Spicy Cajun jerky – A flavorful protein fix

Do you love to entertain guests in your home? Are you looking for a recipe that’s both delicious and easy to make? Look no further than this Cajun Jerky recipe. Made with a blend of cayenne pepper, onion powder, dried thyme, and other spices, this jerky has just the right combination of heat and flavor.

But why should you bother making your own jerky when there are plenty of store-bought options out there? For starters, this recipe allows you to control the ingredients, so you know exactly what’s going into your food. Plus, homemade jerky is a great snack to have on hand for impromptu get-togethers or road trips.

And let’s not forget about the taste. Beef jerky is already a beloved snack food, but when you add in the bold flavors of cajun seasoning, it takes things to a whole new level. This recipe is perfect for those who like a little bit of kick in their snacks.

So what are you waiting for? Follow this recipe and see for yourself why homemade cajun beef jerky is so much better than anything you can buy in a store.

Why You’ll Love This Recipe

Cajun Jerky
Cajun Jerky

Picture the perfect snack: savory, spicy, and a little bit smoky. That’s exactly what you’ll get with this Cajun Jerky Recipe. Whether you’re looking for a post-workout snack or a party starter, this recipe is sure to please.

What makes this jerky so special? For starters, our homemade marinade blends cayenne pepper and black pepper with onion powder and garlic powder for a complex flavor that will tantalize your taste buds. We also add in some tomato juice and Worcestershire sauce for depth, as well as soy sauce for saltiness.

Not only is this beef jerky delicious, it’s also healthy! Our recipe uses lean top round beef, making it a great source of protein without all the added fat that comes with some other snacks. Plus, you can make it at home with all-natural ingredients, so you don’t have to worry about any mystery additives or preservatives.

But don’t just take my word for it – this cajun beef jerky is sure to be a crowd-pleaser. Your guests will love the zesty combination of flavors and the satisfying chewiness of each bite. And if you’re feeling adventurous, try experimenting with different variations of our marinade recipe to find your new signature flavor.

So why settle for plain old popcorn or chips when you can indulge in some healthy and delicious southern-style jerky? Give our cajun beef jerky recipe a try and see why it’s become a five-star favorite among meat lovers everywhere.

Ingredient List

 A batch of freshly made Cajun Jerky, perfectly spiced and addictively delicious.
A batch of freshly made Cajun Jerky, perfectly spiced and addictively delicious.

Time to Gather Your Ingredients

Before we dive into the recipe, we need to make sure we have all of our ingredients. Here’s a list of the spices and sauces you’ll need for this cajun beef jerky recipe:

  • 3 pounds beef top round, thinly sliced
  • 1 cup tomato juice
  • 2 cups Worcestershire sauce
  • ½ cup soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoons garlic powder
  • 1 tablespoon onion powder
  • 1 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 3 teaspoons cayenne pepper
  • 2 teaspoons white pepper
  • 1 tablespoon dried thyme
  • 1 tablespoon dried basil

Tips for Meat Selection

When it comes to making a great jerky, start with great meat. I recommend using lean cuts like top round or skirt steak, as well as ground beef made from premium cattle.

Additional Ingredients and Substitutes

You can also experiment with different flavors and seasonings to create variations of this classic recipe. For example, if you want to add extra spice, use more cayenne pepper or even some jalapeno pepper flakes. For a sweeter taste, try adding honey or pineapple juice instead of tomato juice. And if you want a milder version, simply use less cayenne pepper.

It’s important to note that substitutions may affect the overall taste of your cajun jerky beef, so adjust the seasonings accordingly when making substitution changes.

Where to Find Spices

Most of these spices can be found in your local grocery store’s spice aisle. If you can’t find them all in one place, try visiting various stores or use online retailers such as Amazon.com for easy shopping.

The Recipe How-To

 Savor the smoky and slightly spicy flavors of this homemade jerky.
Savor the smoky and slightly spicy flavors of this homemade jerky.

Now, for the main event- let me show you how to make the best Cajun beef jerky ever. Here’s what you’ll need to do:

Prep the Meat

Step 1: Freeze your top round beef for about 2 hours before slicing. This will help make the meat easier to slice thinly and evenly.

Step 2: Cut away any excess fat from the beef and then cut it into thin strips, about ¼-⅛ inch thick.

Create the Marinade

Step 3: Combine 1 cup of Worcestershire sauce, ½ cup of soy sauce, 1 tsp each of cayenne pepper and garlic powder, 2 tsp of onion powder, ¾ tsp of black pepper, ½ tsp of white pepper, 1 tsp each of dried basil and dried thyme, and 4 cups of tomato juice in a large mixing bowl. Mix all ingredients together thoroughly.

