Easy Air Fryer Beef Jerky Recipe – Instructions

Beef jerky has been eaten as a snack by people of all ages. High in protein and low in fat, this snack is created by drying and curing beef strips until they become chewy and tasty. In the past, nomadic peoples that traveled large distances relied on beef jerky as a convenient snack they could take with them.

It has since become a worldwide favorite among everyone, from outdoorsy types on camping trips to time-pressed city dwellers on the go. Air fryers have risen in popularity in recent years to prepare beef jerky at home. In this article, we’ll discuss why preparing beef jerky in an air fryer is a good idea and then provide detailed instructions for doing it at home.

If you like beef jerky as much as I do, you’re constantly seeking new air fryer beef jerky recipes to try. Making beef jerky in an air fryer has become more common in recent years. Producing beef jerky in an air fryer has various advantages.

One benefit of an air fryer for making beef jerky is that it eliminates the need for a dedicated dehydrator, which can be both costly and space-consuming. A lower power cost is another perk of using an air fryer instead of a dehydrator. Making beef jerky in an air fryer is also a healthy choice since it eliminates the need for oil or additional fat.

Moreover, most batches of beef jerky can be made from start to finish in only a few hours using an air fryer, making it convenient and time-efficient. The advantages of using an air fryer to prepare beef jerky will be discussed, and a comprehensive guide to preparing beef jerky in your own home will be provided.


  • Lean meat, around 1-2 lbs (such as top round, flank steak, or sirloin)
  • Condiments used for seasoning (such as garlic powder, onion powder, smoked paprika, and black pepper)
  • Preparation of a Marinade (such as soy sauce, Worcestershire sauce, brown sugar, vinegar or lemon juice, and liquid smoke)
  • Sweetener (such as honey or brown sugar) (such as honey or brown sugar)
  • Ingredients that are not required but are welcome (such as hot sauce, cayenne pepper, or dried fruit)


  • Air fryer
  • Meat slicer or sharp knife
  • Large bowl
  • Ziplock bag
  • Parchment paper

Choices for seasoning and marinades:

Making beef jerky is great since you can adjust the taste to your preference. Try a simple mixture of soy sauce, Worcestershire sauce, and brown sugar for a sweet and savory taste if you’re unsure where to begin. Common flavoring alternatives include garlic powder, onion powder, smoked paprika, and black pepper. Also, you may use a wide range of marinades, from traditional teriyaki to hot chili lime.

Instructions: How to make beef jerky in air fryer?

  1. Cut the meat against the grain into thin strips 1/8 to 1/4 inch thick. Slices dehydrate more quickly, the thinner they are.
  2. Combine the marinade components, spices, and sugar in a large bowl. To ensure that every beef strip is covered with the marinade, add the beef strips to the bowl and combine well. For optimal results, marinate the beef for at least 2-4 hours or overnight in the refrigerator in the bowl.
  3. Set the air fryer to the temperature of 160–165°F (70–75°C).
  4. Take the beef strips marinated from the fridge and use paper towels to pat them dry.
  5. To prevent the meat from adhering to the air fryer basket, line it with parchment paper. Make sure the beef strips are not touching or overlapping when you arrange them in the air fryer basket.
  6. Preheat the air fryer to 160-165°F (70-75°C) for 4-5 hours. To guarantee that the beef strips are dehydrating uniformly, check on them every hour and rotate the basket. Dehydrate your jerky for a shorter time if you like chewier jerky. Dehydrate longer for jerky that is drier and crispier.
  7. Remove the basket from the air fryer after the beef jerky has finished dehydrating completely, then let the meat cool for 10 to 15 minutes.
  8. When the meat has cooled, put it in an airtight bag or container and keep it in a cold, dry location for up to two weeks.

I’m done now! You can create your own tasty and healthy beef jerky home with only a few essential ingredients and an air fryer. Enjoy!

What Kind of Meat Do You Use For Beef Jerky?

To get the finest results while creating beef jerky, it’s essential to use the proper sort of meat. Lean meat pieces are best since fatty meat might degrade more readily when dehydrated. The following are some of the ideal meats to utilize for beef jerky:

  • Top round: This lean beef cut is often used to make beef jerky. It is ideal for jerky since it has a mild taste and soft texture.
  • Flank steak: Another excellent option for beef jerky is flank steak. It has a delicious, somewhat chewy texture that is ideal for jerky and is lean.
  • Sirloin: Sirloin is a lean, delicious, and tender cut of beef. While it might be a bit more costly than other cuts, it is a fantastic option for producing beef jerky.
  • Eye of round: An very lean beef cut, eye of round is often used to make beef jerky. Its chewy texture and mild taste make it ideal for jerky.

