your food dehydrator.

To get a more pleasant texture, cut the beef against or across the grain. If you cut with the grain instead, you’ll get tougher jerky that’s harder to chew.

Marinating the Beef

Marinade for Dr. Pepper beef jerky
Marinade for Dr. Pepper beef jerky

In a container, mix the five marinade ingredients together and combine them thoroughly. Then add the beef slices and toss them in the marinade until they’re fully coated.

Drying the jerky
Beef placed on our dehydrator

Place the coated beef and marinade in the fridge for at least 6 hours. We left ours in the fridge overnight, but you can leave yours in for up to 24 hours if you want stronger flavors.

Shake the mixture periodically so it doesn’t settle at the bottom of the container.

Turning the Beef into Jerky

Lay the beef on a paper towel to absorb the excess marinade.

While you’re waiting, get your food dehydrator ready for the beef.

You can use an oven or electric smoker instead, but you’ll get much better results from a dehydrator. It’s very easy for using and it’s not expensive. I bought mine on Amazon.

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NESCO FD-75A, Snackmaster Pro Food Dehydrator, Gray
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NESCO FD-75A, Snackmaster Pro Food Dehydrator, Gray
  • Adjustable thermostat allows you to dry...
  • Powerful Top Mounted Fan. 600 watts of drying...
  • Comes with 5 trays, but is expandable to 12...
  • Opaque Vita-Save exterior helps block harmful...
  • Patented Converga-Flow drying system forces...

It’s inexpensive, compact and allows you to dry the beef at lower temperatures for improved texture.

Arrange your beef on the dehydrator trays and dry it for 4-8 hours at 160 degrees F. Our hand-cut slices took 6 hours to get the perfect slightly-crispy texture.

You can dry at lower temperatures, but you’ll need to adjust your drying time. At 145 degrees, plan for at least 7 hours and at 125 degrees, you’ll need at least 10 hours.

The drying temperature in the dehydratorThe minimum dehydrating time
125 degrees F10 hours
135 degrees F6 hours
145 degrees F7 hours
160 degrees F4 hours

Check your jerky for doneness regularly as it tries. It’s done when you can fold a piece in half and it bends without snapping.

Testing for when the jerky Is cooked
What beef jerky looks like after being dehydrated for 6 hours

Step-by-Step Instructions

Makes 5 servings
Prep time: 30 minutes
Marinade time: 6-24 hours
Cook time: 4-10 hours

1. Thoroughly trim all fat from the beef.
2. Freeze beef for 1-2 hours or until ice crystals just begin to form.
3. Cut beef into ¼ inch (or less) strips, slicing against the grain.
4. Combine all marinade ingredients in a container, then add beef and refrigerate for 6-24 hours.
5. Absorb excess liquid from beef with a paper towel.
6. Dehydrate the beef for 4-10 hours at 160 degrees F. Remove the beef when it can be bent without breaking.

IngredientsCost
1 lb Beef Eye of Round$5 per 1 lb in Walmart
1/4 teaspoon Prague Powder #1 curing saltBetween $12 and $13 for a 2.5 lb. pack
(1/4 of a teaspoon = 0.01 cents)
1 teaspoon ground black pepper$3.98 for a 3.12 oz. container at Walmart
(1 teaspoon = 0.21 cents)
1 teaspoon of sea salt$1.96 for 2.12 oz. a container at Walmart
(1 teaspoon = 0.15 cents)
1 can of Dr. Pepper$3.98 per 12 cans at Walmart
(0.33 cents per can)
4 tablespoon brown sugar$2.17 for 2lb. container at Walmart
(4 tablespoons = 0.14 cents)
Total cost:$5.84/~7 oz. (full cost: meat + ingredients)
Recipe graphic

Enjoy your Dr. Pepper Beef Jerky and don’t forget to store it safely.

Dr. Pepper beef jerky
Beef Jerky Dr. Pepper

Last update on 2020-05-31

Random Beef Jerky Joke:

What do you call a cow with a twitch? Beef jerky.