Venison jerky is a fantastic snack when you’re hunting, needing something to gnaw on while watching Madison Bumgarner throw an immortal Game 7 or are sitting there fishing in spring weeplng softy because deer season is still months away.
There, there. Your best deer jerky can get you through those rough patches and cold days on the stand.
It’s easy to make, too, especially with the right products to get the job done. Get everything set up in your kitchen, spend a little time with your venison and spices, and then enjoy!
Here’s a fantastic jerky recipe from Weston Products:
Makes about fifty 6″ strips
– Ingredients –
3 lbs venison, trimmed of fat and sinew and cubed
(Or other beef-like game meat. Or of course, beef)
1/2 cup water
3 tablespoons brown sugar
2 tablespoons salt
2 tablespoons hot chili powder
1 tablespoon + 1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 tablespoon onion powder
1 tablespoon ground black pepper
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
2 teaspoons smoked paprika
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cumin
1 1/2 teaspoons ground coriander
1 teaspoon ground cloves
1 teaspoon cayenne
1 teaspoon crushed red pepper
1/2 teaspoon ground allspice
1/2 teaspoon ground fennel
1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
Use a Meat Grinder to grind the cubed venison through a medium plate. Place the meat into a Weston Meat Lug or cookie sheet and spread it out into an even layer across the bottom. Mix the seasonings together and reserve two tablespoons of the seasoning mixture for later (you will use these two tablespoons to sprinkle over the jerky just before dehydrating). Combine the rest of the seasonings with water and mix again. Pour the seasoning mixture evenly over the ground venison. Use your hands to fully mix the seasonings into the meat.
Preheat the Dehydrator to 155 degrees.
Transfer the ground meat into your Jerky Gun Tube and pack it down very tightly – no air pockets. Use the Jerky Gun to extrude the ground venison onto Dehydrator trays (we used the double jerky strip nozzle). Sprinkle the strips with your reserved two tablespoons of seasonings.
Slide the Dehydrator trays back into the preheated dehydrator and let the jerky dehydrate 8 hours. Check it every so often – it is ready when it is completely dry throughout, but flexible, not brittle. If it is ready, you can use scissors to cut the 12″ strips in half.
Once it is ready, let it rest for an hour or two then store it in a paper bag or sealed vacuum sealer bag. If you use a vacuum sealer bag, you will want to be very careful to ensure the jerky is completely dry and cooled so that it doesn’t sweat and later mold in the bag.
Properly dehydrated jerky will last about 6 months in the vacuum sealed bag and 3 months in a paper bag. You can further extend its shelf life in the vacuum sealer bag to about a year if you place it in the refrigerator.