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  • AvatarCubby
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    Looking to do my own deer jerky this fall, bought a jerky slicer and own a Traegar to smoke them. I also bought a vacuum sealer. Any tips would be great, also do you guys freeze your deer meat after you shoot it and then thaw it out to make jerky or make it right after you shoot one. thanks,

    Avatarmaxx
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    Freeze it first. It is easier to slice semi frozen. You actually want it on the more frozen side to slice. Slice if cross grain never with the grain.

    I use a dehydrator cause it is easier and you can do a lot more at a time. It is a time consuming process. The thing I hate the most is putting the meat on the rack after it has been marinaded.

    Play with the thickness. My wife like it really thin and dry I tend to like it a little thicker.

    Avatartwdenney
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    I own 3 traeger grills. Ditch the traeger for jerky and the slicer also. Grind it all and use jerky cannon with HI-Mountain in flavor you like and use cheap dehydrator. I have three Roncos one from my G-ma, one from my mom both of these were bought on infomercials, and one from local goodwill type store. I make 100lbs (wet/fresh/nondehydrated) jerky a year. The cheapest easiest way I know to do it. HI-Mountain is on sale at Thiesen’s for 5.99 a pack.
    Oh yeah..throw the vacuum sealer away also. Use a freezer bag. Much much cheaper.

    AvatarCubby
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    What kind of grinder do you use? To me grinding it would add more work, vacuum sealer was more for fish but sounds like not needed for jerky.

    Avatartwdenney
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    LEM #12 can grind a whole deer that is cutup and ready in minutes. I have ground trim from 3 hogs in less than 30 minutes. I have already ground 3 deer this year 2 from youth and a doe from bow ended up with 40 lbs of jerky. Will do 3 more hogs in 2 weeks, hopefully it is cool enough if not will put it off until after Thanksgiving and !st season shotgun. Not saying your traeger will not work but will take some pellets and time. Pitboss pellets from menards are alot better and cheaper.

    Avatariowavf
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    I like to slice mine either before or after it’s frozen and I use High Mountain seasoning and prefer the oven method versus the smoker. The last batch I made in the smoker tasted more like smoked meat versus what the jerky taste like in the oven. I cut my pieces about 1/4″ thick, I just never liked the texture of the ground jerky for some reason.

    Avatarlivetofish
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    My very simple setup…

    Rapala wood handled fillet knife(my “slicer”)… cast iron hand grinder for ground jerky I picked up at goodwill years ago…

    lems and high mountain are both good seasonings..

    I also make my own marinade for my sliced jerky… 1 part Worchester, 2 parts soy… then add whatever seasonings smell good to you… I use a dehydrator for all my jerky… I dehydrate a ton of fruits and other snacks for my boys

    we don’t vaccum seal any jerky, as it’s usually eaten within a few days 😉

    AvatarIhuntcurs
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    I think whole meat jerky can taste a little better, bur the ease of grinding it and shooting it out is so much better. Skip the smoker and dehydrate it. Zip lock freezer bags and your good to go. I had a friend up from Texas pheasant hunting this past week and was not going to take any back with him as his wife and children do not care for it. I took pheasant breast sliced them thin and marinated it and dehydrated them so he could have something to snack on. I have done this for years and the jerky is some primo stuff. I used to make jerky for other people and would dehydrate 350-400 pounds a year. I got burnt out doing that so I just do it for a few close friends now. I made some tasty crappie jerky last year. You can jerky just about anything.

    IaCraigIaCraig
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    I agree with advice given. I will add that everyone has their own technique that they like best, so experiment and keep track. Here is what I do

    For meat – I use whole muscle meat, get it about 1/2 frozen and slice it on my electric slicer. I prefer to slice it against the grain so it is a little easier to chew, and I often use the backstraps/loin or large areas of the round when I do this because I like big lean pieces. I used to use a fillet knife, but it was harder to get uniform thickness of pieces. If I was going to do 100’s of lbs, I probably would also grind it instead.

    For seasonings, I have used many different ones including some of my on concoctions. I don’t have a favorite but Hi-Mountain is a good place to start.

    For smoke/dehydrating – My favorite is to use an old “big Chief” electric smoker I have, I run a couple pans of saw dust through it then I just rotate the grill racks to dehydrate it to the desired uniform dryness. A close 2nd favorite is the Ronco type dehydrator someone else has already listed, except it takes longer and smells up the house a bit and I don’t get quite the smoke flavor I like.

