If you like to eat snacks that are tasty but also lightweight and protein rich, jerky is an ideal choice. Especially deer jerky. Venison, after all, is leaner and healthier than beef, yet tastes just as delicious. If you're wondering how to make deer jerky at home, scroll down and follow our step-by-step guide.
Grab your Deer Meat and other Ingredients
We recommend making your jerky out of venison steak, particularly lean cuts such as tenderloin or strip loin. You'll also want to grab some ingredients to marinade and cure the meat in. For each pound of venison, use about a tablespoon of salt, a teaspoon of pepper, 3 or 4 tablespoons of soy sauce, and 2 tablespoons of liquid smoke flavoring. There's plenty more you can add for extra flavor - Worcestershire sauce, garlic power, barbecue sauce, steak seasoning, etc - but those are the core ingredients. If you like your jerky sweet, replace the salt with sugar and the soy sauce with a sweet sauce.
Wash your hands and utensils thoroughly before starting. You'll want to maintain a cleanly environment throughout the jerky-making process to avoid the risk of bacterial contamination, so continue to wash hands and utensils between each step.
Cut your Jerky Pieces
Remove your venison from the refrigerator and use a knife to cut it into long ribbon-like strips, about one inch wide and a quarter-inch thick. Try to use only the best pieces of the meat.
Marinade the Jerky Strips
Mix all your ingredients in a bowl or container, including the jerky pieces, then let them marinade overnight in the fridge. Make sure your container is sealed with a lid (or you can marinade the jerky in a plastic bag).
Dry-Cure the Jerky
After 24 hours, remove your jerky from the fridge and drain off any excess marinade. Now place them in your oven, either directly on the oven rack (with wax paper underneath to catch any drips) or on a tray with its own rack. Turn your oven temperature to 200 F. The idea is to use the oven to "dry" the jerky, so you'll need to leave it this way for 4-6 hours, occasionally turning the jerky pieces. The jerky should slowly acquire a dark brown to black color, and a dry, leather-like appearance.
For faster results, you can use a microwave instead, and cook the jerky strips at high heat for 5-7 minutes, turning the jerky every few minutes.
Now you know how to make venison jerky, you may want to buy some top quality venison so you can get started. Luckily, we have plenty of natural New Zealand venison, pasture-raised for zero gamey taste. Check out our venison products here, or click on the links to the left and right of this article.