By Christie Vanover | Published July 12, 2017 | Last Updated February 16, 2023
Partially frozen pork loin is easier to slice. If using a fresh loin, freeze it for one hour before slicing. If using a frozen loin, place it in the refrigerator overnight to partially thaw.
I used Smithfield Prime Fresh Pork from Sam’s Club. The loin was about 7 pounds, so I cut it in half and saved the other half for another meal. You can double the recipe if you have the smoker space.
This recipe will make two racks of jerky. If your smoker only has one grate, you can add an upper rack for less than $20.
Smoked Sweet Tea Pork Jerky
- 3-4 lbs. Smithfield boneless center cut pork loin
- 1 1/2 cups sweet tea
- 1/3 cup soy sauce
- 1/3 cup brown sugar
- 1 tsp garlic powder
- 1 tsp onion powder
- 2 tsps kosher salt
- 2 tsp black pepper
- 1/2 tsp red pepper flakes optional
- Trim excess fat from the loin. Slice it into 1/8 to 1/4-inch thick slices. Place in a zip-top bag.
- In a pitcher or medium bowl, combine the remaining ingredients. Pour into the bag. Seal the bag and massage the marinade into the meat. Refrigerate at least 8 hours.
- Heat the smoker to 180F degrees.
- Remove the pork from the marinade and pat dry with paper towels. Place in a single layer on a rack. Place the rack on the smoker.
- Smoke for 2 to 2 1/2 hours, until it turns a mahogany color. Store in a sealed container for up to one week.
This estimate was created using an online nutrition calculator
Has anyone tried this marinade yet? If so, would you say that it’s similar to the McCormick’s Smoking Sweet Tea marinade that’s been discontinued?
What wood are you using to smoke? Hickory? Pecan?
Pecan, apple or hickory work great for this recipe.
Can’t believe how good this turned out!
I used a mix of apple and hickory pellets and it turned out excellent.
Love this stuff! Added a few hot peppers to the brine…. smoked with hickory. Just make it!
I don’t have a smoker. Can the be done in a dehydrater?
I’ve never tried it that way, but it should work. Just follow the dehydrator’s jerky settings.
I would add a little liquid smoke to the marinade to mimic the smoke flavor of a smoker. Most dehydrator recipes have an amount of liquid smoke in the marinade ingredients.
I made this recipe this week and this is some of the best jerky I think I’ve ever had delicious
Wow! Thanks for the awesome feedback.
Made it and it was fantastic. Instead of sweat tea I used Twisted Tea and it was so yummy
Can this be used for chicken breasts?
I haven’t tried it, but I bet it would be great with chicken.
When the recipe said “tea” in it I had to try it. I LOVE tea! So,I made this today and my whole family loved it! It is easy to make and so delicious. I used Hickory and had to cook it about 3 – 3.5 hours as it is a little cool here today and some of the pieces were a little thick. I checked at the 2.5 hour mark and removed those that were ready and flipped the rest. Thanks for the recipe. It’s a keeper!
Awesome. So glad you liked it.
Great recipe and directions. We used a Ninja and I extra salt. Loved it
3nd batch in two weeks. This recipe is fantastic
Just curious. I thought the purpose of Jerky was it is shelf stable. This recipe says keep in sealed container for 1 week. Can’t it be used for longer. ???
This recipe doesn’t include sodium nitrite or nitrate, which are both preservatives. Therefore, it won’t last as long.
I’ve made this sweet tea pork jerky every weekend for the last 4 weekends. It is now my wife’s and my favorite, and I have been making jerky for A LONG TIME, 20 years, in fact. I add a long spritz of Worstershire in the brine. My 5th batch is now marinating and going on the smoker tomorrow. I also spray the jerky with apple juice a couple times while it’s smokin’… SO GOOD AND MANY THANKS FOR THIS RECIPE!!!!!!!!!!
Do you have the smoke going a full 2 hours?
I don’t use any settings like super smoke, but there is natural smoke rolling throughout the cook.
I don’t like tea flavors. What could I use instead??
You could use cola
I used pineapple juice instead of tea, and a tablespoon of liquid smoke since I used a dehydrator. Perfect.
I used half bag of pecan and half maple. Was amazing I live on a homestead so we use pork, moose, deer for jerky as well. Will try bear and moose next year.
Would water work instead of tea? or maybe watered down apple juice? don’t want it to sweet.
It’s not too sweet with the other ingredients, but apple juice or unsweet tea would work. Water would be a little tasteless.
Holy $#!&, Better than any store bought jerky I’ve ever had! It’s cheaper and much easier to make than I thought. Substituted Lipton Peach Tea for regular iced tea then smoked it on my Recteq on low setting for about two hours and it was perfect…almost ate it all before I got it off the grill. Thanks for the great recipe, it definitely a keeper!