Making your own smoked venison jerky is a great way to preserve your harvest and have a delicious, protein-rich snack on hand. The jerky is made by smoking the venison for several hours, which gives it a delicious smoky flavor.
Smoked Venison Jerky is a delicious and healthy snack that is easy to make at home. Venison is a lean, nutritious meat that is high in protein and low in fat, making it a great choice for those looking for a healthy snack option.
Smoked Venison Jerky has a unique flavor that is perfect for those who enjoy the taste of smoked meats. It is also a great option for those who are looking for a leaner jerky option. We hope you enjoy this recipe to make your own Smoked Venison Jerky at home!
Smoked Venison Jerky Overview
The process of making jerky involves cutting the deer meat into thin strips, marinating it in a mixture of seasonings, and then drying it out until it becomes tough and chewy. The drying process removes the moisture from the meat, which helps to preserve it and gives it a long shelf life.
To make venison jerky, you will need to start with a good quality cut of meat. The best cuts for making jerky are lean cuts of meat, such as the hindquarters or the backstrap. Lean meat is low in fat and has a firm texture, which makes them ideal for jerky.
Slicing Jerky: With or Against The Grain?
There is a debate among jerky enthusiasts about whether it’s best to slice meat with or against the grain when making jerky. The controversy revolves around how the texture and tenderness of the jerky are affected by the direction of the grain.
Meat has long, thin muscle fibers that run parallel to each other in the direction of the grain. When slicing the meat against the grain, the fibers are cut into shorter pieces, which can make the jerky more tender and easier to chew. Slicing with the grain, on the other hand, results in longer pieces of meat with intact fibers, which can make the jerky tougher and chewier.
Ultimately, the decision to slice meat with or against the grain when making jerky comes down to personal preference. Some people prefer a chewy, traditional jerky, while others prefer a more tender, modern style. Experimenting with both methods can help you find the texture and flavor that you enjoy the most.
How To Make Smoked Venison Jerky
Slice the Venison
Partially freeze venison in the freezer for about an hour to make it easier to slice. Then, using a sharp knife, cut the meat into thin strips that are about 1/4 inch thick.
Whether to slice with or against the grain is controversial. We recommend slicing against the grain, as this will make it easier to chew.
Make the Venison Jerky Marinade
In a large mixing bowl, combine the soy sauce, Worcestershire sauce, garlic powder, onion powder, maple syrup, black pepper, and apple cider vinegar. Stir well to ensure that all ingredients are well combined.
Marinate the Venison
Add the sliced venison to the marinade in the mixing bowl, and ensure that each piece is fully coated with the marinade. It is best to use a large bowl, as this will make it easier to ensure that all pieces are coated evenly.
Once the meat is coated, cover the mixing bowl with plastic wrap and let it marinate in the fridge for at least 8 hours or overnight. Marinating the meat for a longer period of time can enhance the flavor.
Preheat the Smoker
Set up the smoker according to the manufacturer’s instructions and preheat it to 180°F. This temperature is low and slow, which is ideal for jerky as it allows the meat to dry out without cooking it. Pellet smokers are popular for smoking jerky because they provide consistent heat and smoke.
Load the Smoker
Remove the marinated venison strips from the mixing bowl and place them on the smoker grates, making sure to space them apart so that smoke can circulate around them. If you have a smoker with multiple racks, you can stack the meat, but be sure to leave enough space for air to flow between the racks.
Smoke the Jerky
Smoke the venison for 2-3 hours or until it becomes pliable and chewy. The cooking time will depend on the thickness of the meat slices, but it is important to keep an eye on the meat to ensure that it doesn’t overcook and become too dry. You can use a meat thermometer to check the temperature of the jerky. The ideal temperature for beef jerky is around 160°F.
Cool and Store the Jerky
Once the jerky is done, remove it from the smoker and let it cool before enjoying it. Once it has cooled completely, you can store it in an airtight container for up to two weeks. It is important to store jerky properly to prevent it from spoiling. You can also freeze the jerky for long-term storage.
Tips For Making Smoked Venison Jerky
Here are a few tips that a beginner would want to know about making venison jerky.
When slicing the meat, make sure to cut it into even strips. This will help ensure that the meat dries evenly and that you don’t end up with some pieces that are overcooked and others that are undercooked.
While marinating the meat is an important step, it’s also essential not to over-marinate. Over-marinating can make the meat too salty and overpower the other flavors. So, stick to the recommended marinating time in the recipe.
Once the jerky is done, let it cool completely before storing it in an airtight container in a cool, dry place. This will help to extend the shelf life of your jerky and keep it fresh for longer. If you’re not planning to eat it right away, you can also freeze it for later use.
Related Jerky Recipes
- Smoked Beef Jerky Recipe
- Brisket Jerky Recipe
- Smoked Venison Roast
- Smoked Venison Tenderloin Recipe
- Smoked Moose Jerky
Smoked Venison Jerky Recipe
- Wood Pellets (mesquite)
- 2-3 lb Venison Roast
- 1/4 cup Organic soy sauce
- 1/4 cup Worcestershire sauce
- 2 tbsp Maple syrup
- 2 tsp black pepper
- 1 tsp garlic powder
- 1 tsp onion powder
- 1 tsp apple cider vinegar
- Begin by slicing partially frozen venison into thin strips (1/4" inch thickness).
- In a large mixing bowl, combine the soy sauce, Worcestershire sauce, garlic powder, onion powder, maple syrup, black pepper, and apple cider vinegar. Mix well to combine.
- Add the sliced venison to the marinade, making sure that each piece is fully coated. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and let it marinate in the fridge for at least 8 hours or overnight.
- Preheat your pellet smoker to 180°F. This is a low and slow temperature that will help the jerky to dry out without cooking it.
- Once the smoker is up to temperature, place the marinated venison strips onto the smoker grates. Make sure that they are spaced apart so that the smoke can circulate around them. No need to use any liquid smoke.
- Smoke the jerky for 2-3 hours or until it's pliable and chewy. This will depend on the thickness of your slices, but it's important to keep an eye on them so that it doesn't overcook and become too dry.
- Once the jerky is done, remove it from the smoker and let it cool. Enjoy right away or store in an airtight container for up to two weeks.
Smoked Venison Jerky FAQs
What Is Smoked Venison Jerky?
Smoked venison jerky is a type of jerky made from smoked venison. It is a popular snack food and can be made at home with a few simple ingredients and a smoker. It is typically made from lean cuts of venison, such as the neck, loin, or round steak.
How Is Smoked Venison Jerky Made?
Smoked venison jerky is made by smoking venison meat over a period of time. This can be done in a smoker or oven.
What does Smoked Venison Jerky taste like?
Smoked venison jerky has a smoky, slightly sweet flavor. It is chewy and slightly tough.
Is Smoked Venison Jerky good for you?
Yes, Smoked Venison Jerky is a good source of protein and low in fat. It is also a good source of zinc and iron.