Deer Jerky Recipe

Deer jerky recipe

Deer jerky is an easy and tasty snack that can be enjoyed at home or on your next hunting trip. This homemade recipe is a great way to use any meat you have on hand and turn it into a delectable snack that’s perfect for hunters, hikers or anyone who enjoys the taste of venison!


When you want to use the meat from your deer hunt without having to pay a butcher, consider making your own jerky at home. Venison jerky is not only delicious, but also packed with protein and healthy fats.

The key to good jerky is to follow the basic principles of preparation, seasoning, and drying time. If you understand these fundamentals, you will make excellent jerky every time.

To prepare your meat, choose lean cuts of venison and trim any excess fat or silver skin. This is especially important for jerky to prevent spoilage and preserve the flavor.

Next, slice the meat into thin strips. Using partially frozen meat is easiest for this step. This will ensure that you get uniform slices for your homemade deer jerky.


You can make jerky at home using just about any cut of meat. However, if you want the best chew and flavor, aim for the rump roast and eye round from the deer’s hind legs.

The muscles in these cuts are arranged in a way that makes cutting against the grain easier. This makes it much less likely that you will end up with long strips of tough-to-chew muscle fibers.

To slice the meat, use a sharp knife or filet knife and slice the meat across the grain to thin strips about 1/8” thick. You can also use a meat slicer to cut the slices faster and more easily.

After the meat has been sliced, it can be marinated for 24 hours or smoked over a smokey fire for 4-5 hours to create delicious, smoky venison jerky. You can also cook the jerky in your oven or a dehydrator to make it even more flavorful.


If you’re looking for a way to use up some of the deer meat you’ve harvested, try making homemade jerky. Venison jerky is quick and easy to make, and it can be made from almost any lean cut of meat.

Jerky is a great snack, and it can be stored in airtight containers for up to two weeks or frozen for up to six months. It’s also a great way to introduce children and others with food allergies to the delicious taste of venison.

To make a batch of jerky, start with thin slices of meat. This will give your jerky the tender and chewy texture you want.

Then, add the seasonings and marinade to the strips of meat, letting them sit in the fridge for 8 hours or overnight. When the marinating process is complete, place them in your food dehydrator or oven for drying. Depending on the machine you use, it will take different amounts of time to reach your desired level of dryness.


When storing jerky at home, the best option is to store it in a cool, dark place like your pantry. You can also use a small food grade desiccant bag to help keep the jerky moist for a longer period of time.

The key to making good deer jerky at home is selecting the right cuts of meat. You want to use lean meat from the hind quarter, specifically top round, bottom round, and sirloin tip.

This is because the deer’s hind legs have lots of muscle fibers that make a jerky more chewy than strips of thin, tough meat.

If you’re going to be storing your jerky for a long period of time, you may want to cure it with sodium nitrite to increase its shelf life. This isn’t necessary for homemade jerky, but most commercial producers use a cure to make their jerky more resistant to bacteria that can grow if left uncured.

Deer Jerky Recipe Step By Step Guide

Making deer jerky is a fantastic way to enjoy the rich and lean meat of venison. Here’s a basic recipe for making deer jerky:


  • 2 pounds of venison (deer) meat, thinly sliced (aim for about 1/4-inch thickness)
  • 1/2 cup soy sauce
  • 1/4 cup Worcestershire sauce
  • 1/4 cup teriyaki sauce
  • 2 teaspoons garlic powder
  • 2 teaspoons onion powder
  • 1 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon paprika (smoked paprika for added smokiness, if desired)
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper (adjust to your desired level of spiciness)
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar or honey (adjust for sweetness)
  • Optional: liquid smoke (a few drops for added smokiness)


  • Dehydrator or smoker (with jerky racks)
  • Jerky seasoning or marinade injector (optional)
  • Food-safe gloves (for handling raw meat)


  1. Slice the Venison

    • Start by slicing the venison meat into thin strips, about 1/4-inch thick. You can place the meat in the freezer for a short time to make it easier to slice.
  2. Prepare the Marinade

    • In a bowl, combine the soy sauce, Worcestershire sauce, teriyaki sauce, garlic powder, onion powder, black pepper, paprika, cayenne pepper, and brown sugar (or honey). Mix well to create the jerky marinade.
  3. Marinate the Meat

    • Place the sliced venison into a large resealable plastic bag or a shallow dish. Pour the marinade over the meat, ensuring it’s evenly coated. Seal the bag or cover the dish and refrigerate for at least 4 hours or overnight for maximum flavor.
  4. Preheat the Dehydrator or Smoker

    • Preheat your dehydrator or smoker according to the manufacturer’s instructions. Aim for a temperature of around 160-175°F (71-79°C).
  5. Prepare the Jerky Racks

    • If you’re using a dehydrator, place the marinated venison strips on the dehydrator racks. For a smoker, use jerky racks or place the meat directly on the smoker grates. Leave some space between the strips to allow for proper air circulation.
  6. Dry the Jerky

    • Dehydrate or smoke the venison for approximately 4-6 hours, or until it reaches your desired level of dryness. The jerky should be dry but still pliable, not brittle. Be sure to monitor the temperature and adjust it as needed.
  7. Cool and Store

    • Once the jerky is ready, remove it from the dehydrator or smoker and let it cool to room temperature. If there’s any excess moisture or oil, blot it with paper towels. Store the deer jerky in an airtight container or vacuum-sealed bags. Properly stored, it can last for several weeks.

Deer jerky is a delicious and protein-packed snack, perfect for outdoor adventures or as a homemade treat. Feel free to adjust the seasonings to your liking and experiment with different flavors to create your unique deer jerky recipe.

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