Marinate the Beef

Step 4: Place the beef strips into a large Ziploc bag or container with an airtight lid and pour the marinade over them.

Step 5: Seal the bag/container tightly and then massage it gently to ensure that the strips are well-coated in the marinade.

Step 6: Place the meat in the refrigerator for at least 4-6 hours, or overnight if possible, to allow maximum flavor infusion.

Dehydrate or Smoke

Step 7: Preheat your oven to its lowest setting or preheat your dehydrator/smoker following manufacturer instructions for making jerky.

Step 8: Remove beef strips from marinade, discarding any excess liquid.

Step 9: Pat dry beef strips using paper towels until completely dry.

Step 10: Arrange Jerky on wire racks, dehydrator trays, or lay flat on cookie sheets (oven jerkying).

Oven Jerkying

If drying jerky in an oven:

Step 11a: Place beef strips on wire racks over baking sheets lined with aluminum foil.

Step 12a: Bake at approximately 160°F (or as close as possible) for up to six hours or until jerky is almost completely dry but still pliable. Optionally, rotate baking sheets midway through cooking time.


If using a dehydrator:

Step 11b: Follow manufacturer instructions typically between 12-24 hours on low heat setting until jerky is completely dry but still pliable.


If smoking:

Step 11c: Preheat smoker according to manufacturer instructions getting temperature as close to between 160°F -200°F as possible, using pellets recommended by with smoker design. Smoke about three hours – checking every hour thereafter until dry but still pliable.

Now, all that’s left is to sit back, relax and enjoy your deliciously spicy Cajun Beef Jerky!

Substitutions and Variations

 This mouth-watering Cajun Jerky is sure to be a hit at your next party.
This mouth-watering Cajun Jerky is sure to be a hit at your next party.

Are you looking to mix up the flavors in your Cajun jerky recipe? Look no further! Here are some substitutions and variations that will help elevate your jerky game:

– Spice level: If you want to adjust the heat level, you can add more or less cayenne pepper or black pepper depending on your preference. You can also add minced jalapeno or habanero for extra heat, just be careful not to overdo it!

– Meat choice: While beef top round is a classic choice for jerky, you can also use other meats such as ground beef or skirt steak. You can even use seitan for a vegan option.

– Sauce choices: While Worcestershire sauce and soy sauce are classic choices for a marinade, you can switch things up with other sauces like Dr. Pepper or even pineapple juice for an unexpected twist.

– Seasoning blends: Instead of using a pre-made cajun seasoning, try making your own blend with spices like smoked paprika, chili powder, and garlic powder.

– Sweet or savory: If you prefer sweet over spicy, try adding brown sugar to your marinade or sprinkling some honey BBQ seasoning on top of the finished jerky. For a savory twist, mix in some celery salt or smoked salt.

No matter what substitutions and variations you choose to make, it’s important to keep track of your ingredient ratios so that your jerky game stays on point. So go ahead and experiment – who knows? You may just discover the next five-star jerky recipe that everyone will be clamoring for.

Serving and Pairing

 Make your own jerky and impress your guests with your culinary skills.
Make your own jerky and impress your guests with your culinary skills.

You won’t be able to resist your craving for this spicy and savory Cajun beef jerky. This jerky is perfect for a quick snack or a party favorite that will leave lasting impressions. The jerky’s flavor profile is bold, spicy, and smoky, enough to take you on a savory journey to the Bayous of Louisiana.

Serve this amazing Cajun beef jerky at a party, picnic or keep it all to yourself as a go-to snack. Pair it with crackers, sliced cheese, or charcuterie board and indulge in every bite. With this jerky recipe, your taste buds are going to tingle in delight.

The perfect drink pairing with Cajun Jerky would depend on one’s personal preference. A light-bodied red wine like Pinot Noir would complement its spicy notes while an IPA would quench your thirst while adding a hoppy bitterness that balances out its heat.

One thing is sure- the Cajun beef jerky recipe is versatile; it can fit into just about any mealtime of the day. Perfect for adding onto salads for topping wraps or even on pizza as an unexpected addition. The possibilities are endless.

Whether you’re serving up at home or bringing along to potluck dinners, you’ll love sharing this cajun beef jerky recipe with your family and friends. Keep in mind that this beef jerky can last for several weeks when kept away from moisture and air; therefore, don’t be afraid of making more than what you need. Your guests will certainly want a little baggie to go home with!

Make-Ahead, Storing and Reheating

 One bite of this Cajun Jerky and your taste buds will be dancing!
One bite of this Cajun Jerky and your taste buds will be dancing!

