Sloppy Joes Jerky Recipe

Take your favorite sloppy joe sandwich to a new level with this recipe!

From "The Spicy Dehydrator Cookbook"
January 2018

  • A creative jerky recipe with a nostalgic sandwich taste.
    Photo by Patty Hultquist
  • The Spicy Dehydrator Cookbook by Michael Hultquist
    Photo by Patty Hultquist

Yield: Makes 1/3 pound (150 g) of jerky

According to The Spicy Dehydrator Cookbook (YCMedia, 2018) preserving foods by drying them in the sun has been a practice since the earliest times and now modern cooks armed with technologically advanced dehydrators are dehydrating foods more than ever. Chilihead and author Michael Hultquist, has created 95 recipes for spicy jerkies, hot sauces, fruit leathers and more.

When I was a kid, my mother made sloppy joes all the time, though they were out of a can. I’ve since learned, through a bit of experimentation, to make my own homemade version and got it just where I want it. Here it is in jerky form. Be sure to use lean ground beef, as fattier ground beef will be harder to dehydrate. You can make this with ground turkey or chicken as well.


  • 1 pound (450 g) lean ground beef
  • 1 medium onion, minced
  • 1 jalapeño pepper, minced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 tablespoons (23 g) brown sugar
  • 3 ounces (90 ml) tomato sauce
  • 2 tablespoons (30 ml) spicy brown mustard
  • 2 tablespoons (30 ml) Worcestershire sauce
  • 2 teaspoons (5 g) cayenne powder
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • 2 tablespoons (30 ml) apple cider vinegar
  • Salt and pepper to taste


  1. Mix the beef, onion, jalapeño, garlic, brown sugar, tomato sauce, mustard, Worcestershire sauce, cayenne powder, paprika, vinegar, salt and pepper together in a mixing bowl. Spread the mixture into 1/4-inch (6-mm) thick strips on a large baking sheet. I like to use a jerky gun to make this easier, which allows you to make strips of various sizes.
  2. Bake the strips for 10 minutes at 350 degrees Fahrenheit (177 degrees Celsius).
  3. Blot them dry, and space the strips in a single layer onto your dehydrator trays. Dry at 160 degrees Fahrenheit (71 degrees Celsius) for 6 to 8 hours, or until completely dried through. You may need to blot any fats or moisture from the dehydrating meat partway through the process. The resulting jerky should be pliable but should not snap when bent with your fingers.
  4. Let the strips cool, and then wipe away any residual moisture.
  5. After they’ve cooled, store them in airtight containers or enjoy them right away.

More recipes from "The Spicy Dehydrator Cookbook": 

Credit from The Spicy Dehydrator Cookbook by Michael Hultquist, Page Street Publishing Co., 2018. Photo credit: Patty Hultquist

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