These cool nights we've been having lately has me thinking that Hunting Season is right around the corner! I love love love, bear and moose jerky! What I love about wild game meat is that it is naturally lean. When making jerky this is very important. If you don't have access to wild game meat, then a lean beef like London broil will work.
Sometimes I will slice the meat really thin or sometimes I will put it through my sausage grinder and use a jerky extruder. The extruder offers up nice even pieces. You can do flat pieces or Slim Jim stick types.
½ cup brown sugar
½ cup whiskey
½ cup soy sauce
¼ cup cider vinegar
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
4 drops liquid hickory smoke
1 pound London broil (or Bear or Moose meat) strips
In a one-gallon resealable plastic freezer bag, thoroughly mix together all the ingredients, except the meat, and allow the mixture to rest for 10 minutes. Add the meat strips to the marinade and mix them around so they get completely coated with the marinade. Remove as much air as possible from the bag, seal, and place it in the refrigerator for eight to 24 hours. During the marinating time, remove the bag from the refrigerator and work the meat around so the marinade is fully incorporated into it. Remove the strips from the marinade and arrange in a single layer in your choice of dryer.
To dry jerky:
First, start up your smoker and reach a temperature of 165-185 degrees. Second, lay the meat strips on a cooling rack set on a baking sheet to allow air to flow underneath the strips as they dry.
Begin checking on the jerky after about 90 minutes. Cook time depends on lots of factors: how thick it is cut, how fatty it is, what the moisture content is.
Jerky is ready when it looks dry, but you can bend it without it snapping. If it does snap, that means it's too dried out—just stick it back into a new marinade and dry it again. When your jerky is ready, store it in a resealable plastic bag without excess air. If you see any oil on the surface, carefully pat it dry with paper towel before storing it.
Properly dried jerky will last up to month at room temperature. For longer storage, vacuum seal or freeze it. Homemade jerky is perfectly safe, but if you spot any mold, the entire batch should be thrown out.