Hunting season is coming to an end and hopefully you have a fridge full of venison just waiting to be made into amazing deer jerky.
Asian spiced venison jerky is packed with great flavors of ginger, soy sauce, and a kick of spice from a serrano pepper. Let's get started making this salty and spicy jerky.
Slicing the meat
Defrost any frozen deer meat in a bowl of cold water to speed up the thawing process. If it's already defrosted, rinse the meat with fresh water and trim any fat or silver skin that is present.
Wrap the deer roast in saran wrap and place in the freezer for 1-2 hours to partially harden, this will make the slicing easier. Slice with the grain of the meat for a more chewy jerky or against the grain for a more tender bite. Visit my how to slice jerky page for a more in depth information on slicing meat for the perfect jerky.
Marinating the meat
The second step in making venison jerky is putting together the marinade and making sure it's mixed very well. This marinade has a chili pepper, so a blender is the best way to mix this one up.
Add all of the ingredients into a blender and blend until the chili is fully incorporated into the marinade. I use a Vitamix, it's a fantastic blender! One pepper gave this jerky a little kick, want more? Throw a couple more chili's in there, it will make you sweat.
Now that your marinade is blended, pour the venison jerky marinade over the meat strips in a ziplock bag or bowl and marinate in the fridge for 6-24 hours.
Shake the bag and mix the strips a couple times while it's marinating to make sure the jerky strips are evenly marinated. This will prevent bland spots in the finished venison jerky.
After the Venison strips have finished marinating, strain them in a colander and pat dry with paper towels to remove any excess marinade.
Removing any excess marinade will speed up the drying process and prevent the finished venison jerky from having a sticky texture.
The next step after patting dry the strips is placing the venison in either a dehydrator, an oven, or smoker. I have decided to use my Excalibur Dehydrator when making this recipe and will describe how to dry jerky with this method.
Turn the dehydrator to the highest setting, should be around 160F, and dry for 2-3 hours. After that, you can either continue drying at the highest setting or lower the dehydrator temperature to 145F and finish drying.
When is jerky finished?
90% of the venison jerky I make is finished within 4-6 hours when using a dehydrator or oven and 6-9 hours when using a smoker. If pre-heating the meat in the oven, drying time can be as little as 2.5 hours.
This jerky took me 3 hours drying at 165F and 1.5 hours at 145F to be finished to perfection. Make sure that when you check the jerky, you pull it out of the dehydrator and allow it to cool for 5 minutes to room temperature before seeing if it's finished dehydrating.
Once it's cooled, bend the venison jerky in half; it should bend and crack but not break in half. You should also see white fibers within the meat, this is another great indicator that the jerky is finished.
If the jerky is not finished, put it back into the dehydrator and continue dehydrating for another hour.
How long will it last?
To make the jerky last as long as possible, curing salt will really help along with keeping in air tight containers. I have put together a page on storing jerky and steps you can take to make your jerky have an extended shelf life.
Old Pro Tips:
- Use curing salt or celery juice powder to extend the life of the jerky
- Add extra chili's for a spicier jerky
- Soak the venison in cold water and salt for an hour before marinating to eliminate any gamey flavor
- Substitute beef for venison if you don't have any
- ⅔ cup soy sauce
- ⅓ cup beef broth (or cold water)
- 1 whole serrano chili (stem removed)
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- 1 tablespoon brown sugar
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 teaspoon onion powder
- ½ teaspoon ginger powder
- ¼ teaspoon curing salt (optional)
- Trim all visible fat from the venison or beef and place in freezer for an hour or two to partially freeze.
- While the meat is in the freezer, combine marinade ingredients with the chili in a blender and blend until the chili can no longer be seen.
- Remove the meat from the freezer and slice ¼" strips against the grain for an easy chew. Cut with the grain for a more chewy jerky. Visit my page on slicing jerky for more in depth instructions.
- Add sliced venison or beef to the mixture in the ziplock bag or bowl and marinate for 6-24 hours in the refrigerator.
- After the meat has finished marinating, remove from refrigerator and strain excess marinade in a colander and pat dry with paper towels.
- Dry with your favorite jerky making method. I used my and dried for 3 hours at 165F and 1.5 hours at 145F.
- The jerky is finished when it bends and cracks, but does not break in half. White fibers will also be seen when the jerky is bent.
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