By Jenny Nguyen-Wheatley
Sweet, tangy and spicy, this venison jerky won’t last long. The pineapple juice gives this jerky a layer of fruit flavor while the jalapeño powder provides a gentle and savory spiciness. If jalapeño powder is hard to find in stores, you can order it online.
In my opinion, a deer’s hindquarters provide the best cuts to make jerky. On younger deer and does, I typically save these large muscles for steaks, but on older deer, making jerky is the next best thing to grinding.
The eye of round, and top and bottom rounds on a deer’s hindquarters are lean, solid pieces of meat that have no silver skin running through them. The sirloin is suitable as well, but try to get out the bit of silver skin that runs through this group of muscles. Silver skin will make your jerky extra tough.
Yield: Approximately 1 pound of venison jerky
Prep time: 24 hours
Cook time: 4-6 hours
- 2 pounds of venison round
- 1 (20-ounce) can pineapple with 100% juice, juice only
- 2 teaspoons jalapeño powder
- 6 tablespoons soy sauce
- 2 teaspoons kosher salt
- ¼ cup Worcestershire sauce
- ½ cup packed brown sugar
- 2 tablespoons liquid smoke
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- ½ teaspoon Prague powder #1 curing salt
- Remove as much silver skin and fat as possible off venison roasts. Slice meat against the grain about ¼-inch thick for softer, easier to chew jerky. For chewier, tougher jerky, slice with the grain.
Why would anyone want to eat chewy, tough jerky? It depends on your taste. If I were taking this jerky on a backpacking trip, I’d opt for chewier jerky. It’ll last longer.
- Drain pineapple juice into a large bowl – save the fruit for something else. You should end up with about a cup of juice. Whisk together the remaining ingredients. Add the sliced venison to the marinade, cover and refrigerate for at least 24 hours. Mix the meat halfway through to ensure all the meat gets equal exposure to the marinade.
- Line the bottom of your dehydrator with paper towels or foil to catch dripping. Evenly space out venison strips on dehydrator trays, shaking off excess marinade first. Do not allow any of the pieces to touch or overlap for proper air flow and drying.
- Turn the dehydrator to 160 degrees Fahrenheit, which is usually the highest setting on most dehydrators, and dry the meat until it bends and cracks but does not break. When squeezed, the jerky should no longer feel springy and plump. Check meat periodically to make sure that you do not over dry your jerky, which will make it hard and brittle. Dry time will depend on thickness and how you like your jerky. I dried mine for about 5 hours.
- Allow venison jerky to cool on racks for about 1 to 2 hours before storing. Store in an airtight container or zip-top bag and consume within 7 days. Refrigerate it and it will last for 2 weeks. If water droplets form inside the container, that means the jerky was not dried long enough – take out and dehydrate more. For longer storage, vacuum seal the jerky and enjoy within 2 months. Freeze to store for up to 6 months.
For more information on drying and storing jerky, visit: https://www.jerkyholic.com/how-long-does-beef-jerky-stay-good/