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Sliced + Smoked Venison Jerky | Simple Deer Jerky Recipe

Thinly sliced and seasoned, this smoked venison jerky has the optimal amount of hickory and spice to appeal to the masses. Follow this simple tutorial to find out how to slice, marinade, and smoke your own homemade venison jerky.

No Smoker? No problem, check out venison jerky cooking instructions for the oven, dehydrator, and air fryer below.

There are few things more rewarding than hunting, harvesting, and processing fresh protein for your family to enjoy. If you are passionate about sourcing out your own venison or other meat and creating a snack that everyone will enjoy, this sliced venison jerky is a must!

Related: Sliced + Smoked Goose Jerky Recipe on a Traeger, Pit Boss or Other Pellet Grill

Where we live, deer are plentiful- specifically white tailed deer and mule deer. This recipe works great for any type of venison including moose, elk, and caribou. I love being able to make this high protein snack for my kids to grab and go and to pack along in their lunches. I hope you enjoy this smoked venison jerky recipe as much as we do!

Tips + Tricks

  • Use a meat slicer for thin, uniform strips.
  • Vacuum seal extra smoked deer jerky before freezing it to avoid freezer burn if possible.
  • Lay the sliced venison jerky as flat as you can when you are placing it on the jerky racks to ensure even cooking.
  • Drizzle extra jerky rub/ marinade on top of the sliced venison jerky after the 12-24 hour marinading period. We almost always end up with a tablespoon or two of liquid at the bottom of the marinading meat.
  • Slightly frozen venison meat will slice more easily than fully thawed meat.

Key Ingredients

Vension- When it comes to making venison jerky, the best cut of meat to use is the hindquarter or the backstrap. These cuts are lean and have less connective tissue, which makes them ideal for jerky. The hindquarter includes the top round and bottom round, while the backstrap runs along the spine. Both cuts are known for their tenderness and flavor. Just make sure to remove any silver skin or excess fat before slicing the meat for jerky. Enjoy your homemade venison jerky!

Hunter’s Blend Jerky Marinade- Get the easy jerky rub recipe here– It includes Worcestershire sauce, liquid smoke, soy sauce, ground black pepper, and other simple seasonings! It works well for all kinds of venison, sliced goose jerky, ground goose jerky, and other wild meat. Hunter’s Blend homemade jerky rub has the perfect combination of garlic and pepper with the addition of hickory and a bit of cayenne to turn any meat into the ultimate jerky. No need for Prague powder or other preservatives in this homemade jerky recipe. Alternately, you can use your favorite ready-made jerky rub. This High Mountain Jerky Seasoning is a great option for wild game.

Best Wood Pellets For Smoking Venison

When it comes to smoking venison jerky, choosing the right wood chip flavors can greatly enhance the overall taste. Here are a few recommendations based on my own experience and the recommendations from Traeger.com.

  1. Hickory: Hickory is a popular choice for smoking venison as it adds a rich barbecue flavor that complements the natural gamey and savory taste of the meat. It is considered one of the best woods for smoking venison.
  2. Cherry: Cherry wood is another great option for smoking jerky. It has a fruity and mild flavor that works well with almost any type of meat, including venison. Using cherry wood can add a delicious twist to your venison jerky.
  3. Apple: Apple wood is known for its light and sweet smoke flavor. It can be a good choice for adding a delicate touch to your venison jerky. Many people enjoy the combination of apple and hickory for a balanced flavor profile.
  4. Oak: Oak is a hardwood that imparts a medium smoky flavor to the meat. It is a versatile option that can be used for smoking various types of jerky, including venison. Oak wood can provide a robust and earthy taste to your venison jerky.
  5. Pecan: Pecan wood offers a slightly sweet and nutty flavor that can complement the rich flavor of venison. It is often used in combination with other woods to create a unique and layered taste.

Please note that personal preferences may vary, so it’s always a good idea to experiment with different wood chip flavors to find the one that suits your taste best. My favorite wood flavor for smoking is hickory.

Exactly How To Make Smoked Venison Jerky

Step 1. Slice. Carefully slice 2 pounds of venison roast in 1/4 inch slices against the grain of the meat. I prefer to use a my meat slicer but a sharp chef’s knife and steady hand will do the trick! Slightly frozen roast cuts more cleanly than fully thawed meat.

Step 2. Prepare Marinade. Combine all of the dry ingredients for the Hunter’s Blend Jerky Rub together. Mix well and add the wet ingredients one at a time.

Step 3. Coat + Wait. Coat the venison strips in the jerky marinade and allow it to sit for 8-12 hours or overnight.

Step 4. Smoke. Preheat your smoker to 165°F using your favourite flavour of pellets- we love to use hickory pellets for smoking venison jerky. Smoke for three hours, checking after two. The jerky should feel leathery and dry but not crispy or crumbly. It should bend in half without breaking and should be a rich burgundy colour.

Step 5. Cool + Package + Enjoy. Place your jerky on a cooling rack before packaging it up in an airtight bag or container.
Enjoy!

Venison Jerky In The Dehydrator

It is recommended that jerky dehydrates at a temperature of at least 145°F. Follow the above instructions, arrange the venison slices on your dehydrator sheets. Dehydrate at 145 for 5-6 hours, longer if needed!

Venison Jerky In The Oven

Preheat your oven between 175-200°F. Arrange the jerky on your favorite jerky mat- I love these smokehouse screens for both the oven and the grill. Drying time depends largely on how thick the jerky your jerky is. Check after three hours- it could take up to 5 hours. Much like dehydrated strawberries in the oven, you should prop the door open slightly either with a wooden spoon or dish cloth.

