How to Make the Best Venison Jerky Recipe

Best venison jerky recipe

If you’re a hunter who loves eating deer meat, then you probably have a favorite venison jerky recipe. But if you want to make the best venison jerky, then you need to follow a few simple guidelines.

First, it’s important to know how to cut venison correctly. This is the key to making a tender, tasty jerky.


Venison jerky is a delicious treat that’s easy to make at home. You can use a variety of ingredients to create your own jerky that’s spicy, sweet, or smoky.

The best venison jerky recipe starts with high-quality meat and an excellent spice mix. Then, you can add your own favorite seasonings and flavors for a jerky that is both tasty and nutritious.

Slice your venison into thin strips, either against or with the grain. The sliced pieces should be about 1/4 to 1/2 inch thick.

To ensure you get consistent slices, put your venison in the freezer for an hour or two before slicing. Partially frozen meat is easier to slice than raw meat, which makes the jerky more uniform.

Next, marinate the venison in a room-temperature mixture of salt, sugar, pepper, and other spices. After the venison has marinated, you’ll cut it into thin strips. Then, you’ll dehydrate the strips at a low temperature until they are cooked and dried.


If you’ve ever made jerky before, you know how important the preparation process is. Getting it right can make all the difference between jerky that’s over seasoned, too salty, or too chewy.

To get the best results, you should choose lean cuts of venison that are in good condition and have minimal visible fat. Depending on your preference, top round roasts, bottom round roasts, butts, and eyes of round are some of the best cuts to use for homemade venison jerky.

Start by cutting the meat into thin strips, about 1/4” thick and with the grain of the meat. You can slice the venison with your favorite knife, but it’s easier and quicker to use a meat slicer if you have one (LEM has several models that are great).

Once the venison strips are cut, season them as instructed by the jerky recipe you’re using. After that, put the strips in a large bowl or plastic storage bag to marinate.


The best venison jerky is made from a lean cut of meat that’s free of connective tissue and fat. Slice the meat into thin strips using a sharp hunting knife or a blade-sliding meat slicer.

For easier cutting, place the venison in the freezer to partially thaw out before you start slicing. This will help the meat keep its shape for more consistent, thin slices.

You can also use an electric meat slicer for quicker and more accurate slicing. These are very handy for large batches of jerky!

If you want to add a little flavor to your jerky, make a spice bath before you begin cooking. This marinade will add a delicious flavor while killing bacteria.

Once your venison is fully marinated, you’ll need to dehydrate it. Several universities have found that bacteria can survive traditional drying methods, so it’s important to heat the venison first before dehydrating.


Free-range deer meat is a great choice for jerky. This type of meat is not only incredibly lean but it also contains a lot of protein and a whole host of other healthy nutrients.

Whether you want to make a large batch or just snack on a few pieces, storing jerky properly will ensure it stays fresh and tasty. You can store jerky in airtight containers for weeks at room temperature or in the fridge for months.

The most important step in the storage process is to destroy bacteria before and after dehydrating or baking your jerky. This is done by heating the meat, either before or after drying.

How to Make Garlic, Black Pepper Venison Jerky Step By Step

Here’s a simple garlic and black pepper venison jerky recipe:


  • 1 pound of thinly sliced venison (about 1/8 to 1/4 inch thick)
  • 1/2 cup soy sauce
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 teaspoons coarsely ground black pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon curing salt (optional, for food safety)
  • 1/2 teaspoon onion powder (optional)
  • 1/2 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce (optional)


  1. Prepare the Venison

    • Trim any visible fat from the venison, and slice it into thin strips.
  2. Marinate the Venison

    • In a bowl, mix together the soy sauce, minced garlic, coarsely ground black pepper, and any optional seasonings you want to include (curing salt, onion powder, Worcestershire sauce).
    • Pour the marinade over the venison, ensuring that each slice is well-coated. If you choose to use curing salt, mix it into the marinade.
    • Place the marinating venison in a zip-top bag or a container with a lid and seal it.
  3. Marinate the Venison

    • Refrigerate the venison for at least 4 hours, or overnight for the best flavor infusion.
  4. Preheat and Prepare Drying Equipment

    • Preheat your oven to its lowest setting (usually around 175-200°F or 80-93°C). Alternatively, you can use a food dehydrator or smoker.
  5. Dry the Jerky

    • Remove the venison from the marinade and blot off any excess moisture with paper towels.
    • Arrange the venison slices on a baking sheet, wire rack, or dehydrator trays, ensuring they are not touching or overlapping.
  6. Dry the Jerky

    • Place the venison in your chosen drying equipment.
    • In the oven, prop the door open slightly to allow moisture to escape. In a dehydrator or smoker, follow the manufacturer’s instructions for temperature and time.
  7. Drying the Jerky

    • The drying time varies depending on the equipment and thickness of the meat but generally takes 3-6 hours. Check it periodically. The jerky is ready when it’s firm but still slightly pliable.
  8. Cool and Store

    • Allow the venison jerky to cool completely.
    • Store the jerky in an airtight container. Properly dried jerky can be stored for several weeks or even longer.

This garlic and black pepper venison jerky recipe should give you a delicious combination of savory and peppery flavors. Adjust the black pepper to your preference, and you can even add more garlic if you’re a garlic lover. Enjoy your homemade venison jerky!

Related Articles

How to Prepare Venison For Jerky

Venison Jerky Smoker

Venison Jerky Spices

Venison Jerky Cure

Venison Jerky – Why Use a Dehydrator?

Popular Venison Jerky Seasonings

How to Make the Best Venison Jerky Recipe

Venison Jerky Marinade

How to Make Venison Jerky

Venison Jerky Recipe

Homemade Venison Jerky

Venison Jerky Cuts

Adjusting Venison Jerky Temperature

Venison Jerky Storage Tips

Venison Jerky Drying Time

Venison Jerky Cure

Read more great BBQ articles at Bob’s BBQ Secrets