Venison Jerky

Venison Jerky

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This recipe for Venison Jerky easily compares to what you might buy at specialty shops. It’s very well seasoned and not hard to make. Best used with deer or elk backstrap or loin for easiest cutting.Drying Venison Jerky in a Dehydrator

(Post modified with new photos on 1/1/23.)

For the first 15 years of our marriage, our family practically lived on venison that my husband hunted, both deer and elk. After much trial and error, I learned the best recipes for using the roasts, steaks, or burger. One of those recipes was for jerky, which our daughters loved.

 

Tips on Making JerkPlace Sliced Meat into a Gallon Bucket to Marinate

The hardest part or rather the most time-consuming part is cutting the meat. This is my husband’s job. He likes working with the backstrap best, as it has less sinew to cut off. Once the meat has been thinly sliced across the grain, place it in a gallon bucket. An ice cream pail works well for this.

Some folks dry their jerky in an oven, but I prefer to make mine using a dehydrator. My dehydrator has 4 racks, which works well for this recipe.

In the past, I’ve tried to save time by doubling or tripling this recipe, but I encourage you to make one recipe at a time. While there is room in the bucket for 2 or 3 recipes, placing too much meat in a bucket keeps it from soaking in the brine properly. When I keep things to one recipe, the meat is much better seasoned.

 

Ingredients for Venison Jerky

(See the full recipe at the bottom of this post.)

 

  • 5-6 pounds venison (backstrap works best)
  • soy sauce (do not use low sodium for this recipe)
  • Worcestershire sauce
  • lemon juice
  • lemon pepper
  • Louisiana Hot Sauce
  • hickory smoke
  • ground ginger
  • garlic salt
  • onion salt
  • freshly ground black pepper
  • seasoned salt for topping

 

Instructions for Making This Recipe

Ingredients for this Recipe

Gather your ingredients so that you have everything close at hand on the counter or table.

 

Slice the Meat

Slicing the Backstrap into 1/4" Thick Pieces

With a sharp carving or Santoku knife, thinly slice the venison meat across the grain, about 1/4″ thick. Cutting the meat when it’s slightly frozen works best. Also, try to cut out any membrane, as this will create a very chewy jerky

For best results, always work with partially frozen meat. Try to keep your slices the same thickness so that the meat cooks more evenly.

Place the sliced meat in a gallon bucket with lid.

An gallon ice cream pail works well for this but use what you have. 

 

Mix the Seasoning Sauce

In a large measuring cup, combine the soy sauce, Worcestershire sauce, lemon juice, lemon pepper, hot sauce, hickory smoke, ground ginger, garlic salt, onion salt, and freshly ground black pepper. Stir well.

Pour the Marinade over the Sliced Meat to Cover

Pour the marinade over the sliced meat and mix well. and refrigerate for 24 hours.

 You’ll want to stir this a few times during the marinating time to make sure the marinade is penetrating the meat. The seasoned meat will turn dark. Unseasoned meat will be red.

 

Dehydrate the Venison

Pat Dry Marinated Meat and Place on Dehydrator Trays

After 24 hours, when the meat has been adequately seasoned and has turned dark, begin the drying process. Pat dry each slice of meat with paper towels to remove excess moisture. Then place it on the drying trays, allowing a bit of space between each piece for the air to flow through.

If desired, sprinkle with seasoned salt.

Allow Jerky to Cool to Room Temperature Before Removing

Cook for 8-10 hours at 145-150 degrees. Turn meat once or twice to check the dehydration. Some pieces may dry faster than others, depending on the thickness. When pieces are done, remove them from the rack and continue to dry the rest.

This recipe will fill four trays. If you use fewer trays, your drying time may be less. When your jerky is done, it will have a dry, leathery appearance. It should also bend without breaking.  

When finished, turn off the dehydrator and allow the jerky to cool to room temperature on the trays.