    Have fun!
    😀

    Avatarchangdrix
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    Jerky the backstraps?! That’s blasphemy!! 😆

    Avatartwdenney
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    My backstraps almost all get jerked. I get enough tenderloins to fill myself and family with deersteak on grill. When you butcher fat cattle twice a year there is no comparison. Lay a cornfed ribeye next to a backstrap and I know which one I would pick!!! I save maybe one or two roasts, the hanging loins(tenderloins), maybe one pristine backstrap to wrap in slice and wrap in bacon and make london broils. The rest is jerky.

    AvatarIhuntcurs
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    I make jerky out of the whole thing. I like deer, but its just me and my wife does not care for deer. My children like the jerky. I give away 90% of the jerky I make to friends and take on ice fishing trips for the buddies to eat. I give as Christmas presents. Heck, jerky has gotten me a permenent ice house just moved to the hot spot when we get up to Northern MN to use. It’s the sportsman universal language. I do not skimp with small amounts either.

    AvatarHEUY
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    I grind my deer that I will make Jerky out of. I put seasonings in, mix them well and than get out visqueen and pie crust roller. Plastic has to be several inches wider than the drying racks I dry on and about 3x longer than the racks are. Put a glob of ground on middle of plastic. Fold plastic over and start rolling the meat out. When you have reached thickness you want stop and lay rack upside down over the meat, put everything right side up and pull plastic off meat. I take painting tape and put on counter top to outline the size of my racks and keep meat within that area. It is easier than it sounds. This way I get full use of my racks with no unused areas, my thickness is what I want and roller can easily move excess meat from one area to another. Very clean as roller never touches the meat and I only touch the meat 1x with hands to put glob inside the plastic or I can use a big spoon. If meat doesn’t expand enough to fill rack, put more inside plastic and roll out. If rolled out meat is too large, trim off excess. You MUST have a uniform thickness across whole meat patty so the drying time is Ok for the whole piece of meat.

    I dry mine in oven using 300 degrees at first (like one hour) and than dropping it way down, cracking open the oven door and going for couple hours more. 300 degrees should be hot enough to kill any bacteria that you don’t want plus I always use Cure if making seasoning from scratch. Check that bought seasoning already have cure in it. I pull meat out when it is dry enough for me (like mine dryer) and cut into pieces with knife or pizza cutter. Often do 1 1/2″ squares which pop into my mouth real easy. Can keep a plastic bag on dash for days without it going bad – must be dry enough! Because my oven has warmer and colder spots I rotate my racks couple times, front to back and top to bottom. I have like 6 racks. If any part of my racks are too moist to my liking I have couple dehydrators that I put just that meat on and finish drying so I can start on next batch of jerky.

    I like bought seasonings but often will mix my own. When I am hunting or on road trip (I do a lot of driving) my homemade seasoning is pretty mild w/o pepper etc. This keeps me going when I don’t want to stop for a meal and mild taste does not require drinking much water with it which also requires (for me) extra stops. My racks are size of large pan roughly 14″ x 20″.

    Avatarpopeandbooner
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    My backstraps get jerkied also, along with the roasts sometimes although we do like to make deer n noodles out of the roasts too. I usually freeze then slice into 3/8 thick slices , follow directions on hi mountain box, and i use dehydrator

    AvatarBrad Phillips
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    Curley’s Seasonings in Fairbanks has some great jerky recipes.

    AvatarCubby
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    I just finished up my deer jerky,

    I used Cabelas jerky slicer to cut the meat, worked well and all pieces were same thickness. Next year when we process we can get the meat cut to right size now that we know. Basically it will take a 1.5″ thick piece at any length.

    I used both a dehydrator and traegar, the traegar was much better, gave it a great smoke flavor and didn’t dry it all out. Teriyaki and Hickory were very good.

    Traegar on smoke setting 4-6 hours, I also used dehydrator and then put it on traegar for awhile to add smoke flavor and finish them off.

    Avatarnmac54
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    Did you put them on a rack on your traeger or just on the grill grate? I usually do mine on the dehydrator or in a actual smoker, but Ive wanted to try the traeger.

    IaCraigIaCraig
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    Cubby – Thanks for following up with your results. I like smoke on mine too, I posted earlier try different options until you find what works best for your taste and equipment. I do recommend you try ground sometime, it turns out surprisingly well too, and you can use it for wild turkey, snow geese or darn near any kind of meat. One of these summers I am going to make jerky out of a mess of crappie fillets, I’ve had fish jerky but never tried to make it myself.

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