Smoked Venison Jerky

Fire up the meat smoker and make some tasty smoked venison jerky. The true smoke flavor will create a jerky that'll make you proud!

Dehydrating venison jerky in a smoker does wonders for the flavor of the jerky. The real wood smoke flavor can't be duplicated with liquid smoke seasonings.

Drying Jerky in a Smoker

Using a meat smoker to dry your deer jerky will take a bit of experimentation and practice. Maintaining a steady temperature between 140 and 150 degrees can be a challenge, especially with wood fired and charcoal meat smokers. With these, maintain a small fire or small pile of charcoal briquettes to keep the temperature in range.

Electric smokers can do a good job drying jerky. Models with adjustable temperature capability are easiest to work with. The Bradley smoker is adjustable up to 320 degrees Fahrenheit, with a minimum temperature setting low enough for jerky dehydrating.

Some electric smokers, like the Brinkmann Gourmet electric smoker, have no temperature adjustment. The Brinkmann normally runs too hot for jerky, but if the water pan is filled with cold water or cool sand, the temperature can be maintained at a workable temperature.

The Luhr Jensen Little Chief and Big Chief smokers operate a little on the high side for jerky drying. They have a thermostat control that maintains the temperature at close to 160 degrees when the ambient temperature is seventy.

The Smoking Wood

Thin slices of jerky can easily absorb too much smoke, and that can give the jerky a bitter taste. For the best results, smoke the venison jerky lightly, with a mild flavored wood.

Maple, alder and even cottonwood will produce a light flavored smoke that is great for smoked venison jerky. Woods with more intense flavored smoke, like hickory and mesquite can be used, but don't overdo it. Use just a small amount of these woods.

Making Smoked Venison Jerky

Prepare the venison jerky recipe according to the directions, and when it's ready to dehydrate, fire up the smoker (or plug it in) and lay the jerky on the racks. A little oil will prevent the jerky from sticking. Maintain the temp, smoke lightly, and dry to perfection.

More Venison Recipes

Any of the venison jerky recipes on the following pages can be dried and given an authentic smoke flavor in your meat smoker. Check 'em out!


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