Store Dried Jerky in Cool Dry Place up to 3 Weeks

Store the dried jerky in quart freezer bags for up to three weeks in a cool, dry place. You may also refrigerator or freeze the jerky for longer periods, up to 4-6 months.

This recipe will make 2 1/2 – 3 pounds of jerky.

Venison Jerky Makes Great Gifts of Snacks

Venison Jerky makes great Christmas gifts. We always take it on camping trips to eat on the trail.

See more Venison Recipes Here. Browse Snack Recipes Here.

 

Recipe for Venison Jerky

Venison Jerky

This is a recipe that easily compares to what you buy at specialty shops. Very good and not hard to make.
4.50 from 2 votes
Print Rate
Course: Snack
Cuisine: American
Keyword: Deer Meat, Dehydrated, Elk Meat, Soy Sauce, Spices, Venison Meat, Worcestershire Sauce
Prep Time: 1 hour
Cook Time: 10 hours
Marinate: 1 day
Total Time: 1 day 11 hours
Servings: 10

Equipment

Wusthof Knife Set
Cutting Board
Glass Measuring Cups
Food Dehydrator

Ingredients

  • 6 pounds venison cut 1/4" thickness across the grain
  • 1/2 cup soy sauce (Not low sodium)
  • 1/4 cup Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon lemon pepper
  • 1 teaspoon Louisiana hot sauce or tabasco sauce
  • 1 teaspoon hickory smoke flavoring
  • 1 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon onion salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons seasoned salt for sprinkling

Instructions

  • Gather your ingredients so that you have everything close at hand on the counter or table.

SLICE THE MEAT

  • With a sharp carving or Santoku knife, thinly slice the venison meat across the grain, about 1/4″ thick. Cutting the meat when it’s slightly frozen works best. Also, try to cut out any membrane, as this will create a very chewy jerky
  • Place the sliced meat in a gallon bucket with lid.

MIX THE SEASONING SAUCE

  • In a large measuring cup, combine the soy sauce, Worcestershire sauce, lemon juice, lemon pepper, hot sauce, hickory smoke, ground ginger, garlic salt, onion salt, and freshly ground black pepper. Stir well.
  • Pour the marinade over the sliced meat and mix well. and refrigerate for 24 hours.
    You want the meat to be mostly covered by the sauce. Stir the meat well so that the liquid has good coverage. Check the meat 2-3 times, stirring each time.

DEHYDRATE THE MEAT

  • When the meat has been adequately seasoned, you’re ready to dry it in the dehydrator. Pat each slice with paper towels to remove excess moisture. Place slices on the dehydrator trays, making sure the edges don’t touch.
  • If desired, sprinkle with seasoned salt. Cook for 8-10 hours at 145-150 degrees. Turn meat once or twice to check the dehydration.
    This recipe will fill four trays. If you use fewer trays, your drying time will be less. When your jerky is done, it will have a dry, leathery appearance. It should also bend without breaking.  
  • When done, allow the jerky to cool to room temperature on the trays.
  • Store the jerky in plastic freezer bags for up to three months in a cool place or up to a year in the freezer. This recipe will make 2 1/2 - 3 pounds jerky.

Notes

*Backstrap or shoulder meat works best for making jerky.

Nutrition

Calories: 342kcal | Carbohydrates: 3g | Protein: 64g | Fat: 7g | Saturated Fat: 3g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 2g | Cholesterol: 231mg | Sodium: 2524mg | Potassium: 959mg | Fiber: 0.3g | Sugar: 1g | Vitamin A: 10IU | Vitamin C: 2mg | Calcium: 28mg | Iron: 10mg
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2 thoughts on “Venison Jerky”

  • LOL – I'm actually making some jerky right now. I bought our dehydrator several years ago at Walmart, so I'm not sure if they still have this brand. But it's worked well for me. American Harvest Snackmaster. I use 4 trays, but you can add more if you need to. We love it for making jerky and dried fruit. Enjoy!

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