Marinated Venison Jerky

Barbecue Marinated Venison Jerky Strips

Barbecue Marinated Venison Jerky Strips: A venison jerky recipe with all of the things we love–even a nod to Cinqo de Mayo!  This one is from my wild game cookbook, Stalking the Wild Jerky, that has 100 recipes for all kinds of jerky.  There’s a bacon jerky for wild turkey breast, and a venison jerky recipe with a Canadian whiskey marinade. Goose breast? There’s a jerky for that too: Fresh Jalapeno & Curry hot enough for you?  How about Maple Goose Jerky? A goose breast recipe that is sweet and spicy all at once.  Game bird recipes, big game recipes, venison marinades, jerky recipes galore: https://www.riflesandrecipes.com/product/wild-game-jerky-recipes/

This venison jerky  is a dynamic, full-bodied homemade jerky that hits a lot of high spots.  And it’s easy to make.  But there is a trick, and it’s a simple trick: Don’t overcook it.

I say that and you nod your head, but I’ve seen it too often. And it’s easy to do.  For one thing, if you have a fairly new oven in your house, there’s no way to set the oven to 160⁰F, my recommended temperature.  My oven will do it, but mine’s 20 years old. I didn’t have a clue this would be a problem until one of my neighbors tried to reproduce the bologna jerky in my book.  Eric and his neighbor Ron are our tree experts, and the day the bologna jerky got perfected, they were taking care of a large limb that had broken off  the huge Boxelder in our front yard.  I brought a handful of jerky out for them to try, and Eric loved it, asked me to put him on the list for the jerky book and, as soon as he had it in hand, made a batch. Eric never said anything to me, but Ron said he’d overcooked it.  New stove.  So there’s now a stick-on label in the front of the wild jerky cook book warning people to check just what is the lowest temperature their oven can be set at.

That’s one reason people overcook jerky.  There are others.  For one thing, jerky looks less cooked when it’s still warm from the oven.  And if it has soy sauce, ketchup or brown sugar (this one has all three) or has been brined before cooking, it will look wetter (read less cooked) even when it’s completely cool.

Good jerky is cooked, so it’s safe to eat, and bendable.  Not floppy, but not brittle when cool. You should be able to hold a 6-inch length of jerky without it sagging.  And you should be able to tear it apart without seeing lots of white threads at the tear.  (That’s a sign of being too dry.)

If your jerky is too dry, or you’ve never made it before, start by mixing a batch of jerky. Set a oven thermometer on the middle rack of your oven then preheat it as low as it will go. Put one or two pieces of jerky on a mesh metal tray, and set a timer.  At 160F, if you sliced the meat ¼ inch thick, it should take 3 to 3 ½ hours to cook; if they’re thicker a bit more, thinner, less.  If your oven only goes to 200⁰F, about 25% more heat, you’ll need to cut cooking time by about ½ hour.

When the timer goes off, remove the jerky from the oven and let it cool on the metal tray to room temperature.  Then test it: does it flop? Then you need more cooking. Did it crack, leaving dry white threads of meat at the cracked edges? Overdone.     Can you hold a strip of jerky at each end and bend it? Without cracking?  Then let it air cool some more.  It’s done. (The photo you clicked on to get here, is finished jerky. Despite the moist look.)

Timing isn’t a matter of split seconds here. But it isn’t arbitrary. There are variables, from how thick or thin your slices, to what temperature your oven is operating at. But with a test run or two, of one or two pieces of jerky, all that can be de-mystiphied.  Then write it down so you don’t forget.  I know a lot of people don’t like to write in books, but this is a very good reason to do it.

Two notes before you start mixing: I used low-sodium soy sauce not because I’m cutting the salt flavor, but I want to use enough hickory smoked salt to give this the flavor of smoked barbecue jerky–without having to babysit a smoker all day  long. Second, the easiest way to slice the jerky thin is to do it while the meat is semi-frozen. That firmness will make cutting safer for your fingers, and help make the cuts uniform in thickness so each slice of jerky cooks at the same speed as every other one.

