How To Make Deer Jerky In A Dehydrator, Smoker, and Oven
On the first day of making deer jerky, slice choice venison at a quarter to half-an-inch thickness. The strips should be cut from low-fat portions of the deer. Fat reduces the shelf life of jerky. All visible fat must be sliced from venison parts before slicing it for jerky slices.
This next step is one many people skip despite advice from the USDA. Heat the slices at 160 F until they ooze fat all over. Before dehydration, dry the slices of the fat they ooze. This step is not only useful in killing pathogens; it also rids jerky of excess fat.
The next step is marinating. Marinate the slices in a marinade of choice. Bag the slices in the marinade and refrigerate overnight for the best results. On the next day, pat them down off excess marinade before dehydration. You will save on dehydration time.
A. How To Make Venison Jerky In The Oven
Pre-heat oven to about 160 F or 280 F. Arrange the strips in such a way that they do not touch. They should be on a tray with drainage holes that will drain away any fat that oozes. Dehydrate for 5 hours for 280 Degrees heat or 8 hours for 160 Degrees heat.
The target is to achieve an internal temperature of 160 F in each strip. 280 Degrees is faster but chewier. That is how to make venison jerky in the oven.
B. How To Make Deer Jerky In A Dehydrator
For a dehydrator, turn it to 160 F. Arrange slices in the trays in a mosaic pattern (no strip should be directly above another). Allow the slices to dry for about 4 hours and use the bend test mentioned above. You may have to turn the slices halfway through for a more even dehydration. Always note the time it takes to dehydrate jerky in your specific equipment.
The information will come handy in future. Now Let us look at
C. How To Make Venison Jerky In A Smoker
Meat should only be introduced to the smoker when it has reached 165 F. You can lay the slices flat on the rack. I, however, prefer to hang the slices. I have found hanged slices to have a more evenly distributed smoky’s taste. Smoke the slices for 6-7 hours. Keep on checking when the jerky will be ready and always note the time it takes for your smoker to smoke different meat jerky.
Ground deer meat is also very popular in making deer jerky. Let us look at how to make deer jerky from ground meat.
D. How To Make Deer Jerky From Ground Meat
Ground venison is fine. Marinating it, therefore, takes very little time. Mixing it in a marinade for ten minutes is enough to marinate it thoroughly.
Pack the seasoned venison into any jerky gun of choice.
N.B.: Be careful to eliminate any air pockets in the jerky gun.
Using the jerky gun, press the meat onto racks. The meat separation should be about a quarter of an inch. Depending on dehydration equipment of choice (smoker, dehydrator, or oven) follow the steps a, b, or c above.
How long to dehydrate ground deer jerky will vary with the type of grind you use for deer meat i.e finely ground or coarsely ground. The latter dehydrates slower in my experience though I have heard otherwise.
To be sure, just apply the bend test when the meat turns brown to come up with a time frame.
E. How To Make Venison Jerky Sticks
The jerky can also come in handy when making jerky sticks. The stick making procedure is similar to making jerky from ground meat. After marinating, however, the gun presses the meat into casings of desired sizes. The sticks can be dehydrated or roasted. I love the roasted version. That would be how to make venison jerky sticks using jerky guns.
Next time you catch a deer, try out all the mini-recipes here. Tell us what you thought of each and also comment on the accuracy of our Predictions on how long to dehydrate deer jerky.