Dr. Pepper Jalapeno Beef Jerky

Dr. Pepper Jalapeno Beef Jerky, a savory and spicy snack that combines the rich flavors of Dr. Pepper, zesty jalapenos, and tender beef. Perfect for on-the-go snacking or adding a kick to your favorite dishes, this homemade jerky is easy to make and bursting with bold flavor. Whether you’re a jerky enthusiast or looking for a unique culinary adventure, this recipe is sure to become a favorite.


  • 1 2-3 pound beef eye of round roast, thinly sliced against the grain

Dr. Pepper Jalapeno Marinade:

  • 2 cups Dr. Pepper
  • 2 jalapenos, sliced
  • 2 Tablespoons kosher salt
  • 1 Tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 2 teaspoons black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder


Make the marinade: In a medium saucepan, combine all marinade ingredients. Bring to a boil, then simmer for 10-15 minutes or until reduced by half. Chill completely.

Marinate the beef: Place beef slices in a gallon zip-top bag. Pour in the marinade, ensuring meat is well-coated. Refrigerate for 8-12 hours or overnight.

Preheat the smoker: Set your smoker or oven to about 170°F. Use maple or cherry wood for smoking.

Smoke the meat: Dry the meat slices and place them on the grill grate or rack. Smoke for 2-3 hours, checking for even drying. Jerky should be firm yet slightly pliable.

Steam to finish: Transfer warm jerky to a gallon zip-top bag, leaving it slightly open. This step adds moisture. Store at room temperature for 3-4 days or refrigerate for 2 weeks.

Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cooking Time: 2 hours
Total Time: 2 hours 20 minutes
Kcal: 242 kcal
Servings: 8 servings

Serving and Storage Tips:

  • On-the-Go Snack: Pack individual servings of Dr. Pepper Jalapeno Beef Jerky in resealable bags for a convenient and protein-packed snack to take with you on hikes, road trips, or long days at work.
  • Party Platter: Arrange slices of Dr. Pepper Jalapeno Beef Jerky on a charcuterie board alongside cheese, crackers, and dried fruits for a unique and savory addition to your next party or gathering.
  • Sandwich Upgrade: Add slices of Dr. Pepper Jalapeno Beef Jerky to sandwiches or wraps for an extra burst of flavor and texture. It pairs especially well with sharp cheddar cheese, lettuce, and tomato.
  • Salad Topper: Crumble Dr. Pepper Jalapeno Beef Jerky over salads for a crunchy and protein-packed topping that adds a spicy kick to your greens. It’s a delicious way to elevate your salad game.
  • Trail Mix Mix-In: Chop Dr. Pepper Jalapeno Beef Jerky into bite-sized pieces and add it to homemade trail mix along with nuts, dried fruit, and chocolate chips for a savory and satisfying snack on the trail.
  • Gift Idea: Package homemade Dr. Pepper Jalapeno Beef Jerky in decorative jars or bags and give them as unique and flavorful gifts to friends and family for holidays, birthdays, or special occasions.
  • Storage: Store leftover beef jerky in an airtight container or resealable bags at room temperature for up to 3-4 days. For longer storage, refrigerate the jerky for up to 2 weeks or freeze it for up to 3 months.
  • Rehydration Tip: If the beef jerky becomes too dry after storage, you can rehydrate it by placing a damp paper towel in the container or bag with the jerky and letting it sit for a few hours. This helps restore moisture to the meat.
  • Flavor Enhancement: Experiment with additional seasonings or spices in the marinade to customize the flavor of your beef jerky. Try adding smoked paprika, cayenne pepper, or brown sugar for different flavor profiles.
  • Enjoy Variety: Don’t hesitate to try different meats, such as turkey or venison, with the Dr. Pepper Jalapeno marinade for a unique twist on this recipe. You can also adjust the level of spiciness by adding more or fewer jalapenos according to your preference.

