This Cranberry Turkey Jerky will have you craving your Mom's homemade Thanksgiving Dinner!
The reason this recipe came about was due to the simple reason that you can't have turkey without the cranberry...
I used a 3lb turkey breast from my local Walmart. I actually had trouble finding turkey breast in the dead of summer, Walmart was my saving grace after visiting about 4 different grocery stores. This 3lb Butterball was great, I ended up making 3 different turkey jerky recipes with this one turkey breast.
It was pre-seasoned, so I washed off the turkey under cold running water as much as I could before trimming off the fat and slicing into jerky strips. Make sure to thaw any frozen turkey breast in the refrigerator, not at room temperature.
A group of simple ingredients makes this jerky very tasty. I used some local honey and brown sugar to sweeten it up a bit, giving it a great sweet honey flavor with a hint of cranberries.
When making turkey jerky I take the extra precaution of pre-heating the jerky strips to 165°F in the oven. I placed my jerky strips after they finished marinating on a baking rack on top of a foil lined pan for easy cleanup. It took 20 minutes at 300°F to reach an internal temperature of 165°F. If you have the turkey directly on the pan, the cooking time will be closer to 10 minutes.
After pre-heating the strips, I placed them on my Excalibur Dehydrator trays to be dehydrated. I dehydrated these for a total of 4 hours at 145°F. I would recommend taking a piece out and letting it dry to room temperature every so often and checking to see if it is done. Four hours was just about perfect for these pieces of jerky.
As I mentioned before, this recipe had a great sweet honey flavor with a nice hint of cranberries and allspice. You can dice up or keep the cranberries on the jerky for more flavor if you so desire. This does have a little sticky feel to it from the honey and cranberry sauce. You won't mind licking your fingers though...
For more in depth directions on how to dry your turkey jerky, visit my page Jerky Making Methods or click on the pictures below.
Lean Turkey Breast
- 1 lb Turkey Breast
- 1 cup cranberry sauce
- ¼ cup orange juice
- 10 juniper berries (crushed into very small pieces)
- ¼ cup honey
- 1 tablespoon brown sugar
- ½ teaspoon allspice
- ¼ teaspoon curing salt (Optional)
- Combine all of the ingredients in a bowl or ziplock bag and mix well.
- Trim all visible fat from the turkey breast and slice ¼" strips with the grain
- Add sliced turkey breast to the mixture in the ziplock bag or bowl and marinate for 8-24 hours in the refrigerator.
- After the meat has finished marinating, remove from refrigerator and strain excess marinade in a colander.
- Pre-heat oven to 300F.
- Place turkey strips on a baking rack on top of a aluminum foil lined baking sheet.
- Bake in the oven for 10-12 minutes or until the strips reach an internal temperature of 165F.
- Remove from the oven and dry with you favorite jerky making method. I used my Excalibur Dehydrator and dried for 4 hours at 145F.
- The jerky is finished when it bends and cracks, but does not break in half.
Just prepared this recipe and a note to new jerky makers like myself - make sure to get a frozen turkey ROAST. The frozen BREAST still has the bone and is a general nightmare to deal with. Plus you lose half the listed weight in what you discard. My fault for not reading packaging, but not a mistake I'll make again.
This recipe looks delicious, but I cannot find Juniper Berries in any of the supermarkets around town.
I've read that fresh Rosemary could be used instead, but am hesitant and wouldn't even know how much to use.
Would you recommend leaving the berries out or trying to substitute?
Sounds like Rosemary could be good! I would just throw 1-2 whole sprigs into the marinade. Might as well give it a try!
I've tried baking my jerky to 165 like you say and I can't ever get it there. Today I'm doing chicken, so I really wanted to make it work. My dehy goes to 165, but that's not your directions and the last two tried its was overdone. Help!!
If you place 1/4" slices of turkey directly on a baking sheet in a pre-heated oven for about 10 minutes at 300F, it should reach 165F no problem. Then take it out and finish off in your dehydrator. What exactly is the problem you are having?
your comment after the recipe says you live in Austin TX but your Bio on the side says you live in Colorado. Are you a real Texan or what?
Thanks for the heads up Dad! Haha.