How to Make Venison Jerky and Can Deer Meat

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Join Extension Agent Margie Mansure and self-proclaimed “Food Fan” Eric Stafford as they show you how to make venison jerky and can deer meat in this 24-minute video.

Hunting Season is About to Open Throughout

North Carolina

While freezing is the easiest way to preserve meat, pressure canning is an option that allows you to safely store it at room temperature, if correctly processed. You can find step-by-step instructions at the National Center for Home Food Preservation website.

This venison jerky tastes great. Good to take on a hike or hunting trip.

Making Jerky

Partially freeze meat to make slicing easier. Slice meat no thicker than ¼ inch. Trim and discard all fat from meat because it becomes rancid quickly. If a chewy jerky is desired, slice with the grain. Slice across the grain if a more tender, brittle jerky is preferred. The meat can be marinated for flavor and tenderness.

 Jerky Marinade

  • 1 1/2 – 2 pounds of lean meat (beef, pork or venison)
  • 1/4 cup soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 1/4 teaspoon each of black pepper and garlic powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1 teaspoon hickory smoke-flavored salt

Combine all ingredients. Marinate under refrigeration 1-2 hours or overnight.

To make nearly 2 cups of marinade for heating step combine:

  • 1 ½ cups soy sauce
  • 6 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 ½ teaspoon each black pepper and garlic powder
  • 3 teaspoons onion powder
  • 6 teaspoons liquid smoke

Bring to a rolling boil. Add meat strips and reheat to a full boil. Boil for one minute. Remove from the heat and place strips on drying rack.

Drying the Meat

Place the slices close together, but not touching or overlapping on dehydrator trays at 140ºF. Dry until a test piece cracks but does not break when it is bent. Begin checking samples after 2 hours. Once drying is completed, pat off any beads of oil with clean, absorbent towels and cool. Package in glass jars or heavy plastic food storage bags.