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Spiny POM Deer Jerky

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I’ve been on a pomegranate juice kick lately, it’s just SO good! Sweet and tart and extremely refreshing… Well, with anything good I eat or drink, I try to incorporate it into a jerky recipe. That’s the only logical thing to do…

Pomegranate deer jerky on cutting board

Did you know that pomegranates grow on spiny branches of a shrub like tree and are mainly found in the middle east, Asia, and north Africa? I didn’t either until I did a little bit of research. The USA grows some in Arizona and California.

The juice I buy is made from California pomegranates. Support your local economy and businesses!

Slicing The Meat

Hunting season has come and past and your freezer should be full of venison just ready to be made into jerky! If you aren’t a hunter or were skunked this year, don’t fret, beef would would great as well!

Thawed freezer packed venison in bowl

Defrost your venison roasts in a bowl of cold water that is placed in the refrigerator. Make sure to defrost any meat in the refrigerator and NOT on your kitchen counter. Submerging the meat in water will speed up the thawing process immensely.

Venison roast on cutting board with knife

After thawing and rinsing the deer roast, trim as much fat and silver skin as you can from the meat. Fat spoils faster than meat and will shorten the shelf life of the finished jerky.

I sliced the deer roast by hand with a very sharp knife. If you do not have a really sharp knife, wrap the roast in saran wrap and put the meat back in the freezer for 1-2 hours to partially freeze/harden the meat so slicing evenly sized strips is easier. Visit my how to slice jerky page for more information on slicing meat for the perfect jerky.

venison strips soaking in water and vinegar in bowl

If the roast has a good amount of blood in the package and has a game aroma, soak the meat in cold water and salt solution to remove that ‘gamey’ flavor from the meat. Use 1 cup of salt and about 5 cups of water. 

Using a jerky slicer is another great option. I like using my Weston Jerky Slicer to cut the beef and deer roasts into jerky strips.

Venison being sliced by a jerky meat slicer

This jerky slicer is not needed to slice the meat, but it makes it a lot easier!

RELATED PAGE: DOZENS OF JERKY RECIPES – CLICK HERE!!!

Making The Marinade

The star of the show here is the pomegranate juice, it just gives this jerky such a great flavor. I like drinking and therefor used POM wonderful juice in this recipe. The other ingredients are pretty common and you might already have them at home.

Start by combining all of the ingredients in a ziplock bag or plastic container. Easy, easy, easy…

Once you have the marinade mixed together, add the deer or beef slices to the mixture and mix well making sure all of the strips are covered with marinade. 

Pomegranate deer jerky marinating in ziplock bag

Marinate in the refrigerator for 6-24 hours mixing the strips in the bag every 4 hours or so to make sure the strips marinate evenly. By mixing the strips every so often you ensure that all the jerky pieces will have a consistent flavor.

You can actually see below where some strips of meat are still red, I did NOT do a good job of mixing the meat while it marinated so some strips will lack maximum flavor.

Deer jerky strained in colander

Strain the strips in a colander and discard any left over marinade. Do not re-use marinade if wanting to make another batch, start with fresh ingredients.

Deer jerky on paper towels

After straining the jerky strips, lay them on paper towels and pat the strips dry to remove any excess marinade. Doing this will help speed up the drying process.

Pomegranate deer jerky on dehydrator tray

After patting the strips dry, place the jerky strips into a dehydrator, oven, or smoker. I used my Nesco Dehydrator when making this recipe. Make sure the pieces of meat are not touching and have space for air to flow around each piece.

I dried this spiny pom deer jerky at 160F for about 4 1/2 hours. The texture was spot on and nice and chewy!

You can also use an oven or smoker to make this recipe. For step by step instructions on how to use a dehydrator, oven, and smoker to make jerky; make sure to visit my How to Make Jerky page.

Testing For When The Jerky Is Finished

While drying the jerky, you want to start testing to see if it has finished at about the 3-4 hour mark. Take a piece of jerky out of the dehydrator, oven, or smoker and allow it to cool for 5 minutes to room temperature.

Bend the jerky in half, it should bend and crack but not break in half.

Deer jerky bent and finished

You can see the white fibers in the meat as well. This is a sure sign that the jerky is finished drying and ready to eat!

If the jerky is not finished, continue drying for another hour and repeat the same process until the jerky is finished. 90% of the 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.

Pomegranate Deer Jerky on cutting board with pomegranates

This Pomegranate deer jerky turned out tasting fantastic. The fruity sweet flavor goes well with the deer flavor. I make so much spicy jerky that it’s refreshing to have a fruity jerky every once in a while!

Storing Jerky

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. Check it out!

Old Pro Tips:

  • Trim all fat from the meat before marinating for longer lasting jerky once it’s finished drying
  • Use curing salt or celery juice powder to extend the life of the jerky
  • Pre-soak venison for a couple hours in 5 cups water and 1 cup salt to remove ‘gamey’ flavor
  • Freeze meat before slicing to make even strips

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For more in depth directions on how to dry your jerky, visit my page Jerky Making Methods.

Pomegranate deer jerky on cutting board
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Spiny POM Deer Jerky

This Pomegranate deer jerky turned out tasting fantastic. The fruity sweet flavor goes well with the deer flavor. I make so much spicy jerky that it's refreshing to have a fruity jerky every once in a while!

Course Beef Jerky, deer jerky, venison jerky
Cuisine American
Keyword beef jerky, Deer Jerky, Jerky, pomegranate, Venison Jerky
Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 4 hours 30 minutes
Total Time 5 hours
Servings 5
Calories 155 kcal
Author Will

Ingredients

Lean Meat

Marinade

  • 1/2 cup pomegranate juice
  • 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 2 tbsp lemon juice
  • 3 tbsp brown sugar
  • 1/2 tsp ginger powder
  • 1 1/2 tsp sea salt
  • 1 tsp black pepper freshly cracked
  • 1/4 tsp curing salt optional

Instructions

  1. Trim all visible fat from the venison or beef and place in freezer for an hour or two to partially freeze.
  2. While the meat is in the freezer, combine marinade ingredients in a bowl or ziplock bag. 

  3. 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 information. You can also use a Weston Jerky Slicer when making this recipe.

  4. Add sliced venison or beef to the mixture in the ziplock bag or bowl and marinate for 6-24 hours in the refrigerator. Shake or mix the container every 4 hours so all the strips are evenly marinated.

  5. After the meat has finished marinating, remove from refrigerator and strain excess marinade in a colander and pat dry with paper towels.
  6. Dry with your favorite jerky making method. I used my Nesco Dehydrator and dried for 4 1/2 hours at 160F.

  7. 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.

Recipe Notes

Old Pro Tips:

  • Trim all fat from the meat before marinating for longer lasting jerky once it’s finished drying
  • Use curing salt or celery juice powder to extend the life of the jerky
  • Pre-soak venison for a couple hours in 5 cups water and 1 cup salt to remove 'gamey' flavor
  • Partially freeze meat before slicing for even strips
Nutrition Facts
Spiny POM Deer Jerky
Amount Per Serving
Calories 155 Calories from Fat 18
% Daily Value*
Fat 2g3%
Saturated Fat 1g6%
Cholesterol 77mg26%
Sodium 865mg38%
Potassium 360mg10%
Carbohydrates 11g4%
Fiber 1g4%
Sugar 10g11%
Protein 21g42%
Vitamin C 2mg2%
Calcium 13mg1%
Iron 3mg17%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

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Spiny POM Deer Jerky