How Do You Make Jerky More Flavorful?

Last Updated on May 24th, 2023

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Have you ever made jerky before? It’s easier than you think. The best part, you can control the flavors that go into the jerky. Read on to see how to make the best jerky so that you can have another snack as your new savory treat!

Pieces of jerky on a tray - How Do You Make Jerky More Flavorful?

What Makes the Best Beef Jerky?

There are so many ways to make beef jerky, and everyone has their own opinion on what makes the best.

We think that the best beef jerky is made with a mixture of meat and fat that’s been marinated for a long time with some tasty spices. However, what you think is the best beef jerky is up to you, as all taste buds are different!


How Long Should You Marinate Jerky?

This is a question that varies. You can choose to marinate your beef jerky for as long as a whole day (24 hours), or you can choose to marinate it for as little as 8 hours.

It depends on how much flavor you’d like in it and the timeframe you’re on when making your own beef jerky.


Can you Marinate Jerky for Too Long?

While marinating it for a day will make it even more flavorful, it can eventually get mushy. So there’s a reason you shouldn’t marinate it for days, as you’ll be left with meat that will fall apart.

Instead, the maximum amount of time that you should marinate your homemade beef jerky is 48 hours in the fridge. After that, it’ll be more prone to bacteria as the meat starts to break down, and eventually, it won’t be good to be turned into jerky.

To ensure that you have the most flavor, you’ll want to marinate for at least 4 hours. This way, it can soak itself into the meat for the best flavor.


What are the Best Jerky Spices?

The best jerky spices are the ones you like, but we’ll give you some suggestions!

The basic formula for making jerky is:


  • Meat
  • Salt
  • Sugar
  • Spices


But there are so many different types of meat and so many ways to prepare it that there are thousands of possible combinations. It’s a result, it’s hard to make a single list of the best jerky spices, and even if we could, it would be out of date in a matter of months.

Here are some ideas that you can use for spices depending on the meat you are using:


Beef or Venison

Go with black pepper, garlic powder, onion powder, garlic salt, sugar, cayenne pepper, paprika, and thyme.



Anything sweet and savory. Poultry would work well with a wet marinade consisting of soy sauce, honey, and other sauce.



This goes for lamb, bison, and other game meat. Sweet and salty spices and marinade work for this type of jerky.



You’ll want to use saltier spices and make sure to use a fish that has a low content as fattier fish tends to go rancid earlier.



Can you marinate jerky in BBQ sauce?

It is up to you if you want to marinate jerky in BBQ sauce. We don’t recommend it, especially since it’s already been seasoned.

This means that when you add more seasoning to the meat, it will absorb into the meat itself, but it also means that any leftover sauce will be a little too salty for your taste buds.

So if you’re looking for a good marinade for jerky, we recommend going with something sweeter and less salty than a traditional BBQ sauce.


Final Thoughts on Making Jerky More Flavorful

Making beef jerky flavorful can be a fun experience because it will also turn out the way you want.

As you know, homemade beef jerky is much better and cost convenient! Are you ready to make your own beef jerky for snacking in the future? There are so many flavors that you can use. Don’t forget to store them properly so you can enjoy them in the future!