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carne seca mexican jerky

Smoked Carne Seca: Mexican Jerky

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Smoked carne seca is my interpretation on a classic Mexican jerky you can find down here in Arizona and Sonora. It’s spicy and salty with a touch of lime and chile. You might need to make double!

  • Total Time: 160 minutes
  • Yield: 8-10 1x


  • 2 lbs well-trimmed eye of round roast, sliced 1/8 to 1/4″ thick against the grain
  • 1 dried guajillo chile
  • 1 ½ tbsp fine sea salt
  • 1 lime, halved


  1. Toast the dried chile in a hot skillet for about 30-40 seconds on each side to lightly toast it. Remove it from the pan and allow it to cool to room temp. Remove the stalk and seeds, and break it into manageable pieces. Place into a spice grinder and pulverize into powder. Mix this chile powder with the salt well and set aside.
  2. Place the meat in a large container with a lid. Season the meat liberally on both sides with the spice mix. Squeeze both halves of the lime all over the meat, and mix well to make sure everything is coated. Place the lid on the container and allow the meat to marinade in the fridge for at least 4 hours or overnight.
  3. Preheat the smoker to a low temperature, aim for 160-180˚F. Arrange the meat on racks or mats, making sure that the meat has space between each slice. Smoke the meat for 2 hours and check them, until they are pliable and firm. Some pieces will be ready sooner than others.
  4. Allow meat to cool to room temperature. Transfer to a paper bag and store in a cool, dark place for up to 2 weeks.


You might have to take off pieces earlier than others. After the 2 hour mark, you better go check the pieces and move them around as needed. Just make sure you don’t overcook! They should still have a little bend to them, not shatter.

  • Author: Brad Prose
  • Prep Time: 10
  • Cook Time: 150 minutes
  • Category: Beef
  • Method: Smoking
  • Cuisine: Snacks
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