Saturday, May 24, 2014


When my daughter was 12, she went deer hunting for the first time.  The Oregon deer season in our part of the world opens on a Saturday, and unfortunately I had to work that day.  So she went hunting with her grandfather.  Sometime just before noon...

 240 yards, 7mm-08.  Opening Day 2011.
When butchering a deer, you always have lots of scraps.  We already had a freezer full of elk burger and didn't want to turn the venison scraps into more burger.  The entire family are also big fans of jerky, so that's what we decided to do with the venison scraps.

I searched the web for some inspiration & ideas regarding marinades then went about making up a marinade with what we had on hand.

Luckily, I wrote it down.  The jerky was excellent.  The only problem was that there was so little of it!  If you ever have wondered why commercial beef jerky is so expensive, a lot of the reason is that four pounds of meat makes little more than a pound of jerky.

Mia's Jerky Marinade:
(enough for about four pounds of meat)
2/3 C Soy Sauce
1/3 C Worcestershire Sauce
1/3 C Black Vinegar (you may need to go to an Asian grocery to find this)
1/3 C Bragg's Liquid Aminos (could probably substitute more Soy)
3 T Garlic Powder
2 T Crushed Red Pepper or to taste - 2 T is noticeable but not particularly hot

Cut meat into thin strips - 1/4" or thinner.

Marinate in ziploc bag overnight or up to 48 hours in refrigerator.

Smoke at 150 degrees for 3+ hours then at 170 degrees until consistency is correct.

You could certainly add more/other flavors.  A lot of folks like a sweet jerky, and for that I'd recommend molasses or honey over brown sugar and brown sugar over white sugar.  Some folks like Teriyaki, or might skip the pepper altogether.  Do what you'd like.  The recipe should scale easily if you want to make larger or smaller batches, though I'd recommend against going smaller.

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