Delicious Beef Jerky Recipe for a Protein-Packed Snack!

Are you tired of snacking on the same old junk food during your Netflix marathons or hiking trips? Well, have no fear, because I have a mouth-watering solution for you – Honey & Lemon Beef Jerky! This recipe is perfect for anyone who loves the sweet and tangy taste of honey and lemon combined with the savory goodness of beef.

As a home chef, I’ve experimented with many recipes, but this one is my favorite by far. It’s super easy to make and can be enjoyed as an on-the-go snack or paired with a cold beer at a party. My recipe is made from premium sirloin beef and marinated in a delicious combination of honey, soy sauce, garlic, and lemon juice for a minimum of 24 hours to ensure the ultimate flavor explosion.

Plus, if you’re health-conscious or on a specific diet, this recipe is perfect as it’s packed with protein and low in calories. It’s also great for those who are always on-the-go or need something quick to grab when hunger strikes. Trust me; once you try this Honey & Lemon Beef Jerky recipe, those pre-packaged snacks will be nothing but a distant memory.

Why You’ll Love This Recipe

Honey & Lemon Beef Jerky
Honey & Lemon Beef Jerky

Ladies and Gentlemen, brace yourselves for a mouth-watering recipe that will send your taste buds into a frenzy! Allow me to present to you the ultimate Honey & Lemon Beef Jerky recipe. This is not your regular beef jerky recipe; it’s an explosion of flavors that will leave you craving for more.

I know some of you might be asking, “What makes this beef jerky recipe so special?” Well, let me tell you why. First of all, this recipe combines the sweet and tangy flavors of honey and lemon juice that perfectly complement the savory taste of beef jerky. Secondly, it uses the finest-quality ingredients like soy sauce, garlic, and black pepper to add depth to the flavor profile. And lastly, it features sirloin beef as the star ingredient; its tender and juicy texture makes this recipe second to none.

What’s even better about this Honey & Lemon Beef Jerky recipe is that it’s versatile, customizable, and easy to make. You can switch up certain ingredients like using tamari soy sauce instead of regular soy sauce or adding liquid smoke for a smoky flavor. You could also use flank steak instead of sirloin beef or make venison jerky instead of beef jerky. Whichever variation you choose, rest assured that the end result will be nothing short of amazing.

Not only is this Honey & Lemon Beef Jerky tasty, but it’s also a healthy snack option. It’s low in calories and nutritionally dense; perfect for those who are always on-the-go or for anyone who wants to maintain a healthy lifestyle.

In conclusion, if you’re looking for a recipe that will impress your taste buds while providing essential nutrients, then look no further than the Honey & Lemon Beef Jerky recipe. Trust me; once you try it out, you’ll fall in love with this delicious snack that packs a punch!

Ingredient List

 Sliced beef ready for marinade magic!
Sliced beef ready for marinade magic!

Here are the ingredients for this honey and lemon beef jerky recipe:


  • 2 pounds sirloin beef or flank steak, sliced thinly


  • 1/2 cup soy sauce or tamari soy sauce
  • 1/2 cup honey
  • 1/2 cup Worcestershire sauce
  • 1/4 cup lemon juice
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon salt

Optional seasonings

  • Lemon pepper seasoning
  • Honey habanero, honey jalapeno or honey garlic hot sauce (choose your favorite!)
  • Liquid smoke (if you’re using a dehydrator)

Make sure to procure the best quality meat possible to ensure great flavor and texture. The marinade consists of classic ingredients like soy sauce, honey, Worcestershire sauce, lemon juice, garlic and black pepper which give the jerky a sweet and spicy flavor that is irresistible. Optional seasonings include lemon pepper seasoning or any type of hot sauce like honey habanero or jalapeno to add extra dimension to your jerky. Don’t forget the liquid smoke if you’re using a dehydrator.

The Recipe How-To

 Zesty lemon and sweet honey team up for delicious beef jerky.
Zesty lemon and sweet honey team up for delicious beef jerky.