As for the smoked salt, I often find it in grocery stores these days, but if you can’t find it there, it’s available at AmericanSpice.com.

Barbecue Marinated Venison Jerky Strips

Ingredients

  • 1 ½ to 2 pounds hind quarter meat
  • ½ cup brown sugar
  • ½ cup ketchup
  • ½ cup low sodium soy sauce
  • 4 teaspoons chili powder
  • 1 tablespoon hickory smoked salt
  • 1 teaspoon dry mustard powder
  • 1 teaspoon red pepper flakes

Preparation

  1. Slice the meat across the grain (for more tender jerky) ¼-inch thick.  Put it in a large bowl.
  2. Combine the rest of the ingredients in a separate bowl, adding half the smoked salt, then testing it, and adding more until you’re happy.  Don’t add more salt or red pepper in the mistaken impression that the meat will dilute the flavors somehow.  It doesn’t. The flavor you have before you add the marinade to the meat, is the flavor. Period.
  3. Swish the meat around in the marinade. Cover and refrigerate 24-48 hours to let the flavors develop. If the meat is tougher than you’d like, let it marinate 72 hours.  The smoked salt and soy sauce both will help tenderize it.
  4. Preheat the oven to 180°F. Arrange the jerky strips on a metal screen, leaving space between the strips so air can circulate freely.  (I’ve used real jerky cooking screens as well as metal cookie cooling racks. The cookie racks tend to lose a solder or two but, as a cookie baker, they’re already in my pantry.)
  5. Cook about 6 hours, until the jerky is still moist enough to not break when you bend it, but is also dry enough to easily tear off a bite.  It should not be like a hockey puck!
  6. Cool the jerky on the screen/cooling rack 24 hours to rid it of moisture, then store in re-sealable bags in the fridge or freeze vacuum packs.
Barbecue Marinated Venison Jerky Strips | Rifles and Recipes

Try this delicious barbecue marinated venison jerky today. It's sure to be a family favorite for years to come.

Type: appetizer

Cuisine: American

Keywords: venison jerky, barbecue venison marinade

Recipe Yield: 1.5 - 2lbs

Recipe Ingredients:

  • 1 ½ to 2 pounds hind quarter meat
  • ½ cup brown sugar
  • ½ cup ketchup
  • ½ cup low sodium soy sauce
  • 4 teaspoons chili powder
  • 1 tablespoon hickory smoked salt
  • 1 teaspoon dry mustard powder
  • 1 teaspoon red pepper flakes

Recipe Instructions:

Preparation:

  • Slice the meat across the grain (for more tender jerky) ¼-inch thick. Put it in a large bowl.
  • Combine the rest of the ingredients in a separate bowl, adding half the smoked salt, then testing it, and adding more until you’re happy. Don’t add more salt or red pepper in the mistaken impression that the meat will dilute the flavors somehow. It doesn’t. The flavor you have before you add the marinade to the meat, is the flavor. Period.
  • Swish the meat around in the marinade. Cover and refrigerate 24-48 hours to let the flavors develop. If the meat is tougher than you’d like, let it marinate 72 hours. The smoked salt and soy sauce both will help tenderize it.
  • Preheat the oven to 180°F. Arrange the jerky strips on a metal screen, leaving space between the strips so air can circulate freely. (I’ve used real jerky cooking screens as well as metal cookie cooling racks. The cookie racks tend to lose a solder or two but, as a cookie baker, they’re already in my pantry.)
  • Cook about 6 hours, until the jerky is still moist enough to not break when you bend it, but is also dry enough to easily tear off a bite. It should not be like a hockey puck!
  • Cool the jerky on the screen/cooling rack 24 hours to rid it of moisture, then store in re-sealable bags in the fridge or freeze vacuum packs.

Editor's Rating:
5
0 replies

Leave a Reply

Want to join the discussion?
Feel free to contribute!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *