Making good venison jerky is a lot of trial and error, and depending on your taste can take several iterations before getting it to your expectations. But there are a few STEPS you can take to reach those expectations much faster.
When it comes to seasonings, everyone has a different expectation, such as; sweet, spicy, dry, sticky, salty, smoky, or several other flavors or combination of flavors. But what method, wet or dry, is best for seasoning the meat? Use both for better results!
Dry Rub Seasoning
When making jerky out of whole meats first cut your strips into ¼” thick slices. Now add your dry seasonings to both sides of your venison and let this set in the refrigerator for 4 hours.This is one of the STEPS I was talking about above, it will improve the flavor and increase your odds of getting a good tasting jerky every time.
The dry seasonings I use are; Curing Salt, Regular Salt, Garlic Powder, Onion Powder, Chili Powder, Red pepper, Black Pepper, Cajun Pepper, and Brown Sugar.
*Note, use the pepper to your liking, but do not add too much on the dry meat as another STEP is to add your pepper after the wet seasonings and when it’s on the tray ready for the dehydrator. You could even skip this step in your dry seasonings.
Now that our meat has set for 4 hours with our dry seasoning we are ready for the wet seasonings. For this recipe we will make a Sweet & Spicy Teriyaki Jerky. The ingredients are; Worcestershire, Molasses (Sorghum), Maple Syrup, Lemon Juice, soy sauce, Teriyaki, Liquid Smoke. Now let this set in the refrigerator overnight, 8 to 12 hours is good.
*Note, the salt cure and following the STEPS I high-lighted are the key, all other spices and seasoning are to your taste.
Now that your venison has set over night in the wet seasonings we need to prepare it for the dehydrator. First take the meat out of the wet seasonings and place it on one or two of your trays in the sink and leave it for 10 minutes, we want to let the excess drip off into the sink and not our dehydrator as this makes a mess. Now place your strips on to your clean trays and season with your peppers, this STEP will create the best results for a Spicy Jerky. Now we are ready for the Honey. Place a small, very small drip-line of honey over each strip of meat. Too much and it will flow off onto the bottom of your dehydrator. After the venison has dehydrated for half of the time flip each piece and add a small, very small line of honey on this side. After the meat has dried for another hour we will add honey once more.
*Note, you will get some honey to drip and fall to the bottom of you dehydrator. I can not stress enough on using a small amount each time and letting it build up on your jerky. Use multiple applications if needed. The Jerky should have enough honey to make it tacky.
Sweet & Spicy Teriyaki Jerky Recipe
Whole Meats 1 lb
2 tbs of Brown Sugar
2 tbs of Worcestershire
2 tbs of Molasses (Sorghum)
2 tbs of Maple Syrup
1 tbs of Curing Salt
1 tbs of Lemon Juice
1 tbs of Chili Powder
1 tsp of Regular Salt
1 tsp of Garlic Powder
1 tsp of Onion Powder
Red pepper, Black Pepper, Cajun Pepper to your taste.
1/4 cup of soy sauce
1/2 cup of Teriyaki
2 tsp of Liquid Smoke (If want)
Add Honey on the meat during dehydration. Multiple applications.