Marinade the Beef

Firstly, pick a sirloin beef cut for this beef jerky recipe since it is lean and has just the right amount of fat. I usually go with 2 pounds of beef, but it will depend on your party size.

To make the marinade, whisk together 2 cups of soy sauce, 1 cup of honey, 1 cup of Worcestershire sauce, ½ cup of lemon juice, 4 minced garlic cloves, 1 tsp. black pepper and a pinch of salt in a mixing bowl. Pour into a large ziplock bag or a shallow dish.

Trim off any visible fat from the beef and then slice meat strips ¼ inch thick against the grain with sharp knives for best results. Add sliced beef into the marinating mixture to ensure each piece is coated. Mix well to marinate all sides of the beef evenly.

Massage and coat meat with the marinade to infuse flavoring throughout. Seal the ziplock bag or cover the dish in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 24 hours for optimal results. Don’t over-marinate: too long and meat proteins will toughen up in texture and kill that perfect bite-sized jerky texture.

Tip: Trying new flavors is always encouraged. Substitute tamari soy sauce if you want gluten-free beef jerky or add liquid smoke if you want it smoky. This recipe can also be adapted for venison jerky, deer jerky or pork jerky.

Dry Out the Jerky

After at least 24 hours, remove marinated beef slices from the fridge and strain off excess marinade using a colander. An easy way out would be to use a dehydrator but our air fryer also did an excellent job last time around.

Arrange meat strips in a single layer across air fryer racks or wire mesh baking trays for dehydrating purposes. To prevent sticking, lay them apart from each other leaving some room in between.

Sprinkle lemon pepper seasoning on top of each strip for that extra zingy kick before dehydration according to air fryer manufacturers guidelines (around 3-4 hours at 160℉).

Check regular intervals to maintain desired moisture levels after every hour until tender-crisp texture is achieved which should last up to longer even after party time ends.

Tip: Hickory chips are known for their rich smoky flavors while mesquite chips give an earthy taste that goes exceptionally well with beef jerky.

Enjoy your fresh homemade honey & lemon beef jerky with your favorite beverage or alongside other finger foods such as popcorn and nuts.

Substitutions and Variations

 Don't be afraid to get your hands dirty when massaging the marinade into the beef.
Don’t be afraid to get your hands dirty when massaging the marinade into the beef.

If you’re feeling a bit adventurous, there are some substitutions and variations you can try with this recipe that will get your taste buds dancing. Here are some ideas to spice things up:

– Try using different cuts of beef such as flank steak or premium beef slices instead of sirloin beef. You can even make venison jerky or deer jerky using this recipe.

– For a sweet and spicy twist, replace the honey with honey habanero or honey jalapeno sauce. The heat works especially well with the tangy lemon juice and soy sauce.

– Swap out the lemon pepper seasoning for something else entirely, like garlic powder, chili flakes, or even a bit of liquid smoke.

– You can also experiment with different ratios of ingredients depending on personal preference. Maybe you want more sweetness and less saltiness, in which case adding extra honey and reducing the soy sauce is the right move for you.

Just be sure to use high-quality ingredients so your jerky turns out great no matter which variation you choose. And don’t be afraid to test out multiple variations to find your perfect flavor profile!

Serving and Pairing

 The longer the beef marinates, the better the flavors will be.
The longer the beef marinates, the better the flavors will be.

The Honey & Lemon Beef Jerky Recipe is a wonderful snack that can be enjoyed on its own or paired with some delicious items. The sweet and tangy taste of the jerky makes it an excellent companion for savory snacks like cheese and crackers, or for crunchy vegetables like carrots and celery. If you’re looking for something more substantial, try adding the beef jerky to a salad for an extra protein boost.

For those who enjoy a little heat, the Honey & Lemon Beef Jerky Recipe can be paired with spicy items like peppered nuts or spicy popcorn to balance out the flavors. You can also pair it with your favorite wine or beer to complement the sweetness of the honey and enhance the savory flavors of the beef.

