1,2,3: Pick Your Own Pork Jerky Recipe! (2024)

I actually learned about pork jerky from a friend in China. I was doing some research into Asian cuisine and how pork is used in Chinese food. One of my friends showed me a recipe for Bak Kwa and this is where my research began!

In this post I haven't just included one pork jerky recipe - I am introducing you to three! This way, you can find which one suits you just right and try it out for yourself. Let's get started!

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Can Pork Be Made Into Jerky?

I totally understand why people ask this question. After all, like most people, you've probably only ever heard of jerky made from beef or venison. Despite this, it is possible to make jerky from pork.

The key here, though, is to make it from a lean piece of pork such as pork loin or pork tenderloin. As with most types of jerky, th goal is here to create a snack that lasts for a long time. Fat, unfortunately, tends to go rancid sooner than lean meat.

Is Pork Safe to Dehydrate?

Due to the longevity of pork jerky, most people are concerned whether this meat is safe enough to be dehydrated. Yes, it is! As mentioned, you simply have to use a piece of meat that has the least amount of fat possible.

How to Dry Out Your Pork Jerky?

When making pork jerky, you have three methods that you can use: a dehydrator, an oven, or a smoker. While an oven and smoker get the job done beautifully, a dehydrator is easier and gets you that perfect texture.

If you like making a lt of commercial foods from scratch, then I would suggest looking into getting a machine of your own. You will be surprised with how much you can do with it!

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How Long Does It Take to Dehydrate Pork Jerky?

Well, this all depends on the method that you use. If you are dehydrating the meat or smoking it, then it can take around 4 hours. Baking, on the other hand, can take anywhere from an hour to 3 hours, depending on the ingredients that you are using.

What Kind of Pork Should You Use?

You have two options here - you can either use a whole pork tenderloin or you can use ground pork.

The benefit of using ground pork is that it results in a faster prep time and cook time. The actual preparation method will be different, however. You should also be aware that the texture may not be the same as what you have had previously with other jerky.

Furthermore, you will also only be able to prepare this in the oven or smoker.

Preparing Your Pork Tenderloin

If you decide to use a whole piece of pork, the first step in homemade pork jerky is to prep your tenderloin properly. You can also use loin meat if you wish - it is up to you.

The meat may have some fat on it, despite being naturally lean. If this is the case, trim this away carefully. Use a sharp knife and get rid of it all, but make sure that you aren't slicing off any more meat than necessary.

If you want, you can partially freeze the meat first. This makes it easier to cut the fat off and to get the perfect sliced pork. You may want to cut the larger chunk of meat into quarter pieces first before freezing it. This will allow it to freeze faster.

When slicing the pork, make sure to do so very thinly. For one thing, this ensures that the meat will cook faster. For another, it gets you that nice, chewy finish that you want.

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The Marinade

Remember what I said about the sky being the limit when it came to flavoring? Well, here are some examples of marinade ingredients. You can either choose one of these options or come up with your own.

For your first batch, I would suggest following a recipe. Once you have figured out what you do or don't like, you can then tweak the components to fit your particular preferences.

Sweet and Savory

This is great if you want a balance between sweet and savory:

  • 2 tbs. of brown sugar
  • 1/2 tsp. of garlic powder
  • 1/8 tsp. of white pepper
  • 2 tbs. of soy sauce
  • 1 tbs. of Shaoxing wine
  • 3 tbs. of honey, for brushing


If you are all about that sweetness, this is the best option for you:

  • 2 tbs. of brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup of maple syrup
  • 1.5 tsp. of sea salt
  • 1/4 cup of cold water
  • 1/4 tsp. of curing salt, optional

Sweet and Spicy

If you like flavors that clash, you will love this recipe:

  • 1/3 cup of soy sauce
  • 1/3 cup of Worcestershire sauce
  • 1/4 cup of brown sugar
  • 2 tbs. of chili paste
  • 3 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 1/4 tsp. of whole black peppercorns
  • 1/4 tsp. of liquid smoke
  • The juice of 1 lime


There is a little bit of prep work involved here. Add in all the ingredients to a saucepan and heat. Let the components simmer for about 5 to 10 minutes or until all the sugar has been dissolved. Take off the heat and cool. Only marinate the pork once the mix has cooled or you will end up cooking the meat.

How to Make Pork Jerky with Ground Pork?

