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Easy Air Fryer Beef Jerky

Easy Air Fryer Beef Jerky is a homemade recipe that will show you how to make marinated jerky from scratch without having to use a dehydrator.  Making your own is healthy and delicious!

air fryer beef jerky in a glass cup

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FOR THE FULL LIST OF INGREDIENTS AND COMPREHENSIVE INSTRUCTIONS, PLEASE SEE THE RECIPE CARD AT THE END OF THIS POST. BEFORE YOU SCROLL, THERE’S IMPORTANT INFORMATION IN THIS BLOG POST.

Can you dehydrate meat in an air fryer? Yes, you can. What I love most about the air fryer is being able to make healthy meals and appetizers from scratch.

soy sauce, liquid smoke, and worcestershire sauce in separate bowls

What Type of Meat to Use

You want to grab really lean beef. The beef should have very little fat. Fat will cause spoilage. The best meat to use:

  • Sirloin tip
  • Eye of round
  • Top Round
  • Bottom round
  • Flank steak
raw sirloin tip steak on a cutting board
raw slices of sirloin tip steak on a cutting board

Key Ingredients

soy sauce, liquid smoke, and worcestershire sauce in a glass bowl

Substitutions

  • Standard Paprika (for Smoked Paprika)
  • Oregano (1 tablespoon)
  • Honey (for Brown Sweetener)
  • Red Pepper Flakes (Spicy)
marinade for beef jerky in a glass bowl

Marinating

Marinating the meat is really important. You should marinate the beef for at least 4 hours, up to 24 hours. The longer you marinate and tenderize the meat, the more flavor the beef will have. If you’re strapped for time, you can do 30 minutes, but the meat will have less flavor.

raw marinated beef in a glass bowl for air fryer beef jerky

How to Make Beef Jerky in an Air Fryer

  1. Slice your steak into thin slices about 1/8 of an inch thick.
  2. Add the sliced steak to a bowl and drizzle it with soy sauce, brown sweetener, Worcestershire sauce, liquid smoke, garlic powder, onion powder, smoked paprika, and black pepper.
  3. Marinate.
  4. Remove the beef and dry completely with paper towels.
  5. Choose if you want to thread the meat along bamboo skewers or if you will simply place the meet in the air fryer basket.
  6. Air fry.
raw marinated beef on paper towels for air fryer beef jerky

How Long Does it Take/Cook Time

There are two methods in this recipe. The fastest way to cook the jerky results in 75 minutes of cook time. If you thread the beef using bamboo skewers and hang the skewers in the air fryer, this will increase the venilation and allow the air fryer to circulte air more evenly and thus will cook faster.

beef jerky on bamboo skewers in an air fryer

You can also simply place the beef right on the air fryer basket. This required a cook time of 2 hours and 15 minutes to 2 and half hours for me.

The cook time is also highly dependent on how you like your jerky. Do you like it slightly firm but tender? Or do you like it more tough and chewy? If you want really chewy jerky, you will have to use a longer cook time.

My preferred method is to use skewers. This way does not dry out the meat.

beef jerky in an air fryer

Air Fryer Temperature

I recommend 180 degrees.

Which Works Better: Air Fryer or Dehydrator

I have a dehydrator. I recommend the Cosori Air Fryer Toaster Oven, it has the dehydrating function. It dehydrates really well, but I have found that it takes a little longer than the air frying method here.

How to Store the Jerky

You can store it in sealable bags or airtight containers at room temperature for up to 2 weeks.

It will last stored in the fridge for up to 3 weeks.

You can freeze it for up to 6 months. You can defrost at room temperature, or eat it straight from the freezer.

person holding air fryer beef jerky

More Air Fryer Appetizers

Air Fryer French Fries
Air Fryer Chicken Tenders
Air Fryer Onion Rings
Air Fryer Fried Pickles
Air Fryer Potato Chips
Air Fryer Sweet Potato Fries

Air Fryer Beef Recipes

Air Fryer Cheeseburgers
Air Fryer Steak

Click here for a complete listing of Air Fryer Recipes.

air fryer beef jerky in a glass cup
Print Pin
5 from 3 votes

Easy Air Fryer Beef Jerky

Easy Air Fryer Beef Jerky is a homemade recipe that will show you how to make marinated jerky from scratch without having to use a dehydrator.  Making your own is healthy and delicious!
Save this recipe here.
Course Appetizer
Cuisine American
Keyword air fryer beef jerky, how to make beef jerky in the air fryer
Prep Time 1 day 10 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour
Total Time 1 day 1 hour 10 minutes
Servings 24
Calories 46kcal

