Homemade Venison Jerky made from ground venison.
Jerky is the perfect snack food for hiking, skiing, school, road trips, and just everyday snacking. We don’t buy jerky anymore. Nope, it’s all homemade around here. Since we don’t raise beef, we use other available meat. We live in an area where hunting is prevalent. My husband and all three kids are hunters. This year we ended up with plenty of venison in our freezer. Not only do they hunt, but Rod and the kids butcher and process the meat as well. We have a lot of ground venison burger in our freezer….I mean A LOT! Rod used to make jerky just from roasts sliced thin. He still makes jerky like that. But one day we discovered a jerky gun at a store and he decided to give it a try. In the end the only real difference between sliced jerky and burger jerky is the burger jerky tends to be easier to take a bite and chew. It’s a great way for us to use up some of that burger in our freezer!
Rod made this jerky. He made a marinade – which I’d love to share with you all, but apparently it’s top secret! Actually it’s not top secret but I still can’t share it with you. See this is how Rod works…. a little red wine, some brown sugar, garlic powder, red pepper flakes, black pepper, more red wine….give a little taste….salt, onion powder, chili powder, fresh garlic….give a little taste. I tried to get him to measure and write it all down. It just seems to be an impossibility! So instead I will explain the process of making jerky to you. One day, IF I can nail down an actual recipe, I will share. In the meanwhile, I recommend you purchase a jerky seasoning mix. There are many available at outdoor stores (Cabella’s, Bass Pro Shops…) We often use elk meat too and this can easily be made with beef (if you use beef, select the leanest burger possible.) Fat can tend to turn rancid.
After Rod decides that the marinade is just right, he pours it over the ground meat and mixes it into the meat with his hands.
The meat should sit for 8-10 hours before drying. This gives a chance for the flavors to really develop.
Using a jerky gun, pipe thin layers of burger on dehydrator trays. We have found it works best to spray your trays with a very thin spray of non-stick spray first.
Dry in dehydrator. Drying takes 8-10 hours. Keep a close eye on it after 6 hours. We often need to rotate our trays so we get an even dry with all trays. Even with rotating, we still have some trays that dry quicker than the rest. Store in a paper bag at room temperature for up to a week (if it lasts that long!) Or place in a freezer safe bag and freeze until ready to use.