If you’re planning on bringing this dish to a party or gathering, consider putting together a charcuterie board with a variety of sliced meats, cheeses, and crackers. Adding the Honey & Lemon Beef Jerky Recipe will add some variety to your board and impress your guests with its unique flavor profile.

No matter how you decide to serve this dish, it’s sure to be a hit with everyone at the party. With its perfect blend of sweetness and savory flavors, this beef jerky is versatile enough to be enjoyed anytime as a snack that satisfies your cravings.

Make-Ahead, Storing and Reheating

 This homemade beef jerky is perfect for a protein-packed snack on the go.
This homemade beef jerky is perfect for a protein-packed snack on the go.

Making beef jerky takes time, patience and most importantly, planning. Luckily, this recipe allows you to make a large batch of honey and lemon beef jerky that can be stored and enjoyed for weeks to come.

To make beef jerky ahead of time, I recommend making the full recipe and storing it in an air-tight container once it has completely cooled down. The beef jerky will stay fresh for up to 2 weeks at room temperature or up to a month if refrigerated.

If you plan on making a large batch of this jerky, I highly suggest investing in a dehydrator to make the process smoother and more efficient. However, if you do not have one, you can use an oven or an air fryer set at a low temperature (around 165°F).

When reheating your beef jerky, I suggest using an oven or air fryer to ensure that it remains crispy rather than chewy. Set your oven or air fryer to the lowest temperature possible and let it heat up for about five minutes before placing the jerky in it for just a few minutes until heated.

Not only is this recipe perfect for preparing ahead of time, but also for snacking on when hungry. It is also great as a protein-packed snack on hikes or long drives. The honey and lemon mix enhances the overall flavour of the jerky and leaves your taste buds wanting more.

Tips for Perfect Results

 A dehydrator is the key to achieving crispy, flavorful beef jerky.
A dehydrator is the key to achieving crispy, flavorful beef jerky.

When it comes to making beef jerky at home, there are several factors that can influence the final outcome. Here are some tips to ensure perfect results every time you make your Honey & Lemon Beef Jerky.

Firstly, make sure you slice the beef against the grain. This helps to break up the muscle fibers and create a tender jerky. It’s also easier to chew and digest.

Secondly, don’t skip the marinating step. Letting the meat soak in the marinade for at least 24 hours will not only infuse it with flavor but also help tenderize it. The combination of soy sauce, honey, and lemon juice breaks down the meat fibers, resulting in a more tender texture.

Thirdly, use high-quality beef. The best beef jerky is made from lean cuts like sirloin or flank steak. When shopping for beef, choose meat with minimal fat and gristle.

Another important tip is to keep an eye on the cooking temperature. High heat can cause the fat to render out and leave behind a dry, tough jerky. To avoid this, set your oven or dehydrator to 165°F (74°C) and let the jerky cook slowly for several hours until it’s fully dried out.

Lastly, store your Honey & Lemon Beef Jerky properly for optimal freshness. Store-bought jerky is usually packed with preservatives to extend its shelf life, but homemade jerky requires a little more attention. Keep it in a cool, dry place in an airtight container or vacuum-sealed bag to keep it fresh longer.

Follow these tips and you’ll be sure to create a delicious batch of homemade Honey & Lemon Beef Jerky every time!


Before we conclude this article, let’s cover some frequently asked questions (FAQs) about this honey & lemon beef jerky recipe. Knowing the answers to these questions will give you more confidence when trying the recipe and may even help you tailor it to your taste preferences. So, let’s dive into the FAQs!

Do you have to marinate jerky before dehydrating?

For optimal taste and texture, it’s best to let the bag of marinated ingredients rest in the fridge for at least 4 hours, but preferably up to 24 hours. This will give enough time for the flavors to fully penetrate and the meat to become more tender. Personally, I like to keep it in the fridge overnight, making it easy to start the next step of the recipe in the morning. Speaking of which, let’s move on to the next step: drying the ingredients.