Venison Jerky In The Air Fryer

Preheat your air fryer to 210°F. Arrange the strips of venison on the grate of your air fryer. Air fry for 2-3 hours, checking frequently after two hours. Jerky should be cooked to at least 160°F when checked with an instant read thermometer.

Batch + Storage

2 pounds of raw venison roast will yield approximately 1 pound (or slightly less) of smoked sliced venison jerky.

Store your venison jerky in the fridge for seven to ten days in a zip top bags or an airtight container or in the freezer for up to a year. We made small vacuum-sealed packages to throw in the freezer for quick grab and go snacks. Once you’ve made your own jerky, you will never want to buy store-bought jerky again!

Printable Recipe Card

Venison jerky wrapped in butcher paper with deer horns, moose antlers, and pepper corns in the foreground.

Sliced + Smoked Venison Jerky | Simple Deer Jerky Recipe

Yield: 1 pound of finished venison jerky
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 3 hours
Marinade Time: 8 hours
Total Time: 11 hours 15 minutes

Thinly sliced and smoked, this smoked venison jerky has the optimal amount of hickory and spice to appeal to the masses. Follow this simple tutorial to find out how to slice, marinade, and smoke your own homemade venison jerky.

Ingredients

  • 2 lbs venison roast
  • 4 teaspoons sea salt
  • 1.5 teaspoons black pepper
  • 1.5 teaspoons garlic powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper (optional)
  • 1 teaspoon ground chipotle powder
  • 1 tablespoon ground chili powder
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 4 teaspoons liquid smoke (optional)
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
  • 1/4 cup water

  • Venison Jerky Rub

Instructions

  1. Slice. Carefully slice 2 pounds of venison roast in 1/4 inch slices against the grain of the meat. I prefer to use a my meat slicer but a sharp chef’s knife and steady hand will do the trick!
  2. Prepare Marinade. Combine all of the dry ingredients for the Hunter’s Blend Jerky Rub together. Mix well and add the wet ingredients one at a time.
  3. Coat + Wait. Coat the venison strips in the jerky marinade and allow it to sit for 8-12 hours or overnight.
  4. Smoke. Preheat your smoker to 165°F using your favourite flavour of pellets- we love to use hickory pellets for smoking venison jerky. Smoke for around 3 hours or until leathery.
  5. Cool + Package + Enjoy. Place your jerky on a cooling rack before packaging it up in an airtight bag or container. Enjoy!

Notes

Venison Jerky In The Dehydrator

It is recommended that jerky dehydrates at a temperature of at least 145°F. Follow the above instructions, arrange the venison slices on your dehydrator sheets. Dehydrate at 145 for 5-6 hours, longer if needed!

Venison Jerky In The Oven

Preheat your oven between 175-200°F. Arrange the jerky on your favorite jerky mat- I love these smokehouse screens for both the oven and the grill. Drying time depends largely on how thick the jerky your jerky is. Check after three hours- it could take up to 5 hours. Much like dehydrated strawberries in the oven, you should prop the door open slightly either with a wooden spoon or dish cloth.

  • 2 pounds of meat will yield approximately 1 pound of smoked sliced goose jerky.
  • Store your goose jerky in the fridge for seven to ten days in a zip top bags or an airtight container or in the freezer for up to a year. We made small vacuum-sealed packages to throw in the freezer for quick grab and go snacks. Once you’ve made your own jerky, you will never want to buy store-bought jerky again!

Did you make this recipe?

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Frequently Asked Questions

How long does venison jerky take to dehydrate?

This sliced venison jerky is dehydrated in a smoker (pellet grill). Times vary depending on the temperature outside and the consistency of your smoker. Two pounds of sliced venison took three hours to smoke on my Traeger. Check your jerky after two hours to assess the colour and texture. You may need to smoke for another hour. Check periodically to make sure that you don’t end up with meat chips! If you have a thermometer, you can check the internal temperature of the jerky- it should be 165°F.

What temperature do you cook venison jerky at?

We like to smoke our sliced venison jerky at 165°F. Preheat your Traeger, Pit Boss, or other pellet grill before you lay the sliced raw venison on the grill mat. By the time you have finished this, the smoker should be up to temperature.

How do you know when the venison jerky is done smoking?

The jerky should feel leathery and dry but not crispy or crumbly. It should bend in half without breaking and should be a rich burgundy colour.

Do you need meat tenderizer for jerky?

Meat tenderizer is not necessary for smoked venison jerky. Slicing the deer roast against the grain will help to keep the jerky tender. You may choose to hammer out the jerky with a meat mallet to further tenderize the meat.

How thin should venison jerky be sliced?

Aim to slice your jerky about 1/4 inch thick, against the grain.

Can I use meat other than venison for this jerky recipe?

You can use this recipe and adapt it for many other meat sources including wild duck, goose and other water fowl, moose, turkey, chicken, pork, and beef to name a few. Experimenting is half the fun!

More Jerky Recipes From The Harvest Kitchen

A straight on view of goose jerky wrapped in butcher paper.

Sliced + Smoked Goose Jerky Recipe on a Traeger, Pit Boss or Other Pellet Grill

Thinly sliced and smoked, this goose jerky has the optimal amount of hickory and spice to appeal to the masses.

Ground Goose Jerky stacked and wrapped in jute string and bunched in a mason jar.

Ground Goose Jerky Recipe on a Traeger, Pit Boss or Other Pellet Grill + Video

Full of smokey hickory, garlic, and spice, this homemade ground goose jerky won’t last long in your house. Learn how to grind, press, and smoke your ground jerky to perfection with this easy tutorial and video.

Homemade Jerky Rub – Hunter’s Blend

Hunter’s Blend homemade jerky rub has the perfect combination of garlic and pepper with the addition of hickory and a bit of cayenne to turn any meat into the ultimate jerky.

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