venison jerky recipe

Easy-To-Chew, Richly-Flavored Venison Jerky Recipe

Need an easy-to-chew, richly-flavored venison jerky recipe? Wait, it’s a great duck and goose jerky recipe too!

Let’s make a list. Or two. There are two kinds of meat: red and white. Two kinds of jerky: sliced and ground.  Two kinds of people: those who like jerky, and those who’ve never tried it.  Those who buy jerky and those who make their own.  Those who love the chewiness and those who don’t. 

Let’s expand one of those lists.  According to John, there’s a third kind of meat: brown.  And under brown meat is most waterfowl, though he might be inclined to refer to the diving variety of waterfowl as green meat, but we won’t go there–today. (A good marinade or brine, and/or a good water smoker will make those divers quite tasty.) 

I would disagree with The World According to John about there being three kinds of meat, because good waterfowl–geese and ducks that have been feeding on grain all summer and fall, have been carefully drawn, rinsed and aged–are more like good red meat than not.  (John says he’s joking about the ‘brown’ meat: he’s a bit of a needler.)

Which brings up the point of this homemade venison jerky recipe: it’s a great venison jerky recipe, but it’s also a great goose recipe, and a great dabbling duck recipe.  There’s enough spice in the chili powder and Chipotle sauce to hide a not-so-favorite-wild-animal/gamy-flavor, and enough other ingredients to make this an easy chewing, rich tasting jerky.  And while there’s no marinating here, it is burger jerky so if you own a jerky gun, this is a really fast, throw-it-together wild game recipe that comes out incredibly easy to chew.  And I’m guessing if you’re like my friend, Jeff John, you may have to rethink your aversion to French’s Fried Onions, the un-secret ingredient to the ubiquitous Thanksgiving Day Green Bean Casserole.  I sent Jeff a couple of samples recently, and he emailed me back:

Two things I never thought I’d eat again were those canned French Fried onions (several decades of green beans, canned mushroom soup and soggy onions every special occasion) or bologna (too many baloney on Wonder as a kid). But those samples you sent using them in jerky changed my mind.

If the only thing you’re using French’s Crispy Fried Onions for is a green bean casserole, you’re missing out on an incredible jerky.  Now the egg yolks in this recipe do add fat, so freezer life will be a bit shorter–just as when you add beef fat to a jerky.  But my guess is this jerky will never make it into the freezer, much less sit there long enough to get freezer-burned.

PS: Yes, there’s also a baloney jerky in Stalking the Wild Jerky. Here’s the link:

Wild Game Jerky Recipes

French’s Fried Onion Burger Venison Jerky Recipe

For 1½ pounds ground venison or ground goose/duck meat


  • 1½ pounds ground big game meat
  • 2 tablespoons Chipotle Tabasco Sauce
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 cups French’s Crispy Fried Onions
  • 2 tablespoons ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt


Mix the ingredients together well, and place in a tightly sealed plastic bag or storage container.  Let it sit overnight in the refrigerator to let the flavor develop.  To taste: cook a 1-inch ball of mix for 15-20 seconds in the microwave. (A coffee cup is the perfect holder, as the sides are high enough to contain the splatters–and mess.) 


  1. Shape the jerky with a jerky gun and arrange the jerky strips on grids over foil-lined drip pans. Preheat the oven to 160°F* and cook about 3-4 hours. 
  2. Let the jerky cool and air dry in the turned-off oven or on the counter, for 6-8 hours, then store in resealable plastic bags.  You can store your jerky in the fridge for 2-3 weeks, or in the freezer up to 3 months.

* Please check your oven to make sure it will operate at 160F; some newer ovens don’t go that low. If yours only goes to 220F, cut cooking time 1/3; to 180 only 10 to 15 minutes.

4 replies
  1. Eileen Clarke
    Eileen Clarke says:

    Thought I was going to make a batch of SOMETHING long before this, but found top round on sale, extra time on my hands, and took the plunge using the Pepper & WoosterShoosterShire recipe. Came out pretty darn good. At first I thought it was too heavy on flavor on account of being for venison, but likely marinating for 72 hours instead of 48 is the cause. Whatever. I can’t stop eating it.

    The lack of additional salt other recipe books call for (no doubt so it will have a half life close to uranium) rates high. It’s not like it will last until Christmas, let alone Christmas 2050, and the recipe calling for one pound of meat was about all I had infrastructure for (racks, pans and oven space).

    Not sure what I’ll try next, but I will work my way through some more!

    Thanks and Merry Christmas to you and John!
    Jeff John
    Visit the Art in Arms Website!

    Funny, two things I never thought I’d eat again were those canned French Fried onions (several decades of green beans, canned mushroom soup and soggy onions every special occasion) or bologna (too many baloney on Wonder as a kid). But those samples you sent using them in jerky changed my mind.

  2. Dale
    Dale says:

    I’ve gotten away from grinding venison as the sinew tends to clog the old grinder I’ve been using. I now freeze venison in large pieces and cut it into the desired size during the thawing process. Do you have a recommendation for a grinder which is less prone to clogging?

    • Eileen Clarke
      Eileen Clarke says:

      I know that frustration. But I really like ground meat jerky and hate having to trim every little bit of sinew…. Also hate taking the grinder apart to remove the sinew. So years ago we invested in a 1/2 horse power grinder from Cabela’s and it’s one of the best things we’ve ever done. Cost about $450, 15 years ago, and I have no idea if they carry that brand anymore.
      If I had to replace this grinder I’d go to a well-respected sausage shop locally, and see what they had for sale. Our local, Sausage Equipment & Supply is in Three Forks Mt, only 20 miles away. I trust Carla Dean both in what she carries, and what she recommends…. If you don’t have anyone near you, Carla’s number for ordering is: 406-285-3420


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