How To: Homemade Paleo Beef Jerky.

I once was a vegetarian.

[Leaf Parade. How To: Homemade Paleo Beef Jerky.]

For ten long years, I weathered the Boca Burger wasteland.

[Leaf Parade. How To: Homemade Paleo Beef Jerky.]

Only to find myself, at the end of it all, a dedicated and enthusiastic carnivore.

[Leaf Parade. How To: Homemade Paleo Beef Jerky.]

And a dedicated and enthusiastic taker of beef jerky glamour photos.

[Leaf Parade. How To: Homemade Paleo Beef Jerky.]

Here’s to making up for lost time.


Homemade Paleo Beef Jerky — Gluten-free, Paleo, and Whole30 compliant.


  • 2-1/4 – 2-1/2 pound flank steak, as lean as possible
  • 1 cup unsweetened apple sauce
  • 1 tablespoon sea salt
  • 1 tablespoon sambal oelek chili paste
  • 2 teaspoons smoked paprika
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon turmeric
  • 1 teaspoon granulated garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder


Remove the steak from its package and unroll it so that it’s flat. Put in a large bag and lay it flat in the freezer for 3-4 hours, until almost frozen (this will make it easier to cut).

With a sharp or serrated knife, cut the chilled steak against the grain into long strips about 1/4 of an inch thick. Make them as uniform in size and thickness in possible.

In a bowl, mix the remaining ingredient together and stir well. Pour the applesauce-spice mixture on top of the cut steak, and chill for at least 2 hours, preferably overnight.

Lay the pieces of steak flat in a dehydrator, making sure to space them far enough apart so that they dehydrate and do not steam. Cook in the dehydrator at 160 degrees Fahrenheit for about 4 hours, but keep an eye on the jerky along the way, testing it as needed.

If you do not have a dehydrator, you can cook the jerky in your oven. In order to get the meat as crisp as possible, it is advisable to lay the pieces of meat on top of wire cooking racks so that the heat can hit it from all angles.

Good news! This recipe is Whole30 compliant!

  • Read more about the Whole30 guidelines here.
  • Get my tips for prepping and planning for the Whole30 here.
  • Follow my Whole30 board on Pinterest here.
  • For more pictures, check out my Instagram page here.


  1. Is it possible to leave out the applesauce? I don’t like sweet meat.

  2. joannabanana21 says:

    your recipe looks amazing and so simple. i’ve never made jerky but i’ve been wanting to. my grocery store has a very limited amount of grass fed meat- it’s always ground beef, sirloin steaks, and stew meat. i would die if i saw them selling flank steak!

  3. REALLY looking forward to this. I started paleo a couple weeks ago and I direly need snack foods (baby carrots will only go so far) and my dehydrator arrives tomorrow!

  4. …I kinda want to lick the screen, haha.. Definitely trying this recipe next payday when I get myself another slab of meat to jerky up 😀

  5. You want slice the meat WITH the grain. If you slice across, you’ll end up with dried shredded meat.

  6. What could one substitute instead of the apple sauce? I’m trying to stay away from sugar and salt as much as possible and am not a fan of sweet stuff either way.


  1. […] 3. Homemade Paleo Beef Jerky This style of beef jerky has a bit thicker cuts, so it’s something you can really take your time on and chew on it for awhile. This is the sort of recipe that will have you investing in a dehydrator so that you can keep a supply of jerky on hand at all times. It’s just such a handy snack to have because it doesn’t really go bad, but you won’t have time to find out because you’ll eat it all up well before it has a chance to. Since it’s just lean beef and an assortment of spices you know that it’s Paleo approved, and you can eat it with a clean conscience. […]

  2. […] beef jerky, and I must say, the seasoning was rather delicious! This recipe was modified from Leaf Parade. My awesome butcher on Williams Street, Devonport sliced the meat up for me as thin as she could, […]

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