Is 12 hours long enough to marinate jerky?

When it comes to marinating jerky, the sweet spot for ideal results is around 16 hours, but anything between 8 to 24 hours will suffice. This range allows the marinade to fully permeate the exterior of the meat while the salt seeps into the internal region, giving your jerky that perfect flavor and texture. So be sure to plan accordingly ahead of time!

How do you make beef jerky taste better?

When it comes to beef jerky, there are ways to customize the flavor to your liking. If you prefer a sweeter taste, consider including a quarter cup of maple syrup in the marinade. Conversely, if you prefer spicy beef jerky, sprinkle some crushed red pepper flakes on top of the jerky while it cooks. With these simple adjustments, you can customize the flavor profile to satisfy your taste buds.

How did they make beef jerky in the cowboy days?

Back in the 1820s, cowboys who were commonly known as cow hunters always had jerky or salted beef with them as they drove cattle around. To create the beef jerky, cowboys used different methods such as sun-drying, smoking, or salting. They would hunt the animals like deer, elk, bison, cattle, or antelope, and then cut off strips of meat and jerk it to prepare it for storage.

Bottom Line

In conclusion, the Honey & Lemon Beef Jerky recipe is a perfect blend of savory and sweet flavors that will surely leave your taste buds wanting more. With the marinating time of 24 hours, the beef jerky becomes tender and juicy, providing you with the perfect texture you seek in every bite. You can also experiment with various substitutions and variations to cater to your individual preferences.

Whether you’re a fan of spicy beef jerky or prefer a sweeter take on it, this recipe guarantees top-notch results every time. It’s perfect for snacking, camping trips, or even just munching on while watching a movie. The versatility of this dish, thanks to its easy-to-find ingredients and simple preparation method, make it an undeniable crowd-pleaser.

Therefore, if you’re looking for a delicious snack that’s healthy and packed with flavor, be sure to give this honey & lemon beef jerky recipe a try. I promise it will delight and satisfy your taste buds beyond expectations. Don’t hesitate any longer— grab some honey and soy sauce today and start making your very own premium beef jerky at home!

Honey & Lemon Beef Jerky

Honey & Lemon Beef Jerky Recipe

This is a delicious marinade for beef jerky. The lemon juice tenderizes the meat but doesn't necessarily make it taste "lemony". Also, instead of the usual flank steak, I used the 1/4-inch sirloin slices usually packaged as "fajita beef" or "stir-fry beef". It's lean and saves on slicing time. In my oven it finished drying in about 6-1/2 hours at 180 degrees, but check after around 5 hours just to be safe.
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Prep Time 12 hrs
Cook Time 6 hrs
Course Snack
Cuisine American
Calories 271.1 kcal


  • 1 1/2 lbs very lean sirloin beef, sliced 1/4 inch thick (the type packaged as "fajita beef" or "stir-fry beef")
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1/2 cup honey
  • 1/2 cup soy sauce or 1/2 cup tamari soy sauce
  • 4 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt


  • Combine garlic, honey, lemon juice, soy sauce, salt and pepper, and marinate steak strips in this overnight in a plastic zipper bag.
  • The next day, cover oven rack beneath with foil for easy clean-up.
  • Preheat oven to 180 degrees F.
  • Place slices on a baking rack, prop oven door slightly with an oven mitt to allow humidity to escape, and dry meat on racks.
  • In my oven, the process took about 6-1/2 hours.
  • Check meat after 5 hours; it could take as long as 7 hours.
  • Blot any grease spots that may come up.

Your Own Notes


Serving: 38gCalories: 271.1kcalCarbohydrates: 19.3gProtein: 18.2gFat: 13.8gSaturated Fat: 5.5gCholesterol: 57mgSodium: 1196.9mgFiber: 0.3gSugar: 17.9g
Keyword Camping, Lunch, Meat, Oven
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