Smoked Beef Jerky from Southern Food Junkie

Marinade for Smoked Beef Jerky

Try this marinade recipe and steps to make a wonderful Smoked Beef Jerky right at home. It will be better than any Jerky you have tried before!

Smoked Beef Jerky has been enjoyed for a long time. According to Hi-Country Snack foods website, The word Jerky comes from a South American Native tribe called the Quechua. They called it Ch’arki,, which means to ” burn (meat).” Drying out meat is an age-old process that people used to preserve the meat. Natives and Cowboys dried meat so they could pack it with them and have something to consume in between hunts or herding cattle across the plains. Today we are going to show you our marinade recipe and process to make Smoked Beef Jerky on an upright propane smoker.

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This marinade recipe for Smoked Beef Jerky has a little heat, a little sweet, and a little smoke. I hate to admit it but this 2lb beef roast that I turned into Smoked Jerky was all gone in 3 days. I think that most Americans agree that Jerky is a favorite snack food. It can be good for you too. What makes this recipe so good or what I would call the star of the show is the Pineapple Juice that I use to marinade the meat in. I am telling you this stuff is good!

The recipe for the marinade I made is below. To find out how I smoked the meat, view the video above. If you try this method, please leave us a comment below to let us know what you thought. Thanks for watching and Let’s Get Food Junked!


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Smoked Beef Jerky from Southern Food Junkie

Marinade for Smoked Beef Jerky

This recipe for Smoked Beef Jerky has a little heat, a little sweet, and a little smoke.
Prep Time 1 d
Cook Time 4 hrs
Total Time 1 d 4 hrs
Course Snack food
Cuisine Southern


  • 1 2lb Roast A lean cut of meat works best. For this recipe I used a Eye of Round Roast. You could use Sirloin Tip too.
  • 1 Cup Pineapple Juice
  • 1/2 Cup Brown Sugar
  • 1 Cup Soy Sauce
  • 1/2 Cup Teriyaki Sauce
  • 1 Tbl Worchestershire Sauce
  • 1 Tbl Red Pepper Flakes
  • 3-4 Cloves Whole Peeled Garlic If you prefer, you could mince the garlic


  • 1 Tbl Minced Ginger I did not use ginger in this recipe but it would be great addition.


  • It is best to start with a roast that is slightly frozen but not completely frozen. To start, put your roast in the freezer for 1 to 2 hours until it is firm.
  • Next, trim off all the fat that is visible on your roast.
  • Slice your meat into 1/4 inch slices. If you want your Jerky to be tender, slice across the grain. If you prefer it to be a bit chewy, slice with the grain.
  • After you have sliced your meat, go back and cut it into strips about two inches wide.
  • Add your meat to a bowl that has a lid or a zip lock bag. If you place your meat in a zip lock bag, you can lay the bag in a bowl and not have to worry about clean up.
  • Mix the remaing ingredients in a seperate bowl then pour over your meat.
  • Place a lid on the bowl or zip your bag up. Place in the refrigerator for 24 hours.


After you have marinaded your meat for 24 hours you are ready to smoke your meat. You can watch my video above on how to hang the meat in the smoker and tips and tricks for smoking the meat. I used Hickory wood chips for my smoke. I think the flavor profile was great and marries well with the other flavors. You could also use Apple chips. I would steer away from Mesquite unless you mix it with hickory or Applewood. It tends to be harsh or stronger and would not match well with the Pineapple juice that really sets this marinade off. Pecan might also be a great choice to use. This is something you can experiment with.

10 thoughts on “Marinade for Smoked Beef Jerky

  1. Reply
    Jhuls - December 10, 2017

    Wow!! Such a great post and I love beef jerky! Thanks for sharing at Fiesta Friday party and I hope you get to visit other party goers. Have a lovely weekend!

    1. Reply
      Southern Food Junkie - December 11, 2017

      Thanks as well!

  2. Reply
    Marco giove - April 11, 2018

    What a great post can’t wait to try this. Thank you

    1. Reply
      Southern Food Junkie - April 18, 2018

      Thanks so much for your comment. Let us know how it turns out!

  3. Reply
    Clayton - June 17, 2018

    Your recipe sounds great I might have to try it. I bought a Traeger Smoker 3 weeks ago and I’m finding out that smokers are the way to cook meat. BBQ is in the garbage and the smoker is in full force cooking mode. If you have any other recipes for other meats it would be greatly appreciated. I cooked a pot roast last night and was amazed at the taste through out the meat

    1. Reply
      Southern Food Junkie - June 25, 2018

      Hey, thanks for your comment. Yes, Smoked meat is hard to beat. I like this jerky recipe because it combines the natural smoke and the normal jerky flavors. Some people add a liquid smoke to their jerky then dehydrate it. To me, this is superior in flavor. The pineapple juice in it really adds another dimension as well. Thanks for stopping by.

  4. Reply
    Kip Riegel - November 17, 2018

    I am wanting to try your recipe. I have concocted quite a few of my own jerky recipes. I Do not like sweet with meat! I am intrigued by the pineapple juice, but I am concerned that it will give the jerky a sweet taste??

    1. Reply
      Southern Food Junkie - November 17, 2018

      It does give it a sweet flavor. It this recipe (if you use the red pepper flakes) will be similar to a spicy teriyaki. It’s not overly sweet though. Let me know if you try and if you like it. I would love to know!

  5. Reply
    Timothy - December 23, 2018

    So I’ve got 32 lbs of roast that I’m determined to smoke this week. Just finished the first batch and it turned out absolutely amazing! The smokey flavor mixes very well with the sweet and salty, although I’d like it a bit saltier. I sprinkled some salt on to the meat for the second batch, hopefully it turns out alright!

    1. Reply
      Southern Food Junkie - December 29, 2018

      I am glad you liked it! I am like you, I think that the smoke and the sweetness mixes very well together! Thanks for stopping by and commenting.

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