Venison Jerky

When I was younger, I remember my dad making routine stops at a meat shop to pick up jerky.  It was our special treat, a taste I grew up with.  I have always wanted to try making it but never had enough “extra” meat to feel comfortable loosing a few pounds to a snack.   We picked up another deer a couple of days ago, our second deer hit by a car that was in a friends front yard.  I was able to use all the meat.  We have a deer in the freezer from a few weeks ago (another car vs. deer) that we are eating our way through so this one I decided I wanted to put meat on the shelf with canning and try some new techniques.  Those new techniques included making jerky.

Jerky is a awesome protein source and venison jerky is lean.  Trim off any fat (especially the silver skin, that white film that probably covers parts of your roast) and use more meat than you think you will eat – it looses a lot of weight as it dries.  A four pound roast can reduce to a mere pound or two in the dehydrator.

The best cut to use for jerky are the roasts from the hindquarter.  The eye round and rump roast are the best because they are large and muscle fibers run in the same direction, however nearly any roast can be used.  Meat will need to be sliced about 1/8th inch thick with the grain.  In order to make even cuts a little easier, freeze the meat about 1 to 1-1/2hrs. This will make it stiff and easy to slice.

I have read conflicting information about using cure in your jerky.  This is Instacure #1 or other such meat cures.  It kills harmful bacteria, retains color in the meat, helps with texture and gives the familiar “cured meat” taste.  You can choose to use it or not.  Most marinades contain enough acidity to keep the bacteria away.  For this batch, I chose not to use it.  I don’t expect to have this jerky around for too long because I didn’t make a huge batch.  It will help your jerky last a long time, and will prevent your jerky from going bad if there is fat in it.  Venison roasts are pretty lean if you use the right cut and trim visible fat off of it.

You will find that for every person who makes jerky, they have their own ways and recipes.  You will find that you tweak yours a bit too to make it uniquely yours.  It’s not hard to make!

Venison should be dried until it feels like leather.  It can bend a bit but should not be squishy.

I was so happy to taste that familiar jerky taste that I remember after making these!


  • 2lb roast
  • 2/3c Worcestershire sauce
  • 2/3c soy sauce
  • 2ts pepper
  • 2ts onion powder
  • 1ts liquid smoke
  • 1/2ts -1ts red pepper flakes
  • 1tb honey


  1. Chill your roast long enough for it to become stiff but not frozen through.
  2. Slice the roast thin – about 1/8th inch.
  3. Combine ingredients above for your marinade.  Pour this into a zip-top bag and add the meat slices.  Mix them well so the marinade coats all the meat, remove the air and zip the bag shut.  Store in the fridge overnight.
  4. Next morning lay your slices in your dehydrator in a single layer, not allowing the slices to touch.
  5. Dehydrate on your ‘meat’ setting, or 155- 160F until dry – about 8 or so hours.  Check every hour after a few hours and remove any narrow strips that might be done before the rest.

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