Our smoker is literally going full-bore, or should we say, full-boar? After Scott’s successful hog shoot in California, we’ve been making one of our favorite things, wild boar jerky. After the pig was smoked up, it was time to get some stuff out of the freezer so out came the ducks and the bear meat from last fall. Tomorrow we tackle any hidden elk or deer roasts in the back of the deep freeze.
Of all the jerky recipes we like to use, and there are many (9 are included in our book, Cooking Big Game), we have one that we use the most. This recipe is one Scott developed when he was in high school. It’s easy and we always have all the ingredients on hand. Seems that when it’s time to put the meat into the brine (usually around 11 pm) we don’t often feel all that creative. And sometimes, being creative isn’t that important – this jerky is so good that no creativity is needed. It has just the right amount of sweet, salty and pepper flavors. There is no overbearing spice so the flavor of the meat stands out nicely.
If you happen to have a fresh pig in the cooler or some waterfowl or big game in the freezer – get out that smoker and get to smokin’!
- 2-3 pounds meat (wild boar, venison, duck, bear, etc)
- 1 quart water
- 1/4 cup Morton Tenderquick
- 1/2 cup brown sugar
- 2 teaspoons granulated garlic
- 2 teaspoons liquid smoke
When slicing meat for jerky, the traditional cut is in strips that go with the grain. For an easy to chew cut, meat can be sliced across the grain. In a large ceramic or glass bowl, mix all brine ingredients with a wire whisk until salt and sugar are dissolved. Add meat, mix thoroughly, and put a plate on top to be sure all meat remains submerged. Soak 8-10 hours, stirring occasionally. Drain brine and remove meat. Do not rinse meat. Pat dry or place on racks and let air dry for up to 1 hour. Follow smoking directions on your smoker. Cooking times vary greatly and depend on make and model of smoker and outside weather conditions. Try to keep the temperature of the smoker between 150º and 200º. Check for doneness after 3 hours. Larger cuts of jerky can be finished on a baking sheet in the oven at 165º, check every 15 minutes. When jerky is done, place in a glass bowl and cover with plastic wrap until cool. Keep refrigerated or freeze if storing for an extended period of time.
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