Deer Jerky, or Venison jerky as it is also known, is something of a delicacy in the US. It’s an affordable one, but many people see this food as a treat, as it is often so expensive to buy in stores.
If you are a hunter, however, or you know of somewhere that you can buy deer shoulders for a reasonable price, then you can make your own deer jerky for a much lower price. What’s more, you can also choose your own seasonings and marinades, so your deer jerky recipe is well and truly a personalized one.
There are two main types of jerky: 1. jerky made from slices of meat, marinated and dried whole 2. jerky made from a ground meat mixture, seasoned and made into strip-shapes. We’re going to tell you how to make deer jerky in both forms...
Ground Meat Deer Jerky
- 1 large mixing bowl
- 1 jerky gun: you can either choose to use a jerky gun, or use a fruit roll-up sheet and cut jerky strips from this.
- 1 food dehydrator: any food dehydrator is suitable for this job, but do bear in mind that jerky tastes best when its dried at a lower temperature, over 3 days rather than just 1. For this reason it’s a good idea to find a dehydrator with an adjustable thermostat. Browse the current best sellers below...
- 1.5kg ground deer meat
- 1.5 tbsp salt
- 1/2 tbsp onion powder
- 1/2 tbsp garlic paste or powder
- 1 tbsp worcestershire sauce
- 1 tbsp cracked black pepper
- 1/2 tsp Quick Cure/InstaCure/Speed Cure
1. Put the ground deer into your mixing bowl and add all of the other ingredients. Mix by hand, thoroughly. It doesn’t matter if you squeeze the deer jerky as it is going to be compacted into jerky strips anyway. The more you mix it together, the better it will taste.
2. Cover the bowl containing the mixture and chill in the refrigerator overnight. This allows the flavors and seasonings to ‘take’ to the meat.
3. The next day, remove the meat and fry (without oil or butter) in a non-stick pan until piping hot throughout (this process kills all bacteria that may be on the meat).
4. Either spoon the mixture onto a fruit roll sheet and press down so that it’s smooth and covers the entire surface area, or fill your jerky gun and use it to squeeze jerky strip shapes onto a normal dehydrator tray.
5. Turn on your jerky dehydrator on a medium to low setting (if the thermostat is adjustable) and simply dry for up to 4 days. You can check the jerky whenever you like to see when it’s ready.
6. When the jerky is completely dry and feels leathery, turn off the dehydrator, cool to room temperature and store (in air tight containers or zip-lock bags).
Slices Deer Jerky
- 1 sharp meat knife
- 1 large chopping board
- 1 large mixing bowl
- 1 food dehydrator: while you can buy specifically manufactured jerky dehydrators, any model of dehydrator is more than capable of making deer (and any other meat) jerky.
- 1kg deer shoulder meat
- 1/2 tbsp salt
- 1 tbsp brown sugar
- 2 tbsp white cider vinegar
- 1 clove crushed or finely chopped garlic
- 1/2 tbsp cracked black pepper
- 2 tbsp worcestershire sauce
1. Using your chopping board and knife, cut the meat from the skin and fat, discarding the skin and fat.
2. Cut the deer meat into strips between 1/4 and 1/2 an inch thick, 1 inch wide and around 5 to 7 inches in length.
3. Mix your other ingredients together in your mixing bowl, and place each slice of deer meat into it, so that each side is covered.
4. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and refrigerate the deer strips in the marinade mix overnight.
5. The next day, take the meat strips and place them onto your dehydrator trays. Turn the appliance on and simply wait for it to dry over the next 2 to 3 days. Remove when leathery and dry, leave to cool to room temperature and store in airtight containers.