Spicy Chipotle Lime Jerky Is Your Secret Weapon Against Taste Fatigue

No dehydrator? No problem. Jury-rig your oven to make this tangy, smoky snack at home.

Photo: Nick Cote

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Ingredients (Makes 4 Servings)

  • 1 lb. lean beef*
  • 6 canned chipotle chiles in adobo, minced 
  • ½ cup lime juice (from 2 or 3 limes)
  • ¼ cup soy sauce
  • ¼ cup honey
  • 2 Tbsp. Worcestershire sauce
  • ½ Tbsp black pepper


1) Freeze the meat for 30 minutes. This makes it easier to cut. 

2) Cut 1/4-inch slices against the grain. This will make your jerky more tender. 

3) Mix remaining ingredients in a medium bowl, add the meat, then marinate in the fridge overnight. This recipe will make a moderately spicy batch. If you prefer mild, remove the seeds or don’t use as many chiles. 

4) The next day, preheat your oven to the lowest temperature it can go, no higher than 200°F. ** 

5) Drain the meat from the marinade and pat dry. Arrange slices on a wire rack set on top of a baking sheet. Make sure there’s no overlap between the slices. 

6) Transfer the meat to the oven. Prop the oven door open with a crumpled piece of aluminum foil or wooden utensil. 

7) Dry for three to six hours until there are no sticky or wet spots, checking occasionally. When done, the strips should have a leathery feel and be pliable enough to bend without breaking. ***

8) Let cool completely and store in an airtight container at room temperature for up to two weeks.

How to Make Delicious Jerky

* Fat is your enemy when it comes to preserving meat. Round roasts (eye, top, or bottom) are all great options, as is flank steak. Wild game, such as elk or venison, makes excellent jerky if you can access it. 

** Use an oven thermometer. If your oven is registering below 160°F with the door cracked, it won’t be hot enough to kill harmful bacteria. On the other hand, if it’s above 180°F to 200°F, you’re cooking the meat, not dehydrating it. 

*** Start checking for doneness after three hours. Depending on your oven or kitchen humidity, it could take six hours or longer.

From 2022