With these serving and storage tips, you can enjoy the bold and spicy flavors of Dr. Pepper Jalapeno Beef Jerky anytime, anywhere. Whether you’re snacking on the go or sharing it with friends, this homemade jerky is sure to be a hit!


  1. Sweet and Spicy: For a sweeter flavor profile, add a tablespoon of brown sugar to the marinade mixture and increase the amount of jalapenos for an extra kick.
  2. Teriyaki Twist: Swap out the Dr. Pepper for teriyaki sauce and add a tablespoon of sesame oil to the marinade for an Asian-inspired flavor twist.
  3. Sriracha Sensation: Replace the jalapenos with sriracha sauce for a fiery alternative that packs a punch of heat.
  4. Honey Garlic Infusion: Incorporate minced garlic and honey into the marinade for a sweet and savory jerky with irresistible depth of flavor.
  5. Chipotle Kick: Add chipotle peppers in adobo sauce to the marinade for a smoky and spicy variation that’s sure to tantalize your taste buds.
  6. Citrus Burst: Include the zest and juice of one lime or orange in the marinade for a bright and refreshing flavor profile that complements the richness of the beef.
  7. Coffee Cocoa Blend: Mix in a tablespoon of finely ground coffee and a teaspoon of cocoa powder to the marinade for a complex and robust flavor combination.
  8. Soy Ginger Fusion: Combine soy sauce, grated ginger, and a splash of rice vinegar in the marinade for an umami-packed jerky with a hint of tanginess.
  9. Barbecue Bliss: Replace the Dr. Pepper with your favorite barbecue sauce and add a teaspoon of liquid smoke for a classic barbecue flavor in every bite.
  10. Thai Chili Temptation: Infuse the marinade with Thai chili paste, lemongrass, and a dash of fish sauce for a bold and aromatic jerky with a Southeast Asian flair.


  1. Can I use a different cut of meat for this recipe? While beef eye of round roast is commonly used for jerky, you can also use other lean cuts such as top round, bottom round, or flank steak.
  2. Can I adjust the level of spiciness in the marinade? Yes, you can control the heat by adding more or fewer jalapenos or adjusting the amount of seeds and membranes you include from the jalapenos.
  3. Do I need a smoker to make beef jerky? While a smoker adds flavor, you can also make beef jerky in a conventional oven or using a food dehydrator. Simply adjust the cooking time and temperature accordingly.
  4. How long does it take to marinate the beef? For best results, marinate the beef for at least 8-12 hours or overnight to allow the flavors to penetrate the meat fully.
  5. Can I make beef jerky without using any sugar or sweeteners? Yes, you can omit the sweeteners from the marinade if desired. The jerky will have a more savory flavor profile without the added sweetness.
  6. Is beef jerky safe to eat if it’s slightly pink in the center? Beef jerky is typically dried to the point where it’s safe to eat, even if it has a slightly pink hue in the center. However, if you’re unsure, you can always use a food thermometer to ensure it reaches an internal temperature of 160°F.
  7. How should I store homemade beef jerky? Store homemade beef jerky in an airtight container or resealable bags at room temperature for short-term storage, or in the refrigerator or freezer for longer-term storage.
  8. Can I use this marinade for other types of meat? Yes, you can use this marinade for other types of protein such as chicken, turkey, or even tofu for a vegetarian alternative.
  9. Can I adjust the cooking time to make the jerky softer or chewier? Yes, you can adjust the cooking time to achieve your desired texture. Cook the jerky for less time if you prefer it softer or for longer if you like it chewier.
  10. What’s the best way to slice the beef for jerky? For best results, slice the beef against the grain into thin strips, approximately 1/8 to 1/4 inch thick, to ensure tender and easy-to-chew jerky.

Enjoy the bold and flavorful combination of Dr. Pepper and jalapeno in this homemade beef jerky recipe. Perfect for snacking on the go or adding a kick to your next outdoor adventure!