Homemade Venison Jerky Recipes

While beef remains the most popular version of jerky, preparing venison is a similar process and results in an equally delicious snack.

| July 2016

Plate of jerky

Jerky is lightweight, easily portable, and provides protein and energy for even the most active lifestyle.

Photo by Fotolia/HandmadePictures

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 (Quarto Publishing Group, 2015) 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.

You can purchase this book from the MOTHER EARTH NEWS store: The Complete Book of Jerky.

1. Classic Venison Jerky Recipe


• 2 pounds lean venison, sliced into 1-1/4-inch thick strips
• Marinade
• 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.

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