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Soft & Tender Homemade Beef Jerky

4.7 stars, average of 412 ratings

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Making your own beef jerky is easier than you think. Unlike most store-bought products, my recipe is free of sugar and preservatives. I used minced meat because it's easier to work with and the end result is more tender than the more common sliced beef jerky.

Jerky is the ideal snack when travelling, and even be part of a complete meal when paired with healthy keto salad like Guacamole. I usually make two batches at once and store it in a ziploc bag in the freezer.

I hope you like this recipe - don't forget to check out my other video recipes!

Recipe Tips

Try this jerky with:

Note: Nutrition facts are estimated and depend on the amount of fat and juices that are lost during the cooking process.

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Hands-on Overall

Serving size 2 slices

Allergy information for Soft & Tender Homemade Beef Jerky

✔  Gluten free
✔  Dairy free
✔  Egg free
✔  Nut free
✔  Pork free
✔  Avocado free
✔  Coconut free
✔  Fish free
✔  Shellfish free

Nutritional values (per serving, 2 slices)

Net carbs0.4 grams
Protein10.8 grams
Fat12.5 grams
Calories161 kcal
Calories from carbs 1%, protein 27%, fat 72%
Total carbs0.5 gramsFiber0.1 gramsSugars0 gramsSaturated fat4.7 gramsSodium341 mg(15% RDA)Magnesium13 mg(3% RDA)Potassium203 mg(10% EMR)

Ingredients (makes 16 slices, 8 servings)

  • 500 g minced (ground) lean beef (1.1 lb)
  • 1/2 tsp onion powder
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/2 tsp paprika
  • 1/2 tsp coarse black pepper or 1/4 tsp fine black pepper
  • 1 tsp salt (I like pink Himalayan)
  • 1 tbsp coconut aminos
  • Optional: 1/2 tsp red pepper flakes


  1. Place all the ingredients in a bowl: minced meat, onion powder, garlic powder, paprika, black pepper, salt and coconut aminos. Mix using your hands.
    Note: Since your oven will be on for 4-5 hours, make 2-3 batches at once! Soft & Tender Homemade Beef Jerky
  2. Place the meat mix on top of a strong parchment paper or a heatproof baking mat and press down using your hands to flatten. Use a rolling pin and roll out until you get a rectangular shape, about 1/4 inch (1/2 cm) thick. Soft & Tender Homemade Beef Jerky
  3. Pre-cut the jerky into thin slices using a pizza cutter. Place in the oven preheated to 90 °C/ 190 °F and cook for 4-5 hours, until dry. Drain the excess juices every 2 hours. Flipping the jerky on the other side half way through the cooking process will speed up the drying.
    If you decide to make two batches of beef jerky, make sure you use two baking sheets - each for one batch. You could also use a dehydrator and dry on a higher temperature setting. Soft & Tender Homemade Beef Jerky
  4. When done, remove from the oven and let it cool down for 5 minutes. Using a pizza cutter, slice the pre-cut jerky. Let it cool down at room temperature.
    Storage: Properly dehydrated jerky is travel-friendly. Keep it in a sealed jar or a Ziploc bag at room temperature for to 3-4 months. Soft & Tender Homemade Beef Jerky
  5. Eat by itself or with low-carb dips like Guacamole, Baba Ganoush or Cheesy Low-Carb Dip. Soft & Tender Homemade Beef Jerky You can reserve the meat juices for cooking - it will add flavour to your meals! Simply pour in a jar and keep refrigerated for up to a week. Soft & Tender Homemade Beef Jerky

Ingredient nutritional breakdown (per serving, 2 slices)

Net carbsProteinFatCalories
Beef, minced (ground), raw, grass-fed
0 g10.7 g12.5 g159 kcal
Onion powder, spices
0.1 g0 g0 g1 kcal
Garlic powder, spices
0.1 g0 g0 g1 kcal
Paprika, spices
0 g0 g0 g0 kcal
Pepper, black, spices
0 g0 g0 g0 kcal
Salt, pink Himalayan rock salt
0 g0 g0 g0 kcal
Coconut aminos (substitute to soy sauce)
0.1 g0 g0 g1 kcal
Total per serving, 2 slices
0.4 g10.8 g12.5 g161 kcal

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Martina Slajerova
Creator of

Martina Slajerova

I changed the way I ate in 2011, when I was diagnosed with Hashimoto’s, an autoimmune disease that affects the thyroid. I had no energy, and I found it more and more difficult to maintain a healthy weight.

