Best air fryer beef jerky is here! Ready to make tender beef in your Ninja Foodi or electric air fryer? We have an easy way to try your first batch.
Air fryer beef jerky is amazing! This and many other air fryer recipes shared here on The Typical Mom blog. Let us know which one is your fave!
If you love this keto protein packed snack, you might be ready to make it yourself this year. Get ready to save a ton of money with this recipe by making it homemade.
- BUT before you move on, be sure to LIKE our easy air fryer recipes page to get new ideas for meals and snack ideas daily!
What is the best cut of meat for beef jerky?
Top round and bottom round are lean, flavorful and really the best cuts for making homemade beef jerky.
- Sirloin tip is extremely lean too but not as tender, and a bit more expensive.
- Flank steak is lean as well, but can be tough if it’s sliced with the grain.
First you’ll want to whisk together your marinade. Below is a very simple steak marinade you can use, if you’d rather use a bottled type that would work too.
You will need the following items to make air fryer beef jerky
- Ninja Foodi or electric air fryer machine
- Beef – round steak cut into thin strips
- Brown sugar
- Soy sauce
- Teriyaki sauce
- Onion powder
- Garlic powder
- Red pepper – amount of this is subjective according to your desired heat level
Is it cheaper to make your own beef jerky? Yes, especially if you buy meat in bulk like we do. If you’re buying your beef at full retail price, the savings will be minimal.
- The only true advantage at this point is you can make your jerky taste however you want.
This is what ours looked like, 1 pound was used. If you wanted to make a large batch and store it you could double or quadruple this recipe.
How much jerky will 5 lbs of meat make?
It depends on how moist you like your it. A typical jerky loses half of its starting weight in moisture, so keep that in mind. Low moisture jerky can actually be 1/3 the starting weight, at a 3 to 1 ratio.
- With all that said, if you double this to a starting weight of 2 ish pounds of beef, you will make about 1 pound of prepared ready to eat jerky.
Now it’s time to take a trip inside your air frying basket to go from raw meat, to a high protein salty snack. This is a great hiking meal to take with you!
Here’s what you do:
- Whisk together your beef jerky marinade. Slice meat into thin strips and submerge them into the sauce.
- Allow this to sit and soak up in your fridge for 2 hours
- Preheat your air fryer to 180 degrees.
- Take meat out and pat dry with a paper towel to remove excess moisture and place into your air fryer basket. Do not overlap the pieces for even cooking / drying / dehydrating.
- Close the top or drawer and allow to cook at 180 degrees for 2 hours. Yes, that’s right, 120 minutes is what it takes for them to be perfect.
- Of course timing will vary just a bit depending on how large and/or thick your pieces are sliced.
How thick should I slice meat for jerky?
To make it really good, the meat needs to be the same thickness. One fourth of an inch thick is standard. It is sometimes tough to cut top round by hand consistently at 1/4″ but you may get your butcher to do it for you using a slicer. Just ask!
- Enjoy warm or allow to cool!
If you’re like me you love your new hot air fryer and now want to learn how to air fry everything!
Here are a few other things we’ve made recently too you may enjoy:
- These are the best air fryer green bean fries
- Want a healthy air fryer recipe? Try our tilapia!
- Then try a few other air fryer dinner recipes and let us know which ones are your favorite in the comments below.
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Air Fryer Beef Jerky
- Slice round steak into thin strips, then into 1/2 inch strips and set aside.
- Combine rest of ingredients into a large bowl and whisk together. Add strips of steak into the bowl, submerge and cover.
- Marinate meat for 2 hours in the refrigerator.
- Place strips into air fryer basket without overlapping pieces for 2 hours on 180 degrees F.
- Remove, cool and enjoy!