Venison Jerky Recipe

I like to slice venison with the grain, no matter which cut of meat I’m using. This makes for more chewable jerky. Remove as much fat and membrane as you can.

Yield: 2 ½ pounds venison jerky

Prep time: 20 minutes
Cook time: 8-10 hours


  • 5 pounds venison muscle, sliced ¼-inch thick with grain
  • 1 teaspoon pink curing salt #1
  • 4 ounces soy sauce
  • 4 ounces Worcestershire sauce
  • 4 ounces molasses
  • 8 tablespoon brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 2 tablespoons garlic powder
  • 2 tablespoons onion powder
  • 2 tablespoons Dale’s Steak Seasoning liquid
  • 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 2 tablespoon sriracha sauce
  • 3 tablespoon fresh cracked black pepper
  • 4 tablespoon pink Himalayan sea salt
  • 2 tablespoon pure vanilla extract (not artificial)
  • Juice of 1 lemon

Liquid for soaking wood chips for smoker:

  • 1 cup bourbon
  • 2 vanilla beans or 2 tablespoons real vanilla extract
  • 1 cup water


1. Mix all ingredients, except venison, in a large pot and heat until all sugar is melted. Cool, then add venison and refrigerate or freeze for at least 72 hours.

2. If you have a smoker, mix the liquid ingredients together and soak wood chips in it, then follow your smoker’s directions. If not, place venison on racks and heat your oven to 160 degrees. Before placing racks of venison in the oven, mix 1 ounce bourbon and 1 ounce pure vanilla and spray mixture on venison.

3. Cook venison jerky for about 8 to 10 hours at 160 degrees.

Traditional jerky is made of strips of meat. But a “jerky gun” will make ground venison jerky that’s easier to chew. (Mark Kayser photo)

Alternative Method:

Some people prefer venison jerky that’s made of ground meat, rather than actual slices of muscle. For that, just use the above ingredients, but cut meat into 1-inch chunks and then marinate. After marinating 72 hours, grind the meat and use a “jerky gun” to form jerky strips. Simply follow the jerky gun instructions and you’ll love the results.

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