Listen carefully, because this is crucial. You can make a batch of Cajun beef jerky ahead of time, and store it for weeks — even months — to enjoy later. But to get the best shelf life, you need to follow some simple steps.

Once your jerky has been cooked and cooled, store it in an airtight container or plastic bag at room temperature for up to two weeks, or in the refrigerator for up to three months. If you put them in the fridge, make sure that they are kept dry and away from any moisture.

To reheat the jerky, you can use a microwave oven or put it in the oven. If you’re using a microwave, wrap the jerky in a damp cloth and heat for 10-15 seconds. For the oven method, preheat to 150°F (65°C) and heat for 5-10 minutes.

If you’ve got extra jerky that isn’t going to be eaten soon, think about vacuum-sealing them before storing them in the freezer. This way they’ll last much longer; months instead of weeks.

When reheating jerky that was frozen, take it out and let it thaw out completely before trying to reheat it. But don’t panic if you forget – frozen jerky is perfectly fine just left out at room temperature until fully defrosted.

Remember, if stored incorrectly or left exposed to air or moisture – for example keeping open bags lying around – jerky will quickly turn soft and spoil. So take due diligence as this applies not just on your cajun jerseys but also on most types of jerky regardless of flavor or seasoning.

Now you’ll be able to enjoy that spicy cajun beef whenever you want!

Tips for Perfect Results

 Our recipe allows you to adjust the spice levels to your liking. How's that for customizable?
Our recipe allows you to adjust the spice levels to your liking. How’s that for customizable?

Now, let’s talk about some tips and tricks to make sure that your cajun jerky turns out perfectly every time.

1. Don’t skimp on the seasoning: When making cajun beef jerky, it’s essential that you use enough seasoning to achieve that spicy and savory flavor profile. So, make sure you’re measuring out each ingredient correctly and not leaving anything out.

2. Cut against the grain: Make sure you’re slicing your beef thinly and cutting against the grain to make the jerky tender and easy to chew. If you cut with the grain or leave your slices too thick, your jerky will end up tough and hard to eat.

3. Use a dehydrator or smoker: While using an oven is possible, it’s not the ideal way to make beef jerky. A dehydrator or smoker will provide better results because they allow for even drying without overheating or undercooking any parts of the meat.

4. Rest the meat before slicing: After marinating your beef, let it rest for at least 30 minutes before slicing into strips. This will help prevent too much moisture from escaping during the cooking process, which can cause dry or burnt jerky.

5. Experiment with different seasoning blends: Don’t be afraid to switch up your seasoning blend to create new variations of cajun beef jerky. Try using different combinations of spices like garlic powder, smoked paprika, or even some honey for a unique twist.

6. Store properly: Once you’ve made your cajun beef jerky, make sure to store it in an airtight container in a cool and dry place. This will help preserve its flavor and texture for as long as possible.

By following these simple tips, you’ll be well on your way to creating delicious homemade cajun beef jerky that will impress all of your guests!

Bottom Line

In conclusion, this Cajun Jerky recipe is a must-try for anyone who loves spicy and flavorful meat snacks. Whether you’re hosting a party or going on a road trip, this jerky will surely be a hit. Plus, the recipe is versatile and allows for substitutions and variations to suit your taste preferences.

I encourage you to give this recipe a try and share it with your friends and family. Not only is it delicious, but it’s also a healthier alternative to store-bought jerky since you can control the ingredients.

So what are you waiting for? Gather your ingredients, follow the steps in the recipe how-to section, and enjoy your homemade Cajun Beef Jerky! Trust me, once you try it, you’ll never go back to buying pre-packaged beef jerky again.

Cajun Jerky

Cajun Jerky Recipe

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Prep Time 10 mins
Cook Time 6 hrs
Course Snack
Cuisine Cajun
Calories 22 kcal


  • 1 cup tomato juice
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons dried thyme
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons dried basil
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons onion powder
  • 1 teaspoon white pepper
  • 2 teaspoons cayenne pepper (or more to taste)
  • 1 lb lean meat, sliced into 1/8 to 1/4-inch thin strips


  • In a small bowl, combine all ingredients except meat. Stir to mix well.
  • Place meat in a single layer keep in a glass container, spooning mixture over each layer. Cover tightly. Marinate 6 to 12 hours in the refrigerator.
  • Dry in an electric dehydrator at 145 degrees F. until pliable. Package in home canning jars, food grade plastic bags or seal by heat food storage bags. For long term storage keep in freezer.

Your Own Notes


Serving: 43gCalories: 22kcalCarbohydrates: 5.1gProtein: 0.9gFat: 0.3gSaturated Fat: 0.1gSodium: 164.8mgFiber: 1.1gSugar: 2.7g
Keyword Cajun, Easy
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