Fun & Games

Trivia Games


Contact Us




John's Journal... Entry 231, Day 1


From Frozen Venison to Mid-Afternoon Snack

Editor's Note: At this time of the year, most successful deer hunters have a freezer full of venison. In just a few hours at night, with little or no preparation time, you can cut up some venison strips, soak them in the marinades that we recommend and dry your jerky in the oven, using toothpicks and a dripping tray. To help you solve the problem of responding when someone asks you, "What are you going to do with that freezer full of venison?" this week we'll offer some of our favorite, easy-to-prepare venison jerky recipes. Come to "John's Journal" every day this week to get new and different recipes for making venison jerky. You'll be glad you did. (Or, you can use beef to make jerky, if you're not fortunate enough to have plenty of deer meat).

One of my favorite snack foods, whether I'm hunting or fishing, is jerky. Jerky is lightweight, it can be made in a variety of flavors and tastes, it's very filling and nutritious, and it's a great munchy. Jerky is also a fun food. You can take it to work with you and give it to your co-workers who may or may not have ever eaten jerky before. They'll be surprised at how delicious venison jerky can be.

Jerky has been around longer than any other snack food. Jerky got its name from the Europeans who heard the Spanish word for jerked meat, charque, and changed it to something easier for them to pronounce -- jerky. However, jerky isn't only an American food. Many Hispanics call jerky, came seca, which means dried meat.

When you're in a rush for some delicious-tasting jerky, you can pre-cook your jerky and speed up the curing process.

Pre-Cooking Jerky:
1) Slice the meat into long, 1/4-inch-thick pieces. Remove all visible fat.
2) Prepare a marinade in a large saucepan (some recipes follow, but any flavor you prefer can be used). Make enough of a marinade to cover all the meat strips. A general guideline for how much marinade you'll need is one to two cups per 1-pound batch of meat.
3) Bring the marinade to a boil over medium heat. Add a few meat strips, making sure they're covered by the marinade.
4) Use tongs to immediately remove the meat from the marinade to prevent over-cooking. Repeat the immersion process until all meat has been given the heat treatment.
5) Place precooked strips on drying racks with a small space between each strip. Dry in dehydrator at 160-degrees Fahrenheit for two to four hours and then lower the temperature to 140-degrees Fahrenheit for another four hours or until dry.
6) Dip meat in hot brine (recipe provided below), and then blot dry with paper towels. Sprinkle with onion salt, garlic salt and/or pepper if desired.
7) Test jerky for dryness by removing a piece from the dryer, letting it cool and then bending it. It should crack but not break, and the meat should contain no moist spots.
8) Package the meat in an air-tight container so moisture cannot re-enter the meat, and store at room temperature.

Domestic Meat Brine:
* 2 cups salt
* 1 cup brown sugar
* 1 cup cider
* 1 tsp. cloves
* 1 tsp. black pepper
* 1/2 tsp. garlic powder
* 2 quarts water

General Marinade -- This marinade works well for venison, beef, turkey or chicken jerky. It makes to marinate 2 pounds of meat.
* 1/4 cup soy sauce
* 1 Tbsp. Worcestershire sauce
* 1/4 tsp. pepper
* 1/4 tsp. garlic powder
* 1/2 tsp. onion powder
* 1 tsp. hickory smoke-flavored salt

To learn more delicious ways to prepare venison, click here to find out about John and Denise Phillips' "Just Venison" CD.




Check back each day this week for more about JERKY - THE ULTIMATE SNACK FOOD ...

Day 1 - From Frozen Venison to Mid-Afternoon Snack
Day 2 - What Is Jerky?
Day 3 - From Ancient Egypt to the Rocky Mountains
Day 4 - Don't Worry About Mad Cow From Jerky: Food Safety of Jerky
Day 5 - Jerky: The First Low-Carb Food

John's Journal