That’s when I decided to quit sugar, grains, and processed foods, and to start following a whole-foods-based ketogenic approach to food.

Let us know what you think, rate this recipe!

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Comments (37)

I’ve never seen a jerky recipe that didn’t include curing salt.

Maybe it's time to try one 😊

Hi, I was trying to find a sugar-free keto friendly beef jerky recipe so, so far so good 😊
But what about the onion and garlic powder, can I opt them out? I'm not into those tastes.
Will it affect the preservation? I understand that the dehydration, salt and tamari does the preservation work, right?
Thanks a lot!

Absolutely! You can either skip the spices or use anything else you like. I'd keep the coconut aminos in but not essential - you still have salt to help here. Totally your call, it only affects the flavour 😊

What settings would I use for a dehydrator? Can’t wait to try it out!

I've never used a dehydrator but I suppose there may be some regular jerky recipes online where you could find which setting is ideal?

I usually set my dehydrator for 160 degrees when making beef jerky. I made a batch similar to this recipe using ground beef a few days ago, and it took 10 hours.

Hi, these look so easy to make! I will definitely try them! My question is, we are planing a week long hike in the summer, was wondering if these will be ok to take? No refrigeration.. Thanks 😊

Yes, as long as these are completely dehydrated they will last for months without refrigeration.

I added some chile powder and cumin and it was fantastic. Great snack for travelling! Will be making it again.

I tried the beef jerky - followed recipe exactly. Terrible!! Much, much better using dehydrator & slicing beef (marinate any way you want first).

I'm a bit concerned about bacteria in minced beef. When making jerky I buy freshly sliced beef to minimise bacteria on the surface, and there is far more surface area in minced beef. Do you think this is an issue?

It's safe as long as you buy meat from trusted sources. Dehydration (removing water from the meat) helps preserve it.

Can you use less salt? I'm thinking that the end product would be to salty

Yes, you can use less salt if you like - just make sure to use some.

I'm interested in making my own jerky and came upon your blog;
I like that your recipe is simple and I have access to all the ingredients, however, not a fan of soy sauce or coconut;  is there something else you could recommend to use in place of coconut amino?

I'm sorry for the late response! The coconut aminos actually doesn't taste like coconut at all. You could try fish sauce instead (in that case only use 1/2 tsp salt).

I've added a link to your blog on my Fat Secret journal so all my Fat Secret peeps can check out your blog. 😊

Thank you Andi!

On the beef jerky can i use regular liquid aminos.

Hi Deborah, I would avoid regular aminos as it's made from soy (for more, see Complete Keto Diet Food List: What to Eat and Avoid on a Low-Carb Diet)

Are coconut amines essential?

You can skip it or use fish sauce instead - it's used just for flavour.

My jerky shriveled up in size. How did you get yours to stay thin? Does the meat itself have anything to do with it?

Hi Stephanie, I rolled it out quite thin (about 1/2 cm) and it's better to use leaner meat because the fat will cook out anyway. If the meat is too high in fat, it may affect the texture. Was it completely dehydrated?

Is there a fat content you recommend for jerky? I know if you use too lean of meat, hamburgers don't stick together!

It's the opposite for beef jerky. The leaner the better 😊

How can I make this beef jerky if the lowest temperature my oven offers is 150 C?

That's too high for beef jerky - do you have a dehydrator?

Martina, how do you cook this in a dehydrator? Thanks for the recipe; I'm trying it today. And thank you for recommending the coconut aminos. I try and avoid soy. 😊

Hi Andi, I haven't tried using a dehydrator but I've seen some recipes online.

Am so grateful to have a beef jerky without sugar. Will be done in 4hrs...  can't wait!  Made your  awesome Baba Ganoush too so can't wait to use it for dipping!   Again thank you for another great recipe that's easy to make. Am most appreciative! 👍👍👍

Thank you for your kind words, Marybeth! 😊

Is there a substitute for the coconut aminos?  I know the coconut aminos were originally a substitute for something else, but have forgotten--I've been keto brain-washed!  Hubby can't do coconut.

Yes, you can use soy sauce - fermented soy products are fine in moderation.

It looks easy and delicious!  Is "minced meat" what US customers would call "ground beef"? Or is minced meat something different altogether?  Thank you for the recipe!!

Yes, that's correct, minced beef = ground beef 😊