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3 Jerky Recipes Beef Jerky Deer Jerky and Turkey Jerky

Updated on March 19, 2014

Jerky 3 Ways

I love jerky and I have found ground meat is easier to use, prepare and chew compared to other meat cuts like roast or steak. This is my own personal recipe. I tend to add more pepper than what this recipe calls for. You can always stick to the recipe and sprinkle some pepper on the strips just before you start dehydrating the meat.

The seasoning and ingredients apply to all three; deer, beef and turkey. With turkey, I recommend adding a little celery salt to enhance that turkey flavor. Use the garlic and pepper jerky box mix, or pick other flavors you may prefer more or try different ones when you make a new batch.

When you use game meats, allow the meat to stay in the freezer 8 weeks (some sites say only four, I feel better with two months) to ensure any bacteria will die in the freezer making the meat it safe for you to consume.

This recipe is based on 3 pounds of ground meat (a little more or little less, will not need any adjustments) and 3 pounds fit into the 4 trays that come with the dehydrator. I recommend when you can, to purchase some additional trays and mesh sheets so you can do larger batches such as for summer snacks and for holiday gifts. This was a favorite gift last Christmas to our family members. They all loved and appreciated it tremendously!

Before I purchased a dehydrator, I looked at reviews, talked to a few people that have used the dehydration process a long time and decided on the Bass Pro store's Open Country Garden Master brand. Wait till it is on sale! Buy some extra Mesh sheet inserts and if you can, a few extra drying trays. I believe you can go as high as 25 trays, "Wow!"

STORING the jerky. Fresh jerky doesn't contain any preservatives. For immediate consumption and up to 5-7 days you can store it in a sealed bag or tightly sealed container in your refrigerator. The rest you should place in ziplock freezer bags and store in the freezer. I put 10-15 peaces in each bag.

MOLD. Since no preservatives are present, you must watch for mold. If you see any at all, throw the whole bag away. If you gift jerky to anyone, make sure they understand the storing and mold guidelines to keep them healthy too.

Disclaimer and Lower Sodium Option: This is a high sodium snack. You can reduce the salt/sodium levels by leaving out the Worcestershire sauce and replacing Montreal steak seasoning with "NO SALT" brand seasoning and regular pepper.

Rate How Fast This Snack Goes In your House

5 stars from 2 ratings of jerky

How to Make Jerky

jerky in the dyhadrator
jerky in the dyhadrator | Source
Load up the jerky gun with the seasoned raw ground meat.
Load up the jerky gun with the seasoned raw ground meat.
Deer jerky all done and cooling down on paper towels. You can dab the shinny grease spots off to help it dry and cool.
Deer jerky all done and cooling down on paper towels. You can dab the shinny grease spots off to help it dry and cool.

Cook Time

Prep time: 25 min
Cook time: 3 hours 30 min
Ready in: 3 hours 55 min
Yields: 3 pounds raw meat weigh half as much when dried


  • 3 pounds Ground Meat, Deer (Venison) or Beef or Turkey - Your choice
  • 3 Tablespoons Cure, from the packet in the Seasoning kit
  • 2 Tablespoons + 1 1/2 teaspoons Pepper/Garlic Seasoning, from the packet in the Seasoning kit
  • 3/4 cup cold water, 1/4 cup per pound
  • 1 Tablespoon Worcestershire Sauce
  • 1 teaspoon Montreal Steak Seasoning, or to reduce sodium, use No Salt and regular Pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon Emeril's Original Essence
  • 1/4 teaspoon Celery Salt Seasoning, ONLY FOR TURKEY and is optional

