By Mark Kenyon
You can’t beat venison jerky. I mean, what’s not to like about a piece of 100% wild, organic, red meat that you can carry around in your pocket all day and then still eat hours later? That’s pretty cool. And of course, if made well, it tastes amazing too.
Over recent years I’ve been testing a number of different recipes for my venison jerky to find one that stands above the rest. And this year, I finally found it.
This December, after killing my fourth deer of the year, I decided to make it almost all into jerky and I tried this recipe for the first time. I loved it. Fast forward to last week, and I decided to defrost a few roasts and make another batch, and would try this recipe again, but also match it up against a new recipe from Steven Rinella.
Having now completed my jerky bake-off , the original recipe from this past winter still takes the cake. It is the one venison jerky recipe to rule them all.
So, this recipe comes from two-time Wired To Hunt Podcast guest Hank Shaw and it’s his Chipotle Venison Jerky recipe, which you can see in it’s entirety at THIS LINK.
But in short, here’s what I did.
First, I sliced up some roasts in quarter inch to half inch thick slices. We used about five pounds of venison.
Next, we mixed together the marinade (ingredients at the link above), added all the meat to the container, covered it and let it sit for 24 hours.
Once that was taken care of, I prepped my new Traeger grill/smoker, set it to the smoke setting, patted the jerky with paper towel and then laid all the pieces out across the grates and let it smoke for five hours.
And when it was all said and done, I had the best venison jerky I’ve made to date. It’s sweet. It’s spicy. It’s tender. It’s rich and layered in flavor, and it has a deep smokiness on the backend. It’s just plain tasty as hell.
In this instance, the smoker definitely was a big help. But, if you don’t have something like that available, you can also make your jerky in the oven. Just place grates over a cookie sheet, put your jerky on those grates and place it in the oven at about 170 degrees. Then put a pop can or something in the oven door to keep it propped open and let the meat slow cook for about 5 hours. I’ve done that with this recipe before too and it still turned out great.
So if you want to give this recipe a try, which I highly recommend you do, click the link below for the full list of ingredients and steps from the wild game culinary genius, Hank Shaw.