For this recipe, you can use 1lb of ground pork.

Step 1

Add the ground pork to a bowl. In a separate bowl, combine the marinade ingredients. Mix well.

Step 2

Pour the marinade over the pork and mix, using your hands so that all the meat has absorbed the flavors. Let it marinate for 15 minutes or a little longer.

1,2,3: Pick Your Own Pork Jerky Recipe! (3)

Step 3

Place a parchment sheet over a cookie sheet or baking tray. On top of this, arrange the ground pork into a rectangular shape. Place plastic wrap over this and use a rolling pin to flatten the meat. The entire mass should be around 1/8th of an inch thick.

Step 4

Set the oven temperature at 300°F. Bake for 15 to 20 minutes. Carefully take the tray out and drain the fat and liquid. Then, flip to the other side and bake for another 15 to 20 minutes. Drain the liquid and fat.

If you are worried that your sheet of ground pork is going to break apart when flipping it, try this. Place another sheet of parchment paper over the pork. Then, grasp both pieces of paper at each end and turn over. Place back on the baking tray and peel off the first piece of paper.

Step 5

Pat dry with paper towels. If using the sweet and savory marinade, then brush with honey. Then place the baking tray on the top rack and broil each side for 5 minutes.

Take out of the oven and allow to cool completely before cutting.

Homemade Jerky in an Oven

This technique works best in a convection oven so if you have one, make sure to turn on the fans. Pork jerky needs to be cooked at a lower temperature and most ovens don't go this low. If it is possible, though, set the temperature to 160°F.

Step 1

Cut the tenderloin in half lengthwise. Then, place on a baking tray and place in the freezer. It should be partially frozen in about 2 hours.

Step 2

Remove from the freezer and slice thinly. The best thickness for homemade pork jerky is around 1/8th of an inch. If you like it a little thicker, then you can cut the pork strips so that they are 1/4th of an inch thick.

Step 3

Combine the ingredients for the marinade. Pour over the pork and marinate for between 2 hours or overnight - the longer the better.

Once marinated, transfer the pork to a colander to get rid of excess marinade. Pat dry with paper towels.

Step 4

Set the temperature to 180°F. Line a baking tray with parchment paper. On top of this, lay out the jerky strips, making sure to leave enough of space between each of them.

Place on the bottom rack and bake for 2 to 3 hours or until the pork jerky has completely dried through.

How to Make Pork Jerky with a Dehydrator?

You can follow the same steps and techniques as with baking pork jerky. The only difference is that once the pork is finished marinating, you pat it dry, and then place on dehydrator trays.

Set the temperature to 160°F and then dehydrate for 4 hours or until the pork jerky is completely dry.

Smoked Pork Jerky Recipe

Once again, you can use the same steps as when baking the pork jerky. After you marinate the meat and pat it dry, place the strips in aluminum pans. Set your smoker to 160°F. Smoke for 4 hours or until the meat is ready.

Storing the Pork Jerky

To store the pork jerky, place in an airtight container. Keep in a cool dry place. It can last a week or two like this. To make it last longer, keep in the freezer or refrigerator.

Types of Pork Jerky

When you are making pork jerky at home, you have a lot more freedom to test out a variety of flavors and options - you can get as creative with your snack cuisine as you want. It can be salty, sweet, spicy, and everything in between!

Once you have the basics down on how to make pork jerky, you can experiment as much as you like.

This is all that you need to know to make pork jerky at home! From recipes to methods, you can find it all. The next time that you are looking to widen your snack cuisine horizon, you can give this pork jerky a try. It is sure to be a hit!

1,2,3: Pick Your Own Pork Jerky Recipe! (2024)


What cut of pork is best for jerky? ›

Lean cuts work best for making pork jerky. Here are our personal favorites: Pork Loin: This is the top pick for many jerky enthusiasts. It's lean, tender, and provides a consistent texture throughout, making it ideal for jerky.

What temperature do you dehydrate pork jerky? ›

4) Place your pork slices on the mesh trays in the dehydrator and set the unit to heat at 155 to 160 degrees F. 5) Let the pork slices dehydrate for about 5-8 hours and then check to see if the pork slices are properly dried.