Preparing and Dehydrating the Jerky

  1. Use a large mixing bowl. Add the fresh ground meat
  2. From your Jerky Seasoning Mix Box, add the cure and Pepper/Garlic Seasonings from each envelop - on top of the meat. Mix well with your hand. Alternately, you can use a food processor with the cutting blade at the bottom and pulse it around to mix.
  3. Add 1/4 cup of the water and the Worcestershire Sauce. Add the all the seasonings now and Mix very well.
  4. Add the rest of the water in and mix again until the water and seasonings are fully incorporated into the meat.
  5. Thoughouly wash your hands. Cover the bowl with saran wrap and place in the refrigerator to let the seasoning settle in. A minimum of 24 hours and 48 hours is even better; especially for deer meat.
  6. After the 24 hours or 48 hours in the refrigerator, load up your jerky gun (like a caulk gun). Make sure you have a butter knife near you to cut the ends of the meat as you despense the strips out.
  7. Insert the mesh trays on each drying tray. Start with the bottom tray that sits directly on top of the dehydrator machine. Despense the strips close together (if you just have 4 trays, there can be a little gap if you have more than 4 trays for 3 pounds of meat)
  8. Cut the end of the strip with the butter knife (nothing too sharp, you don't want to cut into your mesh sheets)
  9. If you like a lot of pepper flavor, you can sprinkle more on top of the strips once the tray is covered with the meat strips.
  10. Repeat till the trays are full or you run out of the meat. Add the cover that sits on top of the dehydrator.
  11. Set the temperature to 160 degrees Fahrenheit. You have to determine yourself exactly how long to dry them on the dehydrator. The directions in the seasoning packet and instructions that come with your dehydrater will give you some idea. I do mine 3 to 3 and 1/2 hours. (this batch was 3 1/2 hours)
  12. I turn the strips over every hour.
  13. When they are done, place them in a large container lined with paper towels and let them remain there for 3 hours. Dab any shiny grease spots off the meat.
  14. You can now seal them in freezer bags and keep most of them stored in the freezer till you are ready to eat them. Keep one bag in the refrigerator and eat immediately and up till 5-7 days. No preservatives so it is important to keep them cool and watch for any mold growth. Throw the whole bag away if you ever see even a tiny amount of mold in the bag.

How to Make Jerky and Simple Jerky Recipes By Brenda Green


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    • profile image

      TrueJerkyMaker 2 years ago

      Well, I have to rescind my comment on never losing any jerky to mold. The wet weather during and after deer season, and me leaving some out in the garage, ( not a controlled environment.) I lost my first bag of jerky to mold. Learned a valuable lesson.

    • bridalletter profile image

      Brenda Kyle 4 years ago from Blue Springs, Missouri, USA

      You can send a direct message to me, under my profile. Thank you for your help.

    • profile image

      TrueJerkyMaker 4 years ago

      It's been awhile, since I checked in.. Sounds like your ready to make some real jerky.. You wouldn't have to change any your seasonings or spices.. Nothing more to add.. Are you interested ?? I would need a way to write you.. Too much info for this little box.. No need to post to the world.. Let me know...

    • bridalletter profile image

      Brenda Kyle 5 years ago from Blue Springs, Missouri, USA

      The deer meat almost tastes like beef with this recipe. The only thing I am not sure of is how to get the jerky to last longer without freezing it. I hate to add a preservative, it is nice to have it as natural as possible. Thanks for commenting Kasman.

    • Kasman profile image

      Kas 5 years ago from Bartlett, Tennessee

      My wife will love these. Her favorite meat is deer meat as it is. So deer jerky and turkey jerky are right up her alley! Very informative hub and I'm voting up!

    • bridalletter profile image

      Brenda Kyle 5 years ago from Blue Springs, Missouri, USA

      That is good to here truejerkymaker. I never claimed to be better than professionals, just shared my experience and simple seasonings. I am good with maintaining mine in the freezer till I eat it. 25 years is awesome on your experience with jerky!

    • profile image

      TrueJerkyMaker 5 years ago

      Us true jerky makers get a kick out of you wannabe's. I have been making jerky for 25 plus years, and have never lost 1 piece to mold. Sometimes it is months before I finish eating a batch.

    • bridalletter profile image

      Brenda Kyle 5 years ago from Blue Springs, Missouri, USA

      Perfect time for that gift! I learned from an expert jerky maker as far as the dehydrator goes. I picked the one Bass Pro carries. I was making it with steaks and roasts at first, but I received a great deal more compliments and the fact it is easier to eat (when I used ground meat). I love that dehydrator, I am using it again to make some Christmas gift food baskets again. Thanks for commenting wilderness.

    • wilderness profile image

      Dan Harmon 5 years ago from Boise, Idaho

      I would never have though of making jerky with ground meat - you make me want to buy a dehydrator. And here it is with Christmas coming up...

    • bridalletter profile image

      Brenda Kyle 5 years ago from Blue Springs, Missouri, USA

      That is great, you can make a smaller batch the first time, 1 pound of ground meat. Then you can tell how much seasonings you want to use. I love the dehydrator. There are some great hubs on here including drying herbs. I am trying that one out next. Enjoy!

    • TravelAbout profile image

      Katheryn 5 years ago from United States

      Oh my husband will love this. I have a dehydrator but haven't had time to look for jerky recipes. He is a jerky lover. I will bookmark this and try your recipes. voted up and thanks for sharing