High Protein Snacks

Addictive Sweet and Sour Homemade Beef Jerky (My Secret Recipe)

By Evelyn

Over the last little while, we’ve shared a handful of delicious homemade beef jerky recipes. We’ve had recipes for red wine-infused beef jerky and even Szechuan style spicy beef jerky. Today I’ll be sharing yet another great recipe for making your very own beef jerky from scratch. It’s one of my secret recipes and it makes an incredibly addictive sweet and sour homemade beef jerky. As with all of the other beef jerky recipes we’ve shared, it’s nice and easy to make, requiring only about 20 minutes of prep work to prepare the sweet and sour sauce and then all you have to do is marinate and cook the beef.

Sweet and Sour Homemade Beef Jerky

Sweet and Sour – Sometimes Classic is the Way to Go

Whenever you’re making homemade beef jerky, the “secret sauce” of the recipe is literally always going to be the sauce you marinate your beef in. So with that in mind, in order to make an addictive beef jerky snack, you’re going to need to make quite an addictive marinade sauce. This recipe pulls that off effortlessly by combining Worcestershire sauce, honey, soy sauce, black pepper, onion powder, red pepper flakes, and liquid smoke to create a mouthwatering sauce that’s bursting with flavor.

For the Worcestershire sauce, you can either use a store brand sauce or make your own – both options work equally well. Providing a great umami taste (the so-called fifth flavor, along with sweet, sour, bitter, and salty), Worcestershire sauce serves as a great base to build your marinade around. Adding a bit of honey helps to give the sauce a delightful naturally sweet taste as well, while also offering some great nutritional benefits. Not only is honey a great source of essential nutrients, it also contains some rather potent anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties that help to reduce your risk of developing diseases like cancer. (1)

Sweet and Sour Homemade Beef Jerky

Adding even just a single teaspoon of onion powder goes a long way in making your marinade sauce taste so addictive as well. In addition to adding a ton of flavor, onion powder is also another ingredient that’s great to use for its health promoting properties. Numerous studies have found that onions contain sulfur compounds that provide most of their health benefits, some of which include anticancer properties, antithrombotic activity, and antibiotic effects. (2) Likewise, the addition of one teaspoon of red pepper flakes helps to further enhance the flavor of the sauce while simultaneously providing even more great health benefits thanks to the capsaicin content. Capsaicin is great for everything from relieving inflammatory pain to helping prevent heart disease. (3)

Sweet and Sour Homemade Beef Jerky

Sweet and Sour Homemade Beef Jerky

The sauce is rounded out with a nice smoky flavor by adding both ground black pepper and liquid smoke. Offering the same great taste as cooking with wood smoke, liquid smoke is a fantastic condiment to use when preparing all kinds of different beef dishes, including beef jerky. And speaking of beef, you’re going to want to use grass-fed beef when following this recipe. If you need a reliable way to buy grass-fed beef due to it being unavailable in your area, then check out ButcherBox. I’ve been using them for a couple months now and I’m extremely impressed with their service – they provide monthly deliveries of high quality cuts of grass-fed beef at a great low price.

After marinating your beef overnight, cook it according to the directions below to finish off the beef jerky. Once finished, the beef jerky can be kept in the fridge for up to one month so long as it’s stored in an airtight container.

More Homemade Beef Jerky Recipes:

Sizchuan Beef Jerky for Spice-Lovers
Authentic Gourmet Teriyaki Beef Jerky Recipe
Homemade Sheet Pan Black Pepper Beef Jerky
Best Simple Beef Jerky Recipe
How to Make The Best 5-Ingredient Beef Jerky at Home
Gourmet Wine-Infused Homemade Beef Jerky Recipe
Easy Homemade Beef Jerky Marinade


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Sweet and Sour Homemade Beef Jerky

Addictive Sweet and Sour Homemade Beef Jerky (My Secret Recipe)



2 pounds top round steak (or eye or flank steak), trimmed from any fat and thinly sliced against the grain    

1/3 cup Worcestershire sauce

1/3 cup soy sauce

1 tbsp honey

1 tsp freshly ground black pepper

1 tsp onion powder

½ tsp liquid smoke

1 tsp red pepper flakes


  1. In a bowl combine soy sauce, Worcestershire sauce, honey, black pepper, onion powder, liquid smoke and red pepper flakes.
  2. Add the steak and toss until the steak is evenly coated.
  3. Cover and marinate in the refrigerator for 8 hours or overnight.
  4. Preheat oven to 175°F.
  5. Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil and place a wire rack over the foil.
  6. Lay the beef strips out in a single layer on the wire rack.
  7. Sprinkle with extra coarsely ground black pepper.
  8. Bake the beef in the preheated oven until dry and leathery, about 4 to 6 hours, flipping the beef once about halfway through. (see note*)
  9. Remove from the oven and allow to cool completely.
  10. Transfer in a container and refrigerate for up to 1 month.


  • Serving Size: 1
  • Calories: 138
  • Carbohydrates: 4.4 g
  • Fat: 3.1 g
  • Sugar: 2.8 g
  • Protein: 22.1 g

The total time is dependent on the thickness of the meat.

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