Why Is My Beef Jerky Oily? (Is That Bad Thing? How to Fix?)

When someone mentions beef jerky, you probably think about the thin, absolutely dried pieces of meat you can buy in the small bags in your nearest supermarket. Homemade jerky is in a different ballpark, though; firstly, it usually tastes much better.

But on the other hand, you probably don’t have as good equipment as the beef jerky manufacturers in your kitchen. Hence, it may look weird for someone – unlike the store-bought one, homemade jerky may be oily and greasy.

So why is your beef jerky oily? Your beef jerky may be oily because you’ve used pieces of beef with too much fat or because it hasn’t been dehydrated for long enough.

But greasy jerky doesn’t necessarily have to be lousy jerky, and furthermore, if you’re worried about the oil, it is possible to get rid of it somehow. Also, it is obviously plausible to prevent that from happening again. How? That’s what we shall discover in this article!

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Why is my beef jerky greasy?

Beef jerky is a product made by dehydrating pieces of lean beef meat. That process cooks the meat and drains the vast majority of the moisture out of it, which gives jerky the well-known natural ability not to turn bad without any special care.

Therefore, the most common reason why your jerky is greasy is that it hasn’t undergone the dehydration process for enough time.

Also, there is the option that you simply chose too much fat beef to make your jerky from.

Is beef jerky supposed to be greasy?

With that being said, though, there actually are types of beef jerky that are supposed to be somehow greasy. The reason for that is that the jerky’s ability to stay eatable on its own isn’t needed nowadays when we can store it in refrigerators.

Jerky lovers can therefore afford to leave more moisture in the jerky while dehydrating it or even use fat parts of beef in the beginning. That makes the jerky taste better for many people.

So if you like your jerky greasy and moist, there isn’t any need to take care of it. But if it is too greasy for you, or if you don’t want it to be oily at all, don’t worry; there are some ways to get rid of the oil.

How do you keep your jerky from sweating?

There are two main reasons your jerky is sweating; the one much easier to fix is that you don’t let your jerky cool down to the ambient temperature before vacuum sealing the bag. 

If that isn’t the cause for your jerky sweating, though, there’s a more complex problem, meaning that your jerky is simply too moist and greasy. 

We’ll get into how to fix that pretty soon, but before that, let us just remind you that there isn’t any fundamental problem with moist jerky. It may look bad, but as long as you enjoy the taste and remember to store the greasy jerky properly, everything’s fine.

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How do you remove fat from beef jerky?

If you’re sure you don’t want your jerky to be greasy, there are two basic ways to do so. The first and most straightforward one is to use only really lean pieces of meat while making it; that way.

But what if you already made the jerky from the fat meat? Well, you can try to dehydrate the jerky over and over until you get rid of the fat. If the meat you used wasn’t far, far, far too much fat, this should work, but otherwise, you just have to reconcile to the jerky being greasy.


Oily or, if you will, greasy jerky is more common than you may think, and some people love their jerky that way. They intentionally use more fat parts of beef and end the dehydration process earlier than is usual.

If you don’t want your jerky to be greasy, just do the opposite then; firstly, make sure that you use as lean beef as possible and then be patient and let it dehydrate for long enough.



Image credits – Canva

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