Look far and wide, and you won’t find a snack as perfect as venison jerky. It’s handy, healthy, and super easy to make. I love to have jerky on hand through the hunting season. It’s the perfect grab-n-go snack for the deer stand, duck blind, or hunting camp.
There’s plenty of options on the market for spice blends, tools, and methods, but below I’ll share what I’ve used to make jerky, particularly a killer spicy lime venison jerky kit that’s hard to beat.
What You’ll Need to Get Started
The beauty of making jerky is that it can be done with minimal tools, or you can go all out with a commercial dehydrator. You can make jerky without having a dehydrator by simply cooking it in the kitchen oven with the door cracked open. I’ve used the oven method, as well as compact dehydrators, large commercial dehydrators, and even the smoker. They all work well, but I typically rely on the smaller home dehydrator for its ease of use and quick clean up.
A jerky gun also makes things quick and easy when you are making jerky from ground venison. It’s simple enough my kids usually tackle this part of the task. The jerky gun allows you to make consistent jerky pieces easier than anything else I’ve used, and it eliminates the process of having to do any cutting or slicing of meat.
I also like to use a digital scale to accurately measure out the pounds of meat I need for the most consistency with spices.
Meat the Need
I’ve made jerky from thinly cut slices of meat, as well as from ground meat. The ground meat option is quick and easy, particularly when using the jerky gun mentioned above. It’s my preferred way to make jerky, so that’s what we’ll look at here.
I typically make at least 5 pounds of jerky at a time. I use the digital scale to weigh out exactly 5 pounds of ground venison before mixing up my spices and cure.
For this batch of jerky, I’m using the Spicy Lime blend from Hi Mountain Seasonings. It’s an easy jerky kit blend, with great flavor, that simply requires you to mix the seasoning and the cure to your ground meat.
The jerky kit you choose will having mixing rates. For this kit, I add 3 ½ tablespoons of seasoning mixed with 3 tablespoons and 1 teaspoon of the cure to 5 pounds of ground venison.
Add up to ¼ cup of ice water per pound of meat. Mix meat, water and seasoning thoroughly for approximately 5 minutes.
You can customize or enhance the flavor of your jerky by adding seasonings such as garlic, pepper, onion, jalapeno, or any other powdered spice depending on your preference.
After mixing, wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 4 hours, or overnight.
The Big Gun
If you have a jerky gun, simply load the canister with meat and you’re ready to go. A jerky gun makes things much easier and more consistent as you make jerky strips for the dehydrator.
Load the meat into your dehydrator and run for 3-5 hours depending on how dry you prefer your jerky.
So whether you’re making jerky to give away as gifts over the holidays, or just stocking up for your own use on upcoming deer and duck hunts, making your own jerky is a much more cost effective means of obtaining the tasty meat you want.
Use the simple jerky kits available at your local grocery store, as well as the tools and technique mentioned above to make the best snack meat of the season.