Air Fryer Beef Jerky

February 2, 2021   11 Comments

This air fryer beef jerky recipe is for all of those looking for a new project. If you are like me, you are looking for some new projects.

Air Fryer Beef Jerky

Why air fryer beef jerky? Beef jerky is one of those foods that I would buy at the convenience store for a snack because many of the high sodium content and the questionable ingredients (mechanically separated chicken?).

Jerky is simple lean meat that has been cut into strips and dried to prevent spoilage. We use marinades and flavorings to make beef jerky into something more interesting.

With this project, you will probably have all the ingredients on hand (soy sauce, garlic, and sugar) except for the beef.

I decided to use my Cosori Air Fryer because I have been having so much success with it. I made an air fryer Bloomin’ onion and my family went wild!

When I first bought the air fryer, I thought I was going to return it after the review because I don’t need yet another appliance (I own 2 Instant Pots and 3 slow cookers to name a few) but I have found air frying to be fun.

The Cosori air fryer does not have a “dehydrate” function like the Ninja air fryer but that didn’t stop me from trying (it worked great).

The key to this recipe is to buy thinly sliced top or bottom round of beef.

I say “buy” because most of us don’t have knives that are sharp enough to slice beef thinly enough. I asked the butcher in my store to slice it into 1/4 inch slices and it was no problem for him.

You make the marinade and put in a gallon Ziploc bag or a shallow casserole dish. Leave the beef in it for 2 hours minimum.

Finally, you air fry it in a single layer at 180 F for 90 minutes. The Cosori air fryer only allows you to set it for 60 minutes so I had to add another 30 minutes after it finished the first hour.

I made this air fryer beef jerky in two batches and the first batch was gone before I could photograph it. I had to hide the second batch from my family.

This beef jerky is so much better than what you can buy in the store. It isn’t even comparable. It actually tastes like beef (not just salt) and you can take it for a quick snack when you finally leave your house.

Have you ever made air fryer beef jerky or any beef jerky?

Air Fryer Beef Jerky Recipe

4.5 from 13 reviews

Makes 20 thin strips
Prep time: 5 min
Cook time: 90 min
Total time: 1 1/2 hours + 2 hours marination

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1 pound beef round cut into 1/4 inch strips
1/4 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup soy sauce
1 teaspoon garlic, minced
1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper


Combine sugar, soy sauce, garlic and red pepper in a gallon Ziploc bag or shallow casserole. Add beef and shake bag to coat ensuring all the pieces are coated in marinade. Marinate in refrigerator for 2 hours.

Take strips out and place in the air fryer basket in one layer. Depending on the size of your air fryer you may need to do this in two batches.

Set temperature to 180 F and time to 60 minutes. When done, add another 30 minutes for a total of 1.5 hours.

Enjoy when cooled. Can be stored for eternity at room temperature.

Nutrition Facts

For one slice = 43 calories, 0.4 g fat, 0.2 g saturated fat, 2.7 g carbohydrates, 2.4 g sugar, 7.3 g protein, 0 g fiber, 200 mg sodium, 1 Green, 1 Blue, 1 Purple SmartPt

Points values are calculated by Snack Girl and are provided for information only. See all Snack Girl Recipes

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Why do you need brown sugar? Can't you omit it altogether? We make homemade beef jerky all the time and never put sugar. It's never a problem and u help ur body to not crave sugar by eliminating it.

on March 22, 2020

@Kiki - I used it because I like the flavor but you are right. There is no need for sugar. Thanks for your comment!

on March 22, 2020

Hi, could you use chicken ? We’ve been eating a lot more meat lately because I e had a hard time finding poultry

★★★★★ on March 22, 2020

I hadn't thought about using brown sugar. I use Worcestershire sauce with my marinade as well when I make beef jerky in the smoker, but I like the idea of trying it in the air fryer. Thanks for the inspiration!

on March 22, 2020

@Amy - good question. I have tried chicken jerky (not by making it myself) and it was terrible. I think chicken doesn't have enough flavor on its own to make good jerky. I have tried turkey jerky (dark meat) and that was good. I can never find turkey legs unless it is November. Thanks for your comment!

on March 22, 2020

This is the second thing I have made in my new air fryer I got yesterday! Holy cannoli! This is the BEST beef jerky I ever had! Its so tender and easy to chew! It smells amazing! I threw in some dijon mustard to the marinade as well because wellll...we just love dijon. It added a nice subtle tang!

THANK YOU so much for sharing your amazing recipe. The times and temperature were spot on.

This will be a weekly recipe I can tell!

★★★★★ on November 10, 2020

Will this work the same in all air fryers? I have a Breville Smart Oven (which I love!!).

on February 2, 2021

We used wooden skewers that conveniently fit into the Cosori air fryer slots along the basket. We hung the strips so could fits lots in per batch. They were sooo good.

on February 2, 2021

Perfection. Can't imagine ever buying beef jerkey again. I have a Ninja 6 in 1 Air Fryer w/a dehydrating function. Temp and time are spot on. So delicious. Meat was pre-sliced for pepper steak. I used kitchen shears to cut into strips. Good enough to share!

★★★★★ on March 2, 2021

You lay strips in the baskets, is the marinade dripping down to the bottom? Thank you

on July 19, 2021

Just wonderful! Easy to do and tasty! Spent all day making jerky and used on chicken also. Thanks

on September 2, 2021

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