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Grilla Grills

Kickin' Ky Bourbon Jerky


  • 1/4 cup Bourbon
  • 1 TBS Molasses
  • 2 TBS Brown Sugar
  • 1 TSP Black Pepper
  • 1/4 cup Soy Sauce, Tamari or Ponzu
  • 2 TBS Kongo Kick Sauce
  • 1 TBS Grilla Beef Rub
  • 2 TSP Red Pepper Flakes


Makes enough for approximately 2lbs of sliced meat. Meat can be presliced by your butcher. If not using presliced meat then slice against the grain and try to slice into 1⁄8-1⁄4 inch slices. Chilling your meat in the freezer for 15-20min prior to slicing will make slicing easier.

Add all ingredients except Grilla Beef into a bowl and mix. Add mixture to zip-top bag and add beef slices.

Marinade 6hrs or overnight. Remove beef from marinade and drain well. Dust with Grilla Beef and Red Pepper Flakes (optional) as you put the slices on the grill.

Set grill to 200 degrees and smoke using a strong pellet such as hickory until the slices crack but not break when bent. Doneness is a matter of personal preference though. How long this process takes will be determined by humidity in the air and thickness of beef slices.

Start checking and rotating the jerky at about the 2hr mark to ensure even dehydration of the meat. Once done allow jerky to cool and store in an airtight container. If you live in a humid environment consider storing your jerky in the refrigerator.

Honoring the History and Legacy of Beef Jerky

Long before we published our beef jerky recipe with bourbon, humankind had a need. What was the need? Essentially, to preserve their fresh meat. Without refrigeration, meat spoils rapidly unless it is slowly smoked and cooked.

Smoke and heat removes the moisture from the meat, turning it tougher while retaining its inherent flavor. Plus, it can be kept for a long time.

No one is sure which long-gone civilization first “invented” beef jerky. However, we are sure they would applaud Shane’s Kentucky bourbon beef jerky made on any wood pellet smoker grill like the Silverbac or Chimp.

Should You Get Your Bourbon Jerky Main Ingredient Pre-Sliced?

The DIY pitmaster often likes to have a hand in every aspect of making a finished product. Nevertheless, we recommend asking your butcher to slice the meat for your bourbon beef jerky recipe, at least the first time you make it.

What’s the value of pre-sliced beef? Basically, its uniform appearance and size. Being able to cook your beef jerky recipe pieces and know they will finish at the same time adds peace of mind. Plus, it takes away the guesswork. When one slice of Kentucky bourbon beef jerky is done, they are all probably done.

By all means, feel free to slice your beef jerky meat if you want. Just know that having it pre-sliced can be a thing of beauty because it allows you to focus on other aspects of this recipe.

Need a Non-Alcoholic Bourbon Substitute?

Want to switch up this bourbon beef jerky recipe by removing and replacing the adult beverage? Mix equal parts pure vanilla extract and water, or try peach or another fruity nectar, as a great swap.

Referenced Products

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Holland, Michigan 49423