Venison Jerky Marinade

Venison jerky marinade

Venison jerky is a great snack for hunters, hikers and anyone else who wants to pack a protein-packed, meaty treat. You can use a variety of different cuts and spices to make your own homemade venison jerky.

One of the most important steps is to marinate the sliced meat in the desired marinade for at least eight hours. This gives the seasonings a chance to penetrate and really flavor the jerky.

Popular Marinade Ingredients

When making venison jerky, you can use a basic marinade to infuse your venison with flavor. However, if you want to shake up your taste buds, try using some of these popular marinade ingredients for a delicious twist!

A basic marinade will add salt, sugar and other flavors to your venison. You can also add other ingredients to create your own unique flavor profile.

One of the most common marinade recipes is teriyaki. It’s easy to make and can be made with either cooked or uncooked ingredients.

Another popular ingredient for jerky is garlic powder. It makes the meat more tender and gives it a tangy, umami flavor.

When preparing your venison for jerky, it is important to slice the meat into thin strips. This will help it dry faster and give you consistent slices.


Venison is one of the most popular wild game meats for making jerky. This is because deer, as well as many other types of lean meats, are very tasty when marinated and dried.

The preparation process for venison jerky is very simple and does not require a lot of equipment. The main thing that you need is a sharp knife.

Trim any visible fat and connective tissue from the venison and slice it crossgrain into 1/4-inch thick strips. Partially freezing the meat before slicing helps it to firm up and makes slicing at a consistent thickness easier.

Once the venison is sliced, you will need to mix up a marinade. This can be a very simple brine or a combination of different flavors.

Once the marinade is mixed up, you will then take the sliced venison and bathe it in the spice mixture. This will help destroy any bacteria that may be on the meat, which is important to kill if you are drying your jerky in the oven or dehydrator.


Venison jerky should be stored in an airtight container at room temperature for up to two weeks or longer. Jerky can also be vacuum sealed and frozen for long term storage.

A high-quality jerky should be dry to the touch, leather-like in appearance and chewy but still somewhat tender. Test the jerky’s doneness by bending it from the long end; white fibers should be present.

Because venison jerky requires a lot of water to dehydrate, it can be difficult to determine when it is done. If the jerky has any visible variation in color or a highly contrasting texture, it is past its prime and should be discarded.


The flavor of the marinade comes from a variety of ingredients. These can be anything from salt and sugar to a combination of spices like pepper, garlic powder, chili powder, and onion powder.

Venison meat has a delicious beefy taste and can be used in many different jerky recipes. It is ideal for a savory snacking treat because of its leanness (fat hastens spoilage).

You can use any venison or wild game meat, such as elk or bison. A few simple preparation steps make the meat ready for jerky-making.

Start by partially freezing the meat to help it slice more easily. Trim off any fat or silver skin, and cut against the grain into one-quarter-inch thick strips. You can do this yourself or have your butcher do it for you on a meat slicer.

Popular Vension Jerky Marinades

Marinades play a crucial role in flavoring venison jerky. Here are a few different marinades you can use to create delicious venison jerky:

Classic Teriyaki Marinade:

  • 1/2 cup soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 1 teaspoon minced fresh ginger
  • 1 teaspoon minced garlic
  • 1/2 teaspoon sesame oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper

Combine all the ingredients in a bowl and marinate your venison slices for at least 4 hours or overnight for maximum flavor.

Spicy Sriracha Marinade:

  • 1/4 cup soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoons sriracha sauce (adjust for heat preference)
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper (adjust for heat preference)
  • 1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika

Mix these ingredients together, marinate your venison, and get ready for some spicy jerky.

Maple and Bourbon Marinade:

  • 1/2 cup bourbon
  • 1/4 cup maple syrup
  • 1/4 cup soy sauce
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon onion powder

This marinade adds a sweet and smoky flavor to your venison jerky. Allow the meat to marinate for at least 4 hours or overnight.

Sweet and Smoky BBQ Marinade:

  • 1/4 cup BBQ sauce
  • 1/4 cup soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon liquid smoke (optional)
  • 1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder

This marinade infuses the flavors of BBQ into your venison jerky. Marinate for at least 4 hours or overnight.

Lemon Pepper Marinade:

  • 1/4 cup lemon juice
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon lemon zest
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon onion powder

This marinade offers a fresh and zesty flavor to your venison jerky. Marinate for at least 4 hours or overnight.

Remember to adjust the marinating time to allow the flavors to penetrate the venison thoroughly. After marinating, follow the drying instructions from the previous recipes to make your venison jerky. These marinades provide a variety of flavors, so you can experiment and find your personal favorite.

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