How To: Make Deer Jerky

By | November 1, 2016
From Xplor: November/December 2016

It’s easy to turn the deer you harvested into a delicious and nutritious snack.

Here's What You Need

  • 2 pounds of deer meat (Any lean cut of meat will work. Most people use meat from the deer’s leg such as round steak or rump roast.)
  • Sharp knife and a cutting board
  • Meat tenderizing hammer
  • 1/3 cup teriyaki sauce
  • 1/3 cup soy sauce
  • 1/3 cup Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 teaspoon red pepper flakes (optional)
  • Zip-top plastic bag
  • Aluminum foil
  • Shallow cake pan or cookie sheet
  • An adult to help you

Here’s What You Do

  1. Place the meat in the freezer for an hour. This will make it easier to slice.
  2. Slice the meat into thin strips, no thicker than a quarter of an inch.
  3. Mix together the teriyaki, soy, and Worcestershire sauce. If you like spicy jerky, add a teaspoon of hot pepper flakes. Pour the marinade in a zip-top bag and add the meat.
  4. Seal the bag and slosh everything around to mix things up. Leave the bag in the refrigerator overnight (or for at least 3 hours).
  5. Set your oven to its lowest temperature, ideally no higher than 200 degrees. Lay strips of meat over the oven rack. Place a shallow cake pan or cookie sheet under the meat to catch drips. Use a wad of aluminum foil to prop open the door of the oven. Air must flow through the oven to help dry out the meat.
  6. Leave the meat in the oven for 4 to 6 hours. You’ll know it’s finished when it bends but doesn’t break, like leather. Be sure the jerky isn’t juicy. If you see any wetness, the meat should cook longer.
  7. Let the jerky cool before putting it in storage bags. Jerky will last for a week unrefrigerated as long as you store it in a cool, dry place. It will keep up to six months if you store it in the fridge.

Pro Tip: Cutting the meat with the grain (so the muscle fibers run lengthwise) will make the jerky chewier. Cutting against the grain (so the muscle fibers face the knife blade) will make the jerky more crumbly. To make the jerky more tender, pound out each strip with a meat tenderizing hammer. This also helps the meat absorb the flavors of the marinade.

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This Issue's Staff

Bonnie Chasteen
Les Fortenberry
Karen Hudson
Angie Daly Morfeld
Noppadol Paothong
Marci Porter
Mark Raithel
Laura Scheuler
Matt Seek
David Stonner
Nichole LeClair Terrill
Stephanie Thurber
Cliff White