Kilishi (Beef Jerky) Recipe

SO…We received a NuWave oven as a wedding gift. A FREAKING NUWAVE!

I was so ecstatic when Engr (Le hubs) brought it home. I count it as a blessing because a week before, I was in church talking with a friend about how I wanted one for the house. God was totally listening and he was totally faithful.

It didn’t take long before I was dreaming up recipes and what I wanted to do with it.  First Recipe I tried was ribs. They came out so nice, I wish I had photos to share (It will soon come).

I was able to capture the process for the recipe I am about to share. I call it my Kilishi/Beef Jerky hybrid.

Kilishi is a popular dried beef snack from northern Nigeria. It is paper thin, savory and deliciously spicy.

A few years ago a friend, traveling back from Nigeria, brought some for me and my soul prayed for her the whole time I ate it. Since then, I have not had the pleasure of kissing this beef.

After loads of research… I decided to try my hand at it. This is a hybrid because Kilishi has such an unbelievable thinness that even my sharpest knife could not achieve.  Then came the matter of the seasoning… I will include exactly what I did below as well as things I will try differently.


  1. Lean beef ( 1 lb)
  2. Cloves (1 tsp)
  3. Red Chili flakes (1 tbs to start)
  4. Fresh Ginger (thumb size)
  5. Garlic (2 pieces)
  6. Suya Spice (1 tbs to start)
  7. Peanut butter (Plain)

1. Prepare your beef  – Cut off  fat caps and any muscle membranes (slippery skin), ligaments, tendons etc. Kitchen shears are awesome for this. Once the fat is cleared, begin cutting super thin slices.

*Tip: Store beef in the freezer for a 1-2 hours so that it firms up. Cutting when partially frozen helps a great deal.

2. Arrange beef on oven rack and bottom tray. Use the following settings for your nuwave or oven. Time: 90mins Temp: 175 degrees.

Tip: If you are using a nuwave, use the dome holder to keep the dome slightly open. This will allow moisture from the meat to escape and help the drying process.

3. Make your Kilishi sauce – Combine and grind all ingredients (except for peanut butter) in a dry mill grinder (food processor, blender, mortar and pestle or ziploc bag and rolling pin). Once ground as fine as your machine of choice will go, add the peanut butter and mix thoroughly.  Add ½ cup of water to liquefy and allow to rest for at least 30mins. This will give the spices time to release their flavor.

Coat/Soak Dried beef – Once the beef has finished the first drying session. Submerse each piece in the Kilishi sauce and transfer to another plate. Once all the beef has been coated, allow to sit for at least 10-15mins to allow for flavor absorption.

Continue drying – Rearrange beef in the oven and set for 90mins at 175 degrees. If you like a tougher beef add an extra 20mins and check them every 5mins.

Tip: The beef will harden when cooled so avoid over drying. 

Tip: If using a nuwave. Remove the dome hood after drying as moisture collects very fast when the oven is not on.

Total cooking and prep time is about 4hrs but it is so worth it. Because of the lean meat, I would peg this as a healthy go to snack for post-workout protein, to curb hamburger cravings and just tasty all round. I have caught Engr sneaking to the fridge for a few bites each night.

Did I mention, it keeps well too. Use an airtight  container in the fridge or dry area.

Would love to see your take on this recipe…If you have made kilishi before or know any insider tips leave your stories in the comments section.

Tag your Kilishi/Beef Jerky photos on IG using #MouseInTheKitchen While you are there, don’t forget to follow me on Instagram.

And yes…. There is a Youtube video for that.


Can’t wait to hear from you!!

– Mikki