How to prepare wild game jerky at home

…almost as delicious as RENJER.

Jerky is easily available to purchase online and in supermarkets, but have you ever thought of making your own? Not only is it a fun and a tasty experiment to conduct on a Sunday afternoon, but you get to combine your favourite spices, experimenting with an abundance of delicious flavours.

This article will teach you how to prepare wild game jerky at home, an excellent pre-game snack, or late-night nibble.

So, without further ado, let’s get to it.

Buy the meat and flavourings

The key to good jerky is in your choice of meat, we prefer elk, reindeer, and venison. Unlike other ‘fattier’ meats, such as pork or beef, elk, reindeer, and venison are what is considered, ‘lean meats.’ These lean meats are easier to cut into thin strips and will last much longer due to lower fat content. Also, these contain higher-quality protein – a diet staple for gym-goers or fitness advocates, not to mention a healthy and well-balanced lifestyle.

When meat dehydrates, the flavours intensify, adding that rich and delicious taste all jerky should have. When choosing your meat, it’s best to go as fresh as possible, preventing it from stinking when dry and further increasing flavour.

Your choice of flavourings is down to personal preference, but we can highly recommend a chili rub or other strong, but not too intense spice.

Cutting and marinating the meat

Once you’ve got your lean meat and flavourings, it’s time to make the cut (quite literally). Generally, when it comes to cutting the meat, the thinner the cut the better (aim for 0.5 cm thick strips). Furthermore, it’s up to you whether you cut with or against the grain. Cutting against the grain, will create softer and easier to chew jerky. If you’ve ever had a difficult to chew jerky, chances are it’s been cut with the grain. So if you love to chew it hard, this might be your way to go.

Tip: To make cutting the meat easier, freeze for 1-2 hours then cut.

After your strips of meat are cut, it’s time for the marinade process. Whether creating your own or using a pre-made purchased marinade, you first need to place your strips of wild game jerky in a zipped locked bag (you can use multiple if you don’t have room). Next, pour in the marinade, ensuring to cover each piece of jerky for maximum flavour.

Place the whole bag of the jerky marinade in the fridge for as long as 24-hours, allowing the flavours to intensify and richen. As a general rule of thumb, you should marinade jerky for a minimum of 4 hours. Any less and you won’t get that flavour you’ve been craving from the beginning.

Oven drying your wild game jerky

Great news: it’s almost time to try, what we hope will be, your delicious wild game jerky. However, first, it’s time to un-zip that zipped locked bag that’s been staring at you in the back of the fridge and dry your prepared meat in the oven. Oven drying is the easiest way to dry jerky, of any kind. This makes it ideal for creating your own wonderful concussion of jerky at home.

Set your oven to the lowest heat setting (best around 70°C) and let your jerky “dry,” essentially slow cooking for at least 2-5 hours. How long it will take to dry depends on the heat, the cut of meat, and the thickness of your jerky. However, ensure you’re not cooking the jerky, so avoid temperatures higher than 80 degrees Celsius. If your oven doesn’t go lower than 80°C, prop open the oven door ever so slightly to let out some heat – leave this open throughout the entire drying process (prepare for a nice warm, toasty, and jerky smelling home).

Other methods of drying your own jerky

Aside from oven drying, there are other methods of drying your hard work. Two other popular methods include dehydrating and smoking. Arguably, smoking your jerky further intensifies the flavour. Often, when a jerky is smoked, it will say this on the packaging, almost like bragging rights, reeling you in and letting you know it tastes great.

The most common method of smoking jerky is with pellet smokers. These smokers have a low smoke option, allowing you to set the perfect temperature for delicious, home-made jerky. However, you need to get your own way, purchasing your very own smoker or lending one from a friend. Best to stick to the oven for now, unless you plan on making large batches regularly.

Alternatively, if you have the tools or want to create more work for yourself, you can also dehydrate your wild game jerky. However, you’ll have to acquire a dehydrator first. Dehydrators are essentially a low heat electric oven with a small fan to keep a constant airflow. Once again, dry at temperatures no higher than 80°C and no less than 60°C, if possible.

Can’t be bothered to make your own jerky?

Whilst preparing your own wild game jerky is simple, it still requires work. If you’d prefer to indulge in guaranteed flavour, whether that’s peppery elk, carefully salted reindeer, or burning hot venison jerky, then just order some RENJER Jerky to be sure your snack is delicious.

All our jerkies are low in fat as we use lean cuts of meat, and are high in protein, as well as free of added sugar. A delicious, meaty snack, whether you’re studying or pulling a long shift at the office.

To view our full range of wild game jerky, click here.

To conclude

It’s never been easier to create your own wild game jerky at home, combining your favourite meat, flavourings, and marinade for what feels like Christmas in your mouth. Only a whole lot less Christmassy and instead packed full of meaty flavour.

Remember, if preparing your own wild game jerky at home sounds too difficult a task, or you don’t quite have the time, you can purchase our delicious lean meat wild game jerky, delivered straight to your door, and packed full of deer-licious taste.

To find out more about us and our passion for great-tasting snacks, click here.