Venison Jerky-PROTEIN TO GO!

Venison Jerky

Venison Jerky

The bounty of fall keeps rolling in, it started in August with a beautiful CA blacktail, September was the tastiest blacktail ever from San Juan Island and October brought an Idaho triple with elk, whitetail and a mule deer.  Needless to say, the smoker has been smoking at full speed these days.

Camp Chef Smoke Vault with Peterson’s Alder pucks

Jerky is a favorite in our family, not only because it is incredibly tasty but because it is the easiest on-the-go protein source around.

It also cuts way down on freezer space – I actually did the math and found that 50 pounds of venison smoked down to about 13.5 pounds of jerky.  (It may have been a little more as the smoker thieves kept sneaking warm jerky right out of the smoker… I know who you are!)

Although we have developed countless recipes for jerky and love experimenting with new and exciting flavors, when we have a lot of jerky to make, we stick to the family favorite.  It’s a recipe Scott came up with when he was in high school and it works great on any type of venison, turkey and waterfowl.  Morton Tenderquick is a great curing salt but if you don’t have it, Morton Sugar Cure or Canning & Pickling Salt will work just fine.

Easy Venison Jerky

  • 2-3 pounds venison, 1/3″ thickness
  • 1 quart water
  • 1/4 cup Morton Tenderquick or Pickling & Canning Salt
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar (up to 3/4 if you want a sweeter jerky)
  • 1 tablespoon granulated garlic
  • 1 tablespoon black pepper
  • 2 teaspoons liquid smoke (optional)

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 (vacuum seal) if storing for an extended period of time.

Cabela's Vacuum Sealer

Another great jerky method is using ground game in a jerky gun.  Go to for step-by-step directions.

I would love to hear from you!  Please contact me through this website with any comments or questions.  You can also find me on Facebook and Twitter.  Enjoy!



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