Homemade Spicy Chicken Jerky Recipe

Spicy Chicken Jerky Recipe - so much cheaper than storebought ingredients - Lean healthy snack

The hubs has been on a jerky kick recently, especially lean turkey and chicken. At $6 or more for a little 3 oz. store-bought package I decided to bust out our dehydrator and try to make some myself. I decided to make a marinade that had NO liquid smoke (the smell and taste grosses me out), so I used some spicy chili paste, garlic, honey, and soy sauce.

The verdict? Four thumbs up (two from the hubs, two from me). I spent $10 on chicken (5 lbs. @ $1.99/lb) and we already had the rest of the ingredients. After dehydration, there was more than 25 oz. of jerky. More than 8 servings of 3-oz. portions – which would probably cost $50 or more at the supermarket. And it’s spicy and delicious! I don’t even like jerky and I snuck a few pieces after they were done.



1. Place chicken in freezer for 30-45 minutes to firm up the meat for easier cutting.

2. While chicken is chilling, make the marinade: Mix up the rest of the ingredients in a bowl or large resealable bag.

3. After removing chicken from freezer, slice chicken into thin strips. Try to make the sizes all the same thickness and length.

4. Place sliced chicken in marinade, cover, and refrigerate for a few hours or overnight; stirring/mixing a few times throughout to ensure all chicken is coated.

5. Strain off the marinade, then place chicken on dehydrator trays.

6. Dehydrate at 145 degrees for 5-7 hours or until completely dry (length of drying time will depend on thickness of strips).

If you don’t have a dehydrator, I’ve read that you can use an oven. Here’s what I’ve gathered from cruising jerky recipes: place chicken strips on wire racks set on top of baking sheets, line the bottom of the oven with foil, and bake at 175F, for 4 hours or more (flip chicken strips over after 2 hours or so), until the strips have dried. The length of drying time obviously will depend on the thickness of the strips.

To store dried jerky, package in vacuum-sealed bags or canisters, or in resealable sandwich bags with as much air as possible removed.

It helps to package in single-serving sizes, to avoid re-opening a bag several times and exposing to moisture/rehydration.

Jerky has a shelf-life of 3 weeks or so; for longer storage keep in fridge or freezer. Some people recommend refrigerating jerky right away even if you plan on eating it soon (treating it like a fresh food).

Food Dehydrator

Estimated Nutrition Information – Yields approximately 25 oz. – Per 1 oz: 

  • 72 cal.
  • 0.08 g. fat
  • 2.72 g. carbs
  • 18 g. protein
  • 0 fiber

DIY Chicken Jerky - Lean and healthy snack - simple ingredients - so much cheaper than storebought