So I would like to switch gears here and write about something I think is super fun. Well, everything about deer hunting is fun to me. But I’m talking about the end product here. The fruits of your labor! And no, I’m not talking about the beautiful shoulder mount of that perfect 8-point that is now hanging above your fire place.
Nope, I’m talking about the main reason I got into deer hunting in the first place – for the meat! Those perfect, lean, delicious tenderloins. Those big ol’ back straps that I make into medallion steaks! And of course, my all time favorite…the jerky! So let’s get into it! What is the Best Venison Jerky Recipe??
Do It Yourself
Between my sons and I, we tend to harvest 2 to 4 deer a year. With hopefully a buck or two mixed in there! But to me, meat is meat. Buck or doe tastes the same to me! And since we do get a few deer every year, we butcher our own here in my garage. It can get rather expensive sending all these deer out to be processed. This is one way I save some money, have some bonding time with my children, and put food on my table for months to come.
What Do You Need To Make The Best Venison Jerky?
Not much at all:
- gamble/pulley system (to hang your deer)
- a sharp knife (most important tool for butchering yourself)
- a cutting board
- the ingredients for the jerky
- a GOOD dehydrator
To Each Their Own
There are literally hundreds, probably thousands, of different recipes for making venison jerky. To be honest with you, I like experimenting each year with different recipes. This is actually part of the fun for me. I can tell you “WHAT” I put into my favorite recipe, but I cannot tell you the “HOW MUCH”.
I do not follow a step by step, 6 oz of this, 4 tablespoons of that, type of recipe. I know the main ingredients that I prefer and put in what I feel is right. It changes every year I’m sure! Some batches certainly turn out better than others, but that is what makes it fun. Depending on the size of your dehydrator, you can make a couple different types in the same batch!
This part is quite easy. When I butcher my deer, I do utilize all the meat on that animal. I tend to take out my back straps first, then I’ll quarter it, and finally trim up all the rest (meat around the ribs, etc). Since my family really doesn’t like roasts. I will use the hind quarter meat for my jerky.
I will take a nice chunk of hind quarter meat and trim all the fat and fascia from it. I will then slice the meat into small 1 or 2 inch wide strips, as thin as I can get it, and throw all that meat into a huge bowl. This is where the fun begins!
My Main Ingredients For Best Venison Jerky
As I said above, I can tell you the what I put in my venison jerky but not the how much. Here is a list of what I feel makes some of the best venison jerky around:
- Wet all the meat with red wine vinegar
- Add salt and pepper and brown sugar (mix all up and let the meat set for about an hour), then:
- Equal mix of soy sauce and teriyaki sauce (equal amounts of each)
- Liquid smoke
- Tabasco or sarrachi sauce
- Garlic powder
- Chili powder
- Onion powder
And that is really it! I cover the bowl, put in fridge, and let it marinate in the fridge overnight.
If I am super short on time, and the kids are bugging me to get some batches done quickly, this is the pre-made marinade I use. It does make some really tasty jerky, but takes some of the fun out of the process for me. With that being said, I will use this if in a pinch:
Now being that I do make a lot of jerky, I invested in a nice dehydrator. But when I first started making jerky I would dehydrate it in the oven. This works, but it does take really long to make, and quite frankly, is just too darn messy. I have my dehydrator in my garage right next to my cutting station. I’m not going to get into the instructions for using a dehydrator as you can just follow the instructions for the one you purchase. I use a Corsori. It’s not the biggest but has 6 trays, is very easy to use, and is reasonably priced.
What’s Your Flavor?
What are your favorite recipes for the best venison jerky? I’m always looking for new ideas. Please comment below if you are willing to share your family secrets! I’m sure I’m not the only one out there willing to experiment and come up with new tastes. Please let us know your own recipes or if you have a favorite jerky mix you purchase. Also, let’s hear what dehydrators you use. I mentioned mine above but what are pros and cons to yours? Thanks for reading this article on Best Venison Jerky Recipe. As you saw, I really don’t have a set one, but that IS what makes it the best!
Yours in Hunting,