Deer Jerky Recipe: How to Make the Best at Home

If you’re looking for a tasty and easy way to enjoy the flavors of wild game, look no further than deer jerky. Deer jerky is an incredibly flavorful snack that is perfect for any occasion, from camping trips to road trips or just as an afternoon treat! This recipe will show you how to make the best homemade deer jerky right in your own kitchen. With this simple method, you’ll have delicious snacks ready to go whenever you need them.

What is Deer Jerky?

Deer jerky is a type of dried meat made from venison. The preparation process involves marinating the meat in various seasonings before drying it out at low temperatures. The result is a chewy, smoky, and salty treat that can be stored for months without refrigeration. It’s a great source of protein and can be enjoyed on its own or used as an ingredient in other recipes.

Why Should You Make Deer Jerky At Home?

Making deer jerky at home has several benefits. First, it allows you to control what goes into your food. Unlike store-bought varieties, which may contain additives or preservatives, when you make your own jerky, you know exactly what’s in it. Plus, it’s cost effective; depending on where you get your ingredients, making your own deer jerky can be much cheaper than buying it pre-made. Finally, it’s an excellent way to use up excess meat or use less expensive cuts like ground venison.

Ingredients Needed To Make Deer Jerky

The basic ingredients needed to make deer jerky are relatively simple: venison, salt, sugar, spices, and water. For added flavor, you can also add Worcestershire sauce, liquid smoke, onion powder, garlic powder, pepper, or cayenne pepper.

Instructions On How To Prepare The Meat For Jerky Making

Before making your deer jerky, it’s important to prepare the meat correctly. Start by cutting the venison into thin strips about ¼ inch thick. Remove any fat or sinew from the strips as these can cause the jerky to spoil faster. Once all the fat is removed, place the strips in a bowl and cover with cold water. Let sit for 30 minutes to help draw out some of the blood and remove any gaminess. After soaking, drain the water and pat dry with paper towels.

Instructions On How To Dry The Deer Jerky

After preparing the meat, it’s time to start drying. Place the strips on wire racks so they aren’t touching each other and then set them in an oven set to 150°F (65°C). Allow the jerky to dry slowly over 6-10 hours until it reaches a texture you’re happy with – this could take longer depending on the thickness of the strips. If desired, flip the pieces halfway through the drying process to ensure even cooking.

Equipment Used To Make Deer Jerky

To make deer jerky at home, you’ll need a few pieces of equipment: baking sheets lined with parchment paper, wire racks for drying the strips of meat, an oven thermometer (for monitoring temperature), and optionally, a dehydrator or smoker for extra flavor.

Best Practices For Storing Deer Jerky Safely

Once your jerky is finished cooking, it should be cooled completely before being placed into airtight containers for storage. It’s important to keep your jerky away from heat and humidity to prevent spoilage. In general, it’s best to store the jerky at room temperature or in the refrigerator if you plan to eat it within two weeks.

Flavoring Options For Deer Jerky

One of the great things about making your own deer jerky is that you can customize the flavor however you want! Before beginning the drying process, you can mix together different herbs and spices to create unique flavor combinations. Popular options include teriyaki, black pepper, chili powder, smoked paprika, garlic powder, cumin, ginger, and rosemary.

Health Benefits Of Eating Deer Jerky

In addition to being incredibly flavorful and satisfying, deer jerky also has some impressive health benefits! Since it’s high in protein but low in calories and fat content, it makes a great snack for those watching their weight or trying to increase muscle mass. It’s also rich in B vitamins and minerals like iron and zinc, which help support energy levels throughout the day.

deer jerky recipe

FAQs About Making Deer Jerky

How long does homemade deer jerky last?

Homemade deer jerky typically lasts 1-2 months if stored properly in an airtight container. Refrigerating or freezing can extend its shelf life up to 6 months.

Is there anything else I can do with leftover venison?

Yes! Venison can be used in a variety of dishes such as stews, tacos, chilis, burgers, and more. Get creative and experiment with different seasonings and marinades for endless possibilities!


Whether you’re looking for a savory snack or something new to try with your favorite wild game meats, making your own deer jerky is sure to be a hit! Not only is it an economical choice compared to store bought options but you also have complete control over the flavors used. With this simple recipe in hand, you’ll be enjoying homemade deer jerky anytime you please!

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