How to Make Jerky from Venison, Beef or Pork

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Hunting season is open for a couple more weeks in Caldwell County. At my house, venison disappears the quickest when I make jerky. Jerky is an addictive snack, and convenient to take on a hike or hunting trip. If you don’t have any deer meat, no worries. Just as easy and delicious made from beef or pork.

Here is my method:

Partially freeze the meat to make slicing easier. Slice meat no thicker than ¼ inch. Trim and discard all fat because it becomes rancid quickly. If a chewy jerky is desired, slice with the grain. Slice across the grain if a more tender, brittle jerky is preferred. Marinate under refrigeration at least 1 hour or preferably overnight for flavor and tenderness.

 

Jerky Marinade

1 1/2 – 2 pounds of lean meat (beef, pork or venison)

1/4 cup soy sauce

1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce

1/4 teaspoon each of black pepper and garlic powder

1/2 teaspoon onion powder

1 teaspoon liquid smoke

Combine all ingredients.

For food safety, make nearly 2 cups of the marinade for heat treating the meat:

1 ½ cups soy sauce

6 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce

1 ½ teaspoon each black pepper and garlic powder

3 teaspoons onion powder

6 teaspoons liquid smoke

Bring the marinade to a rolling boil. Add meat strips, not too many at a time, and reheat to a full boil. Remove from the heat and place strips on a drying rack, close together, but not touching or overlapping. For safety and quality, a dehydrator should be used with the temperature set at 140ºF, or whatever the manufacturer recommends for meat jerky. Begin checking samples after 2 hours. Dry until a test piece cracks but does not break when it is bent. Once drying is completed, pat off any beads of oil with clean, absorbent towels and cool. Package in glass jars or heavy plastic food storage bags. Will keep at room temperature for two weeks. Refrigerating increases the shelf life and helps to maintain the best flavor and quality.

deer jerky