How to make pork jerky without a dehydrator? ›

  1. Mix ground pork, sesame oil, Sriracha, soy sauce, vinegar, salt, pepper, onion powder, and curing salt together in a large bowl until evenly combined. ...
  2. Using a jerky gun, form as many sticks as you can fit on all three of the air fryer oven racks. ...
  3. Set the air fryer to 160 degrees F (71 degrees C).
Nov 18, 2022

What is the salt to meat ratio for jerky? ›

Salt not only helps pull moisture from the meat, it also acts as a preservative. Jerky using salt will have an appreciably longer shelf-life than that without. In general, using one teaspoon of salt per pound of meat, plus any optional herbs and spices, is considered unsalted jerky.

How long does homemade pork jerky last? ›

Properly prepared jerky will have almost all the moisture taken out of it. If that is the case, then it will last for months or even years at room temperature. If moisture remains in the product then without preservatives it will mold and go rancid in a matter of days if not refrigerated or frozen.

How long does it take to dehydrate pork? ›

Dehydrating the Pork

Arrange the marinated pork strips in a single layer on the dehydrator trays, leaving space between each piece to allow for proper air circulation. Set the dehydrator to a temperature of 160°F (71°C) and let the pork dry for 4-6 hours, or until it reaches your desired level of chewiness.

How do you know when pork jerky is done? ›

Once cool, check for the following visual signs: The jerky should have a dry, leathery appearance. Any intramuscular fat should be rendered and cooked out. Any residual fat should have a deep, rich, golden brown color.

Do you cook pork before dehydrating? ›

Yes meat should be cooked before dehydrated or drying to kill harmful bacteria which might be present in the meat.

Do you have to heat jerky before dehydrating? ›

The danger in dehydrating meat and poultry without cooking it to a safe temperature first is that a dehydrator or low-temperature oven will not heat the meat to 160 °F (71.1 °C) and poultry to 165 °F (73.9 °C) - temperatures at which bacteria are destroyed - before the dehydrating process begins.

Can you make jerky without curing salt? ›

Using curing salt when making jerky is not essential, however it does have a lot of great benefits. Using curing salt correctly helps to reduce the chance of harmful bacteria growing on meat and ensures a safer curing process. It also improves flavour, colour and extends the shelf life.

Is it better to make jerky in the oven or dehydrator? ›

Dehydrators are specifically designed to remove moisture from food, so they can often produce jerky faster than an oven. However, ovens can also be used to make jerky, and some people prefer the taste and texture of jerky made in an oven. Another difference to consider is the amount of space and equipment needed.

Is pork jerky any good? ›

Pork jerky is known for its tender texture and its ability to absorb flavors from the marinade, giving it a potentially wide range of tastes depending on the seasoning used. It's an excellent choice for those who enjoy a softer, more succulent jerky.

How much jerky does 1lb of meat make? ›

A pound of meat or poultry weighs about four ounces after being made into jerky. Because most of the moisture is removed, it is shelf stable — can be stored without refrigeration — making it a handy food for backpackers and others who don't have access to refrigerators.

How many pounds of meat does it take to make 1 pound of jerky? ›


Four pounds of fresh, trimmed meat will yield 1 pound of jerky, a lightweight dried meat product. Suggested cuts include lean beef round, flank, chuck, rump, or brisket.

What is the best salt for making jerky? ›

Curing salt can be Prague powder #1 or Prague powder #2. Choose the first one for wet-curing meats which you wish to cook before eating. It has 6.25% sodium nitrite to keep your meat preserved by dehydrating it and killing germs.

What is the best cut of meat for homemade jerky? ›

The best meat for jerky are Top Round, Bottom Round, Lifter and Pectoral, but a variety of cuts can be used such as Flank Steak and Skirt Steak. These cuts of beef check all the boxes for beef jerky—economical, lean, and full of flavor.

What is the best cut of meat for making jerky? ›

Top round is considered to be one of the best cuts of meat to use for jerky. In fact, this is the cut that many commercial jerkies are made from. This is a good cut because it comes in large pieces, is a lean cut of meat, and is economical. Top round can also be referred to as London Broil or inside round steak.

What is the best cut of meat for homemade beef jerky? ›

When making beef jerky, it's important to start with a well-trimmed, lean cut of meat, as fat does not dry out and accelerates spoilage. An eye of round roast is ideal; it's affordable, accessible, lean, and easy to trim. Before slicing, pop it in the freezer for 1 to 2 hours; it will be much easier to cut.

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