Jack Link's Original Beef Jerky copycat recipe by Todd Wilbur
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Jack Link's Original Beef Jerky

Score: 5.00. Votes: 5
In stock (1 item available)
  • $0.79

Using his grandfather’s old recipes for sausage and smoked meats, Jack Link created his first kippered beef sticks in Wisconsin in 1986, and they quickly became a popular snack throughout the state. But that wasn’t enough for Jack, so he invested in a packaging machine to expand into other markets, and eventually—with the help of a successful Sasquatch-themed marketing campaign—Jack Link’s became the #1 jerky brand in the country.

Beef jerky is usually made in a dehydrator designed to circulate air around the food at a low temperature. The temperature for drying beef jerky in a dehydrator is typically 130 to 140 degrees, which is a lower temperature than you can reach with a conventional home oven. But that doesn’t mean we can’t use our home oven to make a perfectly acceptable beef jerky hack that tastes like Jack’s. And even though Jack uses a smoker for his beef jerky, you won’t need one to give your jerky a similar smoky flavor.

The pineapple juice in the marinade is an important part of the taste, but its primary contribution is a unique enzyme that helps break down the proteins in the tough cut of meat to tenderize it. Soy sauce and beef bouillon contribute to the umami savoriness of the jerky, and liquid hickory smoke is used in this hack as a quick way to add the smoky flavor.

The marinating takes 24 hours and the oven drying takes between 6 to 8 hours, so get the sliced beef into the bath in the morning and you’ll be munching on jerky by dinnertime the next day. And to help you out, I'm including step photos.

Find more cool recipes for your favorite snacks here.

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  • 1 pound flank steak
  • 1 cup pineapple juice
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Score: 5.00. Votes: 5
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Gary Adler
Nov 26, 2021, 17:48

I’ve never used this website before so I was a bit cynical about it… Nonetheless I love this jerky and it’s very expensive down here in Australia. Thought I’d give it a try – wow it is absolutely spot on! And even better when it’s fresh and you use higher quality meat than the Jack Links product! Well done!

Shirley Runyon
Jun 30, 2021, 21:04

Holey moley!!!! Jack Link's is my favorite convenience store jerky, but I never thought it was "all that" or anything. BUT MAKING IT FRESH IS SO AMAZING!!! I substituted Bragg's Aminos for the soy sauce, so without all the salt it was slightly sweeter, which I liked more than I thought I would. Adding black pepper next time, and then the time after that, teriyaki sauce instead of soy! I've been following TSR since it was an email newsletter, and I don't think I've ever had a recipe make me so happy, lol.

I'm Todd Wilbur,
Chronic Food Hacker

For 30 years I've been deconstructing America's most iconic brand-name foods to make the best original clone recipes for you to use at home. Welcome to my lab.

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