Smoking Hot! How To Make Deer Jerky In A Smoker

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How to make deer jerky in a smoker? If you are a fan of venison and smoking, this particular jerky recipe might the best news that you will ever hear. Of course, there are various ways you can make a jerky, especially involving deer meat. I have already shown you a jerky recipe that involves ground jerky meat. If you are looking for a grinding machine for your deer meat, then check out our post on that (take me there).

But what makes smoking special? Well, the heat that comes from the smoking process is actually a good means to dehydrate food. It can dry and preserve the meat without having to worry that it will remove the nutrients of the meat. Well, venisons are extra rich in protein and other essential minerals. Having them in your snack time is a huge plus already!

Fortunately, making a deer jerky in a smoker is not that difficult. As long as you have an electric or gas smoker, this recipe is very doable. If you are clueless about this, then I will be the one who will teach you the ropes! Let’s get started!

How to Make Deer Jerky in a Smoker


Venison (deer) raw meat

  • Venison meat (1 pound; flank steak or bottom round)
  • Soy sauce (1/2 cup)
  • Worcestershire sauce (2 tablespoons)
  • Honey (2 tablespoons)
  • Red pepper flakes (1 tablespoon)
  • Onion powder (2 teaspoons)
  • Garlic powder (2 teaspoons)
  • Black pepper (1 teaspoon)


Meat Preparation

Deer meat in trip

The best way you can prepare the venison is by slicing it into thin strips (about 1/4 inch of thickness). Also, do not forget that you have to slice the meat along the grain to make sure that you can get a tender jerky later on. If there are particular fatty portions of the meat, remove them. They are not quite needed in making jerkies.

Creating the Marinade


After you prepared the meat, you can already create the marinade. Just use a large bowl and mix all the ingredients that I listed (except for the venison strips. Use a spoon to mix the marinade thoroughly. Once it has the desired texture and flavor, you can already add the meat strips. Coat the venison with the marinade carefully. Make sure that you don’t miss any part.


Putting meat in to frigerator

When you are already done with the marination process, cover the bowl and place it in your refrigerator. Ideally, you should marinate the meat for around 6 to 12 hours. It should take overnight to ensure that the marinade will envelop the insides of the meat.

After the given period, remove the meat strips from the marinade. Since you don’t have any more use to the marinade mixture, you can throw it already. Use a paper towel to dry off any liquid on the surface of the meat. Next, arrange the meat strips on a baking tray and put them back in your refrigerator. By doing this, you are hastening the drying of the meat. Let them stay there for around 15 to 30 minutes.


Smoking jerky

Now, let us go to the exciting part. It is time for you to take out your electric and gas smoker and let it roll! You start up your device and let it crank until it reaches 170 degrees Fahrenheit. This is the ideal temperature to the smoke and dehydrates the venison without frying or burning it up.

Tip: One good thing about smokers is that they can allow you to flavor the jerky. Specifically, you can add special wood chips to imbibe unique smoky flavor​s to your jerky

Wood and charcoal for smoking

  • For sweet and mild flavor, you should use cherry and apple woods.
  • Using hickory wood will give your venison jerky the traditional ambiance of bacon
  • The mesquite wood is one of the original wood chips used in smoking. However, it can give your jerky a strong flavor. Therefore, you need to add cherry or apple wood chips to neutralize its strength.
  • You can blend the cherry and apple wood to the hickory to give a sweet taste to the bacon flavor.

Fortunately, smokers have vents on them. You don’t have to open its door just to release the moisture inside. If the device has already reached the prescribed temperature, you can already place the venison strips inside them. Make sure that the meat strips won’t overlap or touch one another.

How to Know if the Venison is Already Smoking-Hot Jerky

Testing deer jerky

With this temperature, the meat can already become a jerky after 4 to 6 hours. But of course, it is hard to determine the right drying time for jerkies. Therefore, it is essential that you know how to check if the meat is already a jerky. You could look at its color. If it doesn’t have any reddish coloration anymore, then the meat strips could be jerkies.

However, the best way to do this is by checking the texture of the meat. Try to bend it. If it bends but doesn’t break or crack, then it is already a bonafide jerky. Since you are making the jerky inside the smoker, it safe to assume that the all the meat strips have been cooked evenly.

Take out the jerky from the device and let it cool for a while before you start consuming it with your friends and families.

How to Store Jerkies Properly

If you are not planning to consume the jerky right away, you can always store them in an airtight container, like a Ziplock bag. In this way, you can prevent the air from quickly spoiling this treat. Since dehydration is a preservation process, jerkies have a naturally long lifespan. They could last around a month or two inside the refrigerator and four to three months in the freezer.


Making a deer jerky in a smoker is quite easy. As long as you have an electric or gas smoker at your disposal, you can do this recipe anytime you want. Of course, food dehydrators and oven are also great alternatives for making jerkies. But for me, nothing can just beat the authentic and luscious flavor that a smoker can bring.

Hello! It is Jennifer here! I hope you enjoyed this simple tutorial of mine. If you have some questions or recommendations, just feel free to ask me in the comment section. Enjoy cooking!

Last update on 2022-09-08 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

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