Buffalo Jerky

My husband was given some beef jerky by a golf buddy one day. He came home and insisted that I try it immediately, because it was “that good.” Well, it was good, in fact great, and neither of us has ever been a beef jerky fan before.

As you can tell from the feature photo, this jerky isn’t in flat and narrow strips that take about an hour per inch to chew. These are lovely tender bits of tasty meat with great flavors.

The jerky recipe requires three steps – marinating, dehydrating, then smoking.

Start with 7-10 pounds of meat. Golf buddy recommends Black Angus choice sirloin steaks, about 1 1/2″ in thickness. Also London broil is a good choice – anything lean.

For fun, I purchased lean buffalo sirloin steaks from D’Artagnan, one of my two sources for high quality meat.

Slices the meat crosswise into pieces 1/4″ thick. If the slices are any thinner they dry out too fast. The meat was still partially frozen to help me slice more consistently.

Then golf buddy slices those into smaller, bite-sized cuts, but I left mine in the short strips. My total meat weight is 8 pounds.

Golf buddy’s recipe is a mixture of Allegro Original Hot and Spicy Marinade and Teriyaki marinade, one bottle of each, then your favorite barbecue sauce and Sriracha.

I’ve never tried the Allegro brand, so I purchased both. Head Country is my favorite bottled barbecue sauce, and we’re all familiar with Sriracha!

Use a very large bowl to prepare the marinade. Obviously you can create whatever kind of marinade you want, if you make your own sauce or have bottled favorites. Personally, I’ve never liked commercial teriyaki sauce, but since I did taste this beef jerky and loved it, I’m going with golf buddy’s recipe.

The dry seasonings golf buddy recommends include onion powder, garlic powder, and black pepper. I used a lovely coffee and garlic spice mixture from Trader Joe’s that my friend gifted me. I thought it would be a great addition.

Submerge all of the strips of meat in the bowl of marinade. I transferred the meat to a 2 1/2 gallon zip-loc bag. Let the meat sit overnight or up got 3 days in the refrigerator.

Bring the meat close to room temperature, then place the pieces on foil-covered jelly-roll pans, without any strips overlapping.

Heat the oven to 180 – 200 degrees and place the pans of meat in the oven to dehydrate slightly for 30 – 45 minutes. I used my oven on convection bake at 180 degrees, and dried the meat out for a total of 1 hour. It helps to pat the marinade off of the meat before it goes in the oven also.

Pre-heat the smoker to 180-200 degrees F, and prepare hickory chips for the smoke. We use a Bradley electric smoker.

Following the dehydration step, place the meat on the smoker’s racks, greased, and smoke for 1 to 1 1/2 hours.

This jerky is really flavorful and not overly dry like commercial jerky, which requires an extra set of teeth.

I’ve noticed that some marinade recipes for jerky include liquid smoke, which I personally don’t like. In those recipes, there isn’t a smoking step. So I must admit that I love the dehydrating and smoking combination to create this buffalo jerky.

If you’re not going to eat the jerky right away (be careful – it’s addictive!) then use a vacuum sealer and refrigerate or freeze.

By Published On: June 10th, 202024 Comments

About the Author: Chef Mimi

As a self-taught home cook, with many years in the culinary profession, I am passionate about all things food-related. Especially eating!

24 Comments

  1. cookingwithauntjuju.com June 10, 2020 at 8:03 AM - Reply

    I made beef jerky for many years for my hubby to take to “deer camp” every November. This was a favorite treat for the guys! Mine wasn’t chewy as it was cut thin after being partially frozen. Buffalo meat sounds good to but I’ll probably never make it again :)

    • chef mimi June 10, 2020 at 5:19 PM - Reply

      I know what you mean! It’s a lot of work. But it was really fun once.

  2. kitchenriffs June 10, 2020 at 9:20 AM - Reply

    What a fun recipe! I’ve never made beef jerky — mainly because I don’t really like the commercial stuff! Chewing it for an hour is right. This looks really good, though. Neat recipe — thanks.

    • chef mimi June 10, 2020 at 5:20 PM - Reply

      Isn’t that awful?!!! This is definitely flavorful and tender. I guess I liked it cause it’s not really like jerky at all!!!

  3. jenniferguerrero1 June 10, 2020 at 6:23 PM - Reply

    Wow! Thanks for sharing. That’s a really cool recipe. How’s your hand?

    • chef mimi June 10, 2020 at 6:56 PM - Reply

      Good. Just some rehab. Not bad!

  4. Ronit Penso Tasty Eats June 10, 2020 at 7:04 PM - Reply

    Interesting to learn about the procedure of making these tasty nibbles!

    • chef mimi June 12, 2020 at 11:35 AM - Reply

      Quite a process, but great fun too!

  5. Dahn June 10, 2020 at 7:48 PM - Reply

    I love homemade jerky and the thick slices are the best kind.

    • chef mimi June 10, 2020 at 7:53 PM - Reply

      I’d honestly never seen them before, but way more fun to eat, for me!

    • chef mimi June 12, 2020 at 11:34 AM - Reply

      Thanks, Dawn! It was new to me, and I do prefer them thick and tender.

  6. David @ Spiced June 11, 2020 at 7:28 AM - Reply

    Woah! My mind is blown here, Mimi. I have a dehydrator, and I’ve made jerky several times. It turns out well, and it never lasts long. But cutting it into thicker pieces and then putting it on the smoker!? Well that sounds like a weekend activity to me!

    • chef mimi June 11, 2020 at 7:30 AM - Reply

      Thanks! I’m really glad I made this, and I still have some in the freezer. It’s certainly an activity, but well worth it. And next time I’ll adjust the marinade to suit my tastes more. But wanted to honor golf buddy’s recipe. I don’t like the flavor of liquid smoke, so this is more work, but a more pure smoky flavor!

  7. thatskinnychickcanbake June 12, 2020 at 4:23 AM - Reply

    Like you, I’ve never been a fan of beef jerky. But you’ve taken it to the next level!! My carnivores would love it!

    • chef mimi June 12, 2020 at 7:11 AM - Reply

      They probably would!!!

  8. David Scott Allen June 13, 2020 at 9:10 AM - Reply

    This definitely sounds like the kind of jerky I would like. That flat, super dry, really chewy version isn’t appealing at all.

    • chef mimi June 13, 2020 at 12:14 PM - Reply

      Right. Me, too. It’s just weird.

  9. 2pots2cook June 14, 2020 at 2:55 AM - Reply

    Never did beef jerky but would very much love to try your version. The only thing I have to arrange is to ask my local butcher to smoke it for me. Also, you publish beautiful photos on Instagram dear Mimi :-)

    • chef mimi June 14, 2020 at 11:51 AM - Reply

      Oh, that’s very sweet! Thank you!

  10. cookingontheweekends June 14, 2020 at 8:56 PM - Reply

    Oh my gosh, all of those seasonings and spices are such a delicious combination. My husband his a huge jerky fan and will love this! :-) ~Valentina

    • chef mimi June 15, 2020 at 6:40 AM - Reply

      They are really good, and I’m glad there wasn’t any SMOKE liquid in it, or I wouldn’t have liked it much. A little more work to get this smoky, but so worth it.

  11. Letscurry June 17, 2020 at 5:04 PM - Reply

    Mimi
    Those beef jerky bites look so tender and going by your pictures, they sure are a adventure in the kitchen. I make similar one with lamb but not with beef simply to avoid extra work on chewing. But, you have me now. Thank you for a fun recipe.

    • chef mimi June 17, 2020 at 5:14 PM - Reply

      You are so welcome! Hopping over to your blog!

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