Ingredients

Instructions

  • Slice the steak into thin strips about 1/8 of an inch thick. If you slice against the grain of the meat, your jerky will be more tender. If you slice with the grain, it will be more chewy.
  • Add the steak to a large bowl. Add in all of the ingredients for the marinade and stir.
  • Refrigerate for at least 30 minutes to overnight. The longer you marinate, the more flavor the jerky will have.
  • There are two ways you can place the jerky in the air fryer. You can use bamboo skewers (You may have to cut and size them for your air fryer) and thread the beef lengthwise through the skewer so that the beef dangles from the skewer. You can add several slices of beef, be sure that they don't touch. This will help distribute the air flow needed to dry out the beef. Place the skewers along the top edges of the air fryer.
  • You can also simply place the beef in the air fryer basket. I sprayed it with olive oil first. Do not stack or overcrowd the basket. This will take a longer cook time.
  • If you thread the beef along skewers: Air fry on 180 degrees for 60 to 75 minutes.
  • If you place the beef in the air fryer basket: Air fry on 180 degrees for 2-3 hours.
  • For both methods, watch your beef to ensure it reaches your desired texture. For the bamboo stick method, the jerky will become firm, yet tender around 60 minutes. It will need a longer cook time if you want it to be chewy.
  • For just the air fryer method, it will become firm and tender around 2 hours, but for chewy jerky you will need more time.
  • Overall, my preference is the bamboo method. It comes the closest to the jerky I buy in stores, but better.

Video

Notes

  • The macros noted are using zero-calorie, zero carb brown sweetener.
  • Even with the brown sweetener or sugar, this isn’t overly sweet beef. The combination of spices really balances out the flavor. You can omit the sweetener if you wish, but I believe it’s balanced.
What type of meat to use: 
  • Sirloin tip
  • Eye of round
  • Top Round
  • Bottom round
  • Flank steak
Substitutions:
  • Standard Paprika (for Smoked Paprika)
  • Oregano (1 tablespoon)
  • Honey (for Brown Sweetener)
  • Red Pepper Flakes (Spicy)
Recipe Tools Used in this RecipeAs an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.

Nutrition (displayed with net carbs)

Serving: 1oz | Calories: 46kcal | Carbohydrates: 1g | Protein: 6g | Fat: 2g
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Nutrition DataMacros are provided as a courtesy and should not be construed as a guarantee. This information is calculated using MyFitnessPal.com. To obtain the most accurate nutritional information in a given recipe, you should calculate the nutritional information with the actual ingredients used in your recipe, using your preferred nutrition calculator. You are solely responsible for ensuring that any nutritional information provided is accurate, complete, and useful.
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Recipe Rating




Clinton Ludlow

Thursday 31st of December 2020

Is it 180 degrees Fahrenheit or Celsius?

staysnatched

Saturday 2nd of January 2021

Fahrenheit.

Mjs014

Sunday 27th of December 2020

I’m having trouble getting the bamboo skewers to stay up.

Do you cut them slightly long than the width and “tension fit” fit them or do they lay across the top of the basket?

Thanks in advance.

-mjs

staysnatched

Tuesday 29th of December 2020

I've done it both ways, but getting them to tension fit is easier.

richard beck

Sunday 20th of December 2020

I must be doing something wrong. I put in a small amount and it was burnt after 25 minutes.

staysnatched

Tuesday 22nd of December 2020

It sounds like your temperature was too high. In general, when making something for the first time you should keep an eye on it. That will prevent anything from burning. All air fryer brands and models cook at different speeds. My air fryer would never burn meat after 25 minutes on just 180 degrees.

Rebekah

Monday 21st of September 2020

This recipe is 100/10! My husband now demands I keep this in stock in the house AT ALL TIMES! ? He is a huge jerky lover and he also thinks this is better than any store bought or near shop bought jerky we have had. Thank you Queen for this recipe!!!

staysnatched

Monday 21st of September 2020

You're welcome! I'm glad he likes it!

Jennie

Sunday 2nd of August 2020

This was delicious- thank you for the recipe!

staysnatched

Wednesday 5th of August 2020

You're welcome! I'm glad you enjoyed the recipe!