Is 3 hours long enough to marinate jerky?

Beef jerky’s ideal marinade time ranges from as little as an hour to as long as a week, depending on the recipe and your tastes. Some beef jerky recipes call for marinating the meat for 8 hours or more; others claim that marinating for less time produces just as good results.

Beef strips should be marinated for at least two to four hours, preferably longer, to enable the marinade to infuse the meat with flavor. Even if you have three hours to create beef jerky, you may still get a tasty product by marinating the meat.

How to check if the beef is fully dehydrated?

To avoid spoiling and provide a long shelf life for the beef jerky, it’s crucial to ensure the meat is completely dehydrated. Here are several methods to determine if your beef jerky is completely dehydrated:

  • Grab a beef jerky and bend it in half to perform the bend test. It requires extra drying time if it turns without breaking and creates a U-shape. If it splits into two or cracks, it has dried out and is prepared for consumption.
  • Cut a piece of beef jerky in half as a test. If it rips easily, give it additional time to dry. It is completely dehydrated if it is hard and challenging to tear.
  • Beef jerky that has been fully dehydrated should have a consistent color and a dry, somewhat chewy texture. Further drying time is required if any parts are still wet or sticky.

How long to cook beef jerky in air fryer?

Although there are several versions of beef jerky recipes, all of them take about 3 to 4 hours to cook in an air fryer. This does not include the time it takes to prepare the beef before frying it.

If you add the preparation time to the equation, it will take about 3 ½ hours to 4 ½ hours. Preheat the air fryer to about 320 degrees F before placing the beef in the fryer. After frying, allow it to cool down completely before serving or storing it.

Can you make beef jerky in air fryer?

Yes, an air fryer may be used to produce beef jerky. Making beef jerky in an air fryer is a fast and simple process that may help you save time and money. Making beef jerky can be done without a separate dehydrator since air fryers utilize hot air for cooking and dehydrating the meat. Also, air fryers use less energy than dehydrators, which might lower your monthly power cost.

How long to dehydrate beef jerky in air fryer?

Many variables affect how long it takes for beef jerky to dry in an air fryer, including the thickness of the beef strips, the air fryer’s temperature and humidity, and the desired degree of doneness. Beef jerky may be made in various ways, but a good rule of thumb is to dehydrate the beef strips for 4-5 hours at a temperature of 160-165 degrees Fahrenheit (70-75 degrees Celsius) in an air fryer.

The beef jerky may be examined for complete dehydration using the bend test or the tear test. The jerky needs to be dry enough that it can be bent into a U shape without breaking. After it dries out and splits open, it’s done. Checking and rotating the basket occasionally throughout the drying process will help guarantee that the beef jerky strips dry consistently.

Is it necessary to preheat an air fryer before cooking beef jerky with it?

Indeed, it is advised to pre-heat your air fryer before using it to cook beef jerky. By ensuring that your air fryer is preheated, you can guarantee that it achieves the correct temperature more quickly and uniformly, which may assist to provide more reliable, excellent results.

Health Benefits of Beef Jerky:

Being made of beef, this snack shouldn’t be really all that bad when it’s not made with a lot of chemicals and preservatives.

It’s actually considered as an excellent in-between-meals snack by some experts. Why, exactly, is this the case?

Here are a few reasons why you should consider snacking on beef jerky even when you’re trying to eat healthily:

  • It’s packed with protein. Every 1-ounce serving contains 9.41 g of protein, so it can definitely help you eat more proteins very easily.
  • It contains iron and zinc. These essential minerals help boost your immune system, increase red blood cell production, and speed up wound healing.

Easy Air Fryer Beef Jerky RecipeWhile it does have a number of great health benefits, it’s high sodium and fat content still makes it very important for you to eat this snack in moderation. This way, you can really be sure that you’ll get good things from it.

Final Words:

Air-frying beef jerky is a fast and simple process that may help you save time and money. Without needing a separate dehydrator, an air fryer can dehydrate the beef strips in a few hours. Also, the air fryer’s energy efficiency helps lower your power cost. You may make a tasty and nourishing snack that can be eaten at home or on the road by utilizing lean cuts of beef and your preferred sauces and marinades.

June Brandt
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