If getting your kids to eat foods that are good for them is becoming a problem, you are not alone. Many families have one or more picky or fussy eaters in their household, who regularly refuse to eat certain foods or try new ones. Even though growing children need a good source of lean protein to fuel their growth and development, your picky eater is probably not going to be impressed with that perfectly prepared venison steak on their dinner plate. Fortunately, turning venison into jerky is a great way to get even the pickiest of eaters clamoring for more and it takes only a few simple ingredients and a few minutes of prep time to make.
Easy and Delicious Venison Jerky
Here is a list of what you will need.
- a large glass or plastic bowl with a tight fitting lid to marinate the meat
- a whisk to blend the marinade ingredients
- heavy-duty aluminum foil
- non-stick cooking spray
- 2 pounds of lean, boneless venison - such as a roast or loin - sliced against the grain for tenderness and then cut into strips approximately 2 inches wide by 6 inches in length (slicing the meat in a partially frozen state will make it easier to keep the slices uniform in thickness)
- 1/4 cup onion powder
- 1/4 cup garlic powder
- 1 tablespoon ground black pepper
- 1 teaspoon red pepper flakes (can be omitted if your family prefers a milder jerky)
- 1 tablespoon hickory smoke flavored salt
- 1 cup low-sodium soy sauce
- 1/2 cup Worcestershire sauce
Marinading the Meat
Make the marinade by blending the spices together inside the bowl and then whisking the soy and Worcestershire sauces with the spices until thoroughly combined. Place the strips of venison into the marinade and use two forks or your clean fingers to make sure that all surfaces of the meat are coated with marinade. Cover the bowl and place inside the refrigerator for 12 to 24 hours. The longer the venison soaks in the marinade, the more flavorful the finished jerky will be.
Drying the Meat
After the venison has been in the marinade for 12-24 hours, remove the bowl from the fridge and prepare to dry the meat in your oven. Line the bottom rack of your oven with a thick layer of heavy duty aluminum foil, turning up the edges to form sides that will trap the meat juices and keep them safely on the foil. Spray the upper oven rack with non-stick cooking spray and then lay the marinated venison directly on it in a neat, single layer. Two pounds of meat should fit easily onto a standard-sized oven rack.
Place the meat-covered rack directly above the one with the aluminum foil and bake in the oven at 150 degrees until the venison has turned dark brown in color and become dry and firm to the touch, usually about 6 hours. If the slices are very thin or very thick, the time needed could be more or less. When the jerky is done, turn the oven off, allow the jerky to cool completely and then store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to one week.
Even the pickiest eaters will be enticed by the cooking aroma and become eager to try the finished jerky. If you don't have access to venison or would prefer to enjoy ready-to-eat jerky, you can order some very delicious beef jerky online that will delight even the fussy eaters in your family. Check out companies like Gio's Jerky to give it a shot.