This jerky recipe has been a staple in our family for generations. Every fall, after hunting season, it’s tradition to get the family together and spend a day or two making our favorite jerky and sausage recipes. We have found that the key to consistent quality when it comes to this Killer Jerky Recipe is that you need to have consistent, steady heat which is why we always put our faith in the Big Chief and Little Chief smokers. So I couldn’t tell you how many batches of jerky have gone through my Big Chief, but after a few generations, I’ve gotta guess that it is well into the hundreds. I hope you enjoy this recipe… before everyone else in the family eats it all up!
5-6 pounds of venison roast
2 teaspoons garlic powder
2 teaspoons onion powder
5 teaspoons meat tenderizer
4-5 teaspoons black pepper (depending on how peppery you want it)
1 teaspoon ground mustard
1-1/4 cups soy sauce (or less if you don’t want it to salty)
1-1/4 cups Worcestershire Sauce
1 cup red wine
2-3 pans of Smokehouse Hickory Wood Chips (or flavor of your choice)
Semi-freeze the meat for slicing. Slice meat into 1/4″ strips about 2″ wide and about 4″ long. Combine the garlic powder, onion powder, meat tenderizer, black pepper, ground mustard, soy sauce, Worcestershire sauce, and red wine in a LARGE (non-aluminum) bowl. Mix thoroughly and add the meat to the bowl. Place the bowl in the refrigerator and marinate for at least 24 hours, mixing up the meat occasionally during this period (usually 2-3 times).
Drain brine and place meat on paper towels. Pat dry. Set up and prepare your Big Chief or Little Chief Electric Smoker. Place the meat on the grill racks, or better yet, place the meat on the drying screens and then on the grill racks. You may also hang the meat with skewers from the grill racks (though a little more time consuming). The drying screens also help with the meat not sticking to the grills. Once all the grills are loaded with the meat, place them in the Big Chief or Little Chief.
Fill the flavor pan with a heaping amount of Smokehouse Hickory Wood Chips (or flavor of your choice) and plug in the smoker. The smoker will give you a consistent temperature of around 165 degrees Fahrenheit. After about 45 minutes, pull the flavor pan out and empty the ashes into a safe container. Fill the flavor pan again with wood chips and place back in the smoker. If desired, you may do a third pan but it is not necessary. After that leave the smoker plugged in but don’t use any more pans of wood chips.
Check the meat occasionally after 3-4 hours. The total time needed will vary with your outside ambient temperature, exact thickness of the meat slices and your desired taste of when they are done. Sometimes, 8-12 hours in the smoker may be needed. If you want to assist in retaining more heat, try placing our Insulation Blanket (designed specifically for the smokers) over top of the Big Chief or Little Chief once you are done with the wood chips. Normally the final product should be just slightly chewy, not brittle.