High in protein and low in fat, jerky has become a hugely popular snack, but there are problems with commercially-made jerky. It’s expensive, high in sodium, and is made with a limited number of flavors, both in meat and in seasoning. Homemade jerky, however, means you’re able to use your own game or fish or locally-sourced meat, and allows you to include a huge variety of flavor or marinade options. Spicy turkey, savory tofu, and soy and brown sugar venison are just a few of the flavor options presented in The Complete Book of Jerky by Philip Hasheider. Hasheider is a butchery expert, and in his book he not only lists dozens of jerky recipes, but also details basic butchery for various meats, how different muscles on different meat translates into jerky, and ways to prepare jerky in a food dehydrator or smoker. Marinated, flavored, or plain and simple, learn how to make the snack you crave.
1. Classic Venison Jerky Recipe
• 2 pounds lean venison, sliced into 1-1/4-inch thick strips
• 2 tablespoons salt
• 2 tablespoons soy sauce
• 1-1/2 tablespoons dark brown sugar
• 4 cloves garlic, minced
• 2 teaspoons ground black pepper
In a nonmetallic container, mix the salt, soy sauce, brown sugar, minced garlic, and black pepper. Place the meat strips in the marinade and evenly coat. Place the strips on oven racks or dehydrator trays and refrigerate for 24 hours. Using one of these four methods, dry the meat. Make sure the meat reaches an internal temperature of 160 degrees F. Remove, let cool, and store in sealed jars in the refrigerator.
2. Big-Batch Venison Jerky
• 5 pounds lean venison, sliced into 1/4-inch thick strips
• 1 cup soy sauce
• 1/2 cup Worcestershire sauce
• 2 tablespoons liquid smoke
• 1/2 tablespoon salt
• 1/2 tablespoon ground black pepper
In a nonmetallic container, mix the soy sauce, Worcestershire sauce, and liquid smoke. Add the meat strips and coat all sides. Cover and marinate 8 hours or overnight in refrigerator. Drain off the marinade and arrange the strips on oven racks or dehydrator trays. Mix the salt and pepper in a shaker and sprinkle evenly onto one side of strips. Turn over and sprinkle the other side. Using one of these four methods, dry the meat. Make sure the meat reaches an internal temperature of 160 degrees F. Remove, let cool, and store in sealed jars in the refrigerator.
Find Hasheider's four methods of drying jerky here:
Homemade Jerky Drying Methods
Reprinted with permission from The Complete Book of Jerky: How to Process, Prepare, and Dry Beef, Venison, Turkey, Fish and Moreby Philip Hasheider, published byQuarto Publishing Group, 2015.