How to Make Deer Jerky:

The Ultimate Venison Recipe

Deer season is the best season. This magical time of year brings out chef-level creativity in hunters hoping to hone their cooking skills, but many are wary of dehydrating their venison.

This isn’t so surprising—making deer jerky is daunting if you’ve never done it before. Luckily, I’m here to help break the process down into bite-sized chunks.

Materials to Make Deer Jerky

- Venison - Dehydrator - Marinade - Knife - Paper towels - Storage containers

1. Trim the Meat

Trimming the meat is an essential first step. You want to remove any hair, tendons, fat caps, and pesky silverskin hanging on to the muscle. Tendons and silverskin aren’t edible.

2. Freeze the Meat

You don’t have to freeze the meat, but I highly recommend it. Wild game like deer often carries trichinella parasites, which can make you very sick. You can kill the parasites by freezing the meat for at least 30 days.

3. Slice the Meat

I like to slice mine ¼-inch thick, though some prefer thinner or thicker slices. If you cut it much thicker, it will take forever to dehydrate and may never dry thoroughly.

4. Shock the Meat

Don’t worry—shocking doesn’t require electricity. Simply fill a bowl with water and ice, then put your pre-cut meat inside. Leave it for five or ten minutes to soak in the water.

5. Marinate the Meat

The marinade adds flavor and tenderizes the meat by breaking down its muscle fiber. Since venison is so tough already, this is a vital step—jerky that hasn’t been marinated for long enough feels and tastes like the sole of an old shoe.

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