(Prep time: 30-minutes; Cook time: 3-hours; 12-hours to marinade; Total start to finish time 15.5-hours)
There aren’t too many snacks topping the goodness of jerky on a road trip and homemade venison jerky takes the cake. Homemade anything brings more to the table than the dish itself, it serves up conversation backed up with a bit of pride.
We’ve tried many different recipes for making homemade venison jerky and this one has become a crowd favorite. So if you’re gearing up for the drive to deer camp and want to bring a snack on the road and something to share around the shack, try this awesome venison jerky recipe with that leftover roast in your freezer and start a camp tradition.
INGREDIENTS (serves 4 adults)
· 1 cup Soy Sauce
· 3 tbsp Worcestershire Sauce
· 1 tbsp Smoked Sweet Paprika
· ½ tsp Garlic Powder
· 1 tsp Onion Powder
· 1 tsp Red Pepper Flakes
· 1 tsp Black Pepper
· 1 tbsp Salt
· 1 cup packed Brown Sugar
Unless you’re equipped with a meat slicer, the best method we’ve found to cut the meat into those delicate thin strips is using a sharp filet knife and partially thawed meat. When the meat is partially thawed, or partially frozen, it’s soft enough to thinly slice with your knife, yet remains stiff enough to maintain evenness with every slice.
There are several directions to slice jerky meat. You can cut with the grain, against the grain, or some even prefer angling against the grain. We prefer to cut with the grain. Doing so allows you to pull the jerky apart when eating it and eliminate the possibility of the jerky becoming crumbly once it dries out. You also get longer pieces when you cut with the grain, but how you choose to cut the meat really comes down to preference – there is no “right” or “wrong” way.
Lastly, how thick, or thin you slice the meat will make a big difference in how long you choose to dry it. For this recipe we aimed for 1/8-inch-thick slices cut with the grain.
Using a medium bowl to mix your marinade ingredients, combine the Brown Sugar, Soy Sauce, Worcestershire Sauce, Smoked Paprika, Black Pepper, Red Pepper Flakes, Onion Powder, Salt and Garlic Powder and whisk until evenly combined and the sugar appears to dissolve.
Add the meat to the marinade making sure to submerge the meat as much as possible, cover the bowl and refrigerate for at least 12-hours.
For this recipe we used our oven. It’s convenient and reliable, allowing you to establish a consistent temperature and monitor the progress of the meat at leisure. It also produces consistent results.
Pre-heat your oven to 175-degrees Fahrenheit.
Use wood shish kabob sticks to hang the meat from the oven rack. Poke the sharp end of the stick an inch low of one end of each slice of meat making sure to leave an inch between each slice. Think ahead and plan for drippage as the jerky dries in the oven; line a couple of cookie sheets with aluminum foil and place side-by-side on the bottom rack in your oven on the lowest shelf. Carefully place the shish kabob sticks onto the top rack with the meat loosely hanging and evenly spaced out.
Use a wooden spoon to keep the oven door pried slightly so the meat doesn’t over-cook. Check on the meat at leisure, but at least once every 30-45 minutes to make sure it is drying evenly and not over-cooking.
After three hours in the oven at 175-degrees the jerky should be done, or close to. Remove any pieces that are done quicker than others and let stand on paper towel or in a paper bag.