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Homemade Venison Jerky (Recipe)

If you are a hunter, or have hunters in the family, you may want to try making some venison jerky.  This is a simple and tasty way to preserve meat, and venison is an excellent choice for making jerky since it is low in fat, allowing for better dehydration.  All you will need to do is slice your meat, marinade, and then dehydrate.

There are two important things you will want to do to be able to easily slice your venison thinly.  The first is sharpening your knife.  A sharp knife makes cutting meat so much easier!  Then second is to freeze your meat for about an hour or so before you cut it.  It will be partially frozen, which makes the slicing much easier since the meat wont be squishing around.

Once your meat is sliced, it's pretty smooth sailing after that.  Just marinade it and then dehydrate it.  For this recipe, I used my Nesco dehydrator .  However, there are other methods of dehydration, such as using an oven or the power of the sun.  Whichever method you choose, you will want to be sure you have adequate heat and low humidity.  When the jerky is done, it should crack a little when you bend it in half.  If it breaks completely apart, you have probably left it in the dehydrator too long (it is still edible, but will be pretty dry).  If it only bends, but doesn't crack at all, you will want to dehydrate it a little longer.

Venison Jerky


3 Tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
1/4 cup soy sauce
3 Tablespoons water
1/2 Tablespoon salt
1/2 Tablespoon maple syrup
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1/2 teaspoon red pepper (cayenne)
1/2 teaspoon onion powder
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
1 lb. venison roast or loin, sliced into 1/8" to 1/4" thick strips

1.  Combine all ingredients except for the venison in a small sauce pan.  Heat gently on low, stirring until hot and ingredients are well combined.  Remove from heat and allow to cool to room temperature.

2.  Place the venison in a shallow dish or large, plastic zipper bag.  Pour in marinade, and stir meat to coat it well.

3.  Allow the meat to marinade for 12 hours in the refrigerator.

4.  Pour the meat into a colander, and allow it to drain for 15 minutes, tossing occasionally to shake the marinade off.

5.  Arrange meat strips on electric dehydrator trays.  Dehydrate at 160 degrees Fahrenheit for 4-12 hours.

6.  Store meat in an air-tight container for two to three months.  To increase shelf life, the jerky can be refrigerated or frozen.


  1. Your recipe is similar to mine. Sometimes I substitute dried habanero peppers for the cayenne. I've always used an oven, but is seems most people are using the dehydrator like you. Perhaps, I need to make a purchase. Thanks for the post.

    1. The dehydrator really does a nice job and I think it's more energy efficient than the oven, so in my opinion, a good investment.

      I've been into spicy stuff lately, so I may have to try your habanero idea!

    2. How many pounds of meat is that recipe for?

  2. I love getting my tags smoked each season. There's nothing quite like enjoying deer jerky for weeks after the hunt. One year we had so much jerky that it lasted until the next season and we ate it during the next hunt.

  3. I love jerky. I usually prepare beef jerky and all love it. But I have yet to try venison jerky. I will give it a try as soon as possible with my jerky dehydrator.


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