Hunting season always means one thing: if you get lucky and land yourself a big buck deer, then it’s delicious jerky time!
While deer meat is popularly used for stews and steaks, it’s actually really tasty if you make wild jerky with it. And when you use freshly caught meat to make it, well, it just takes it to the next level. Not just that, but deer jerky is also considered the ultimate road food and is perfect for on the go or at your camping adventures.
This article will walk you through the top methods and marinades to make the best deer jerky for your family.
Making Jerky with the Whole Deer
It takes hard work to hunt a whole deer and cut it and make jerky from it. However, when you bite into the chewy and flavorful meat, the effort is worthwhile. If this is your first time catching a deer, you should know about the different parts of its body that hold the most flavors and meat and what to do with them.
For example, the front shoulders provide meat that can be grounded and used for meatballs, sausages, or burger patties. You can even make use of the neck and ribs and roast them on a rack. The best areas to use for making jerky, however, are the following:
Bottom Round: This part of the deer is extremely flavorful and fatty, making it the perfect part to use for jerky.
Top Round: You can use this flavorful meat to make jerky and steaks.
Eye of Round: If you are looking to make the most flavorful and chewy jerky, then you should use this part of the deer.
Sirloin: Though normally used to make steaks, you can also use this lean meat to make flavorful jerky.
Top Ways to Make Deer Jerky
There are three main ways to make deer jerky, and we will teach you how to achieve the perfect flavors and chewy texture with all three of them.
Oven-Dried Venison Jerky
This has to be one of the easiest and quickest ways to cook venison jerky. All you need to do is add your desired marinade to the meat and leave it for a couple of hours, or preferably overnight. Then, place the strips of meat in a baking tray and let it cook for six to eight hours. Preheat the oven and cook the meat for ten minutes on 300F and then drop the temperature down to 160F for the remaining hours.
- Dehydrated Venison Jerky
This is another quick and super simple way to make jerky, but it requires a dehydrator. If you are looking to make extremely chewy jerky that you can carry with you on the go, then this is the perfect method for you. You can marinade your jerky and leave it overnight in a zip lock bag. Then, lay down your meat slices and dehydrate them in the machine for a couple of hours. Your dehydrator will likely give you instructions on how long to keep it for.
- Smoked Venison Jerky
Compared to the two methods, this one requires a slight bit more technique. This method infuses the smoke inside the meat while enhancing the flavors of the marinade you use.
To smoke your venison jerky, you will first need to trim off the fat from the meat. Then marinade it overnight and store it in the smoker while lightly oiling the racks. You will likely need to smoke it at a temperature between 160F to 200F for a couple of hours until your jerky dries up.
Best Marinades to Use
Now that you have chosen your preferred cooking method, you can use any of the following marinades. Mix the ingredients in a zip lock bag and add the venison strips to it. Refrigerate the zip lock bag to let the meat soak in the marinade.
For a bit more spicy and flavorful venison, you can follow this recipe. You will need these ingredients:
- 5 to 7 pounds venison roast
- 1 cup soy sauce
- 2/3 cup sugar
- One chopped onion
- Few cloves of chopped garlic
- One seven-ounce can of chipotles
- Juice from two limes
- 2 tbsp. salt
Bourbon Deer Jerky Marinade
This is a unique marinade that will bring out the flavors of the meat and give you a kick of bourbon at the same time. You will need the following ingredients:
- 1 pound top round venison
- 1/4 cup bourbon
- 2 tsp. liquid smoke hickory
- 1/4 tsp. salt
- 1 tsp. molasses
- 2 tbsp. brown sugar
- 1 tsp. cracked black pepper
- 2 tbsp. soy sauce
- 2 tbsp. Worcestershire sauce