Making deer jerky in the oven is a great way to use some of your deer meat. It’s a simple dish to put together and you can make it a bit different each time by changing the marinade a bit. Deer jerky can be a healthy and filling snack or it can be served as part of a meal.
I use my deer meat pretty much the same way as I use beef, however, most of the time it has to be precooked to soften the meat before I use it in a recipe. That is easy to do if you use a pressure cooker.
Deer jerky is one of our favorite ways to eat deer meat and for this dish, there is no need to soften the meat. Which means that it’s just a tiny bit easier on mommy… And that is a good thing!
Since I don’t have a dehydrator, I make my deer jerky in the oven.
Deer Jerky in the Oven…
It’s a simple dish to make and I love that I can make it differently each time by marinating the meat in a different marinade or using different spices.
If I want it a bit spicier I can add more pepper flakes. If I want it a bit sweeter I can add more honey. If I want it a bit saltier I can add more salt… And so on. It’s pretty easy to change things around.
History of Deer Jerky…
Native Americans used to make jerky using meat from buffalo, elk, and deer. For them, it was a way to preserve the meat and an easy way to consume high protein food on the go.
Thin strips of meat were laid on thin sticks, hanging above the fire so the fire couldn’t burn the sticks but so the smoke could slowly dry the meat.
It’s still a good way to dry meat but today we can cut some of the time by making deer jerky in the oven.
Best Cut of Meat For Deer Jerky…
It will probably be easier to prepare the meat for deer jerky if you choose a backstrap or the ham. Simply because there is no bone in the way and it’s easier to cut thin slices of meat.
But all in all, you can use any cut of meat that you want. We will marinate the meat and then dry it. I personally don’t feel any difference between the cuts of meat when I taste the jerky.
How Long Does it Take to Dry Deer Jerky in the Oven?
I bake my jerky in a 300 degree Fahrenheit preheated oven for about an hour and a half.
You can choose to lower the heat as low as 200 degrees Fahrenheit. Of course, if you do that it will take you longer to dry the jerky, probably between 2-4 hours.
How to Make Deer Jerky in The Oven…
We butcher our own deer here on the homestead. I try to pack nice pieces of meat that don’t have a bone in them, especially for deer jerky, when I pack the meat after butchering.
Then, it’s easier to take the piece out and let it thaw half way before I slice it into thin strips of meat for the jerky. If you are using a knife for slicing the meat, then it’s much easier to do this if the meat is still a bit frozen.
But this front leg that you see me using here was the last piece of deer meat that I had in the freezer. We really wanted deer jerky so I used it.
It takes more time to prepare the meat for jerky with the bone in the way but we love this dish so much that it was worth the time.
There is no real technique here… I just cut thin strips of meat…
I try to cut all of them the same thickness so they bake evenly…
Once I had as much meat as I could cut off the bone, I seasoned the bone (olive oil, garlic powder, salt, paprika, and black pepper) and baked it in the oven on 350 degrees Fahrenheit for an hour and a half or so.
We then eat the meat off of it (there is still so much on there) and gave the bone to the dog.
Deer Jerky Marinade…
The strips I cut for the jerky need to be marinated.
I mix 4 tablespoons of olive oil, 4 tablespoons of soy sauce, 3 tablespoons of honey, and 1/2 teaspoon of each red chili pepper flakes, garlic powder, and black pepper.
You can also add ginger powder if you have it. Salt can be added as well but take into consideration that soy sauce is pretty salty.
I place the meat in the marinade and mix so it’s coated well, then I cover with plastic wrap and let the meat marinate in the fridge for a few hours but preferably overnight.
The measurements for the marinade are just a rough guide for you. I had about 2 lb of meat strips.
Change the marinade according to what you like. You can add more honey or use less soy sauce… Make it your own.
And feel free to use this same process of making deer jerky in the oven with a completely different kind of marinate.
It can be a teriyaki marinade or sweet chili marinade or even just dry seasonings. You can change it however you want.
How to Make Deer Jerky in the Oven…
When the deer meat is ready for baking, I lay the pieces of meat in one layer on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper and bake in a 300 degrees Fahrenheit preheated oven.
I start with an hour and then from there, I keep baking the deer jerky more depending on how dry I like it and depending on the thickness of the strips of deer meat. I usually end up leaving it for an hour and a half or so.
During this hour and a half, I flip the meat twice.
It comes out dry and dark (because of the soy sauce) and delicious!
Serving Deer Jerky…
You can’t keep these out at room temperature as you do with jerky you made in a dehydrator, they are not quite as dry.
But you can certainly store them in the fridge if you want for a few days. In our house, they don’t last long enough to make it to the fridge.
They are usually an easy lunch for us. I’ll serve deer jerky and some carrots or apples. Maybe peanuts or pecans and we call it a meal. It’s easy and filling.
But maybe the best thing about deer jerky is that it’s so easy to take with you and eat on the go. I’ll sometimes make it before we head to the lake in the summer, or we’ll take it with us when we go hiking.
It’s also a great snack to have around if you plan a big homestead project and know that you won’t have much time for cooking.
And, of course, deer jerky is the best hunter’s food! So if you are going to sit there in the tree for a few hours in the cold morning or afternoon, a bag of deer jerky will be a tasty companion for sure!
This is such an easy recipe that can be made the same way yet different each time. I hope that you give this deer jerky in the oven a try! I promise you that it will turn out to be a favorite.
If you are looking for more deer meat recipes, check these out…
How to Can Meat (this is how I can some of my venison meat)
- 2 lb deer meat cut into thin strips
- 4 tablespoons olive oil
- 4 tablespoons soy sauce
- 3 tablespoons honey
- 1/2 teaspoon red chili flakes
- 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
- 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger (optional)
- To a large bowl, add the olive oil, soy sauce, honey, red chili pepper flakes, garlic powder, and black pepper. Mix well to combine.
- Add the meat and mix to coat.
- Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and place in the fridge to marinate overnight or for a few hours.
- Pre-heat oven to 300 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Arrange your meat slices on the baking sheet in one layer.
- Bake for one hour to one and a half hours depending on how thick your meat is and how dry you'd like it. Turn the meat a couple of times during baking.
Try to slice your meat to even pieces so they all bake the same. This is easier if you use a piece of meat that doesn't have a bone in it and if you do this when the meat is half frozen.
The measurements for the marinate are just a rough guideline. Feel free to add some more seasonings, or more honey if you like it sweeter. Make it your own!
If there are any leftovers, store your jerky in a container in the fridge for a couple of weeks.
Nutrition Information:Yield: 6 Serving Size: 1/3 of a pound
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 346Total Fat: 13gSaturated Fat: 3gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 9gCholesterol: 119mgSodium: 671mgCarbohydrates: 10gFiber: 0gSugar: 9gProtein: 47g
Hi! I’m Lady Lee. I help homesteaders simplify their homesteading journey while still producing a ton of food! I am a single mother of four, I was born in Israel and raised in an agricultural commune called a Kibbutz. Now I homestead in central NC.