From enjoying it at home while watching the big game, at work, or in a treestand on a chilly fall day, venison jerky is one of my all-time favorite snacks.
There are several ways that I enjoy making jerky. One is slicing the meat in thin strips and letting it marinate for a few hours before placing them on the dehydrator. Another way is to take ground venison and run it through a jerky canon to make flat pieces of a more tender style jerky.
The thin-sliced, marinated jerky was once my favorite style of jerky, based on the overall flavor. That was until I tried making jerky on my Traeger Grills pellet smoker.
Before a new hunting season begins, I like to use up all the ground venison I have in the freezer from the year before. Always in search of a new way to use ground venison, I elected to try making a ground jerky on my pellet smoker. However, this time, I used the round, snack stick style attachment on the jerky cannon mixed with a couple of different seasonings that made for a great tasting, easy-to-make smoked treat.
- 3 pounds of ground venison
- 3 tablespoons of Traeger Jerky Rub
- 1 tablespoon and 1 ½ teaspoon of Hi Mountain Seasonings Jerky Hickory Blend Seasoning
- 2 tablespoons of Hi Mountain Seasonings Jerky Hickory Blend Cure
In a large mixing bowl, mix 3 pounds of ground venison with Traeger Jerky Rub and mix into the meat.
Mix in Hi Mountain seasoning and cure and a ¼ cup of water to blend seasonings into the meat.
After all, ingredients are blended thoroughly, place a piece of clear plastic wrap on the top of the mixing bowl and refrigerate for at least 4 hours; however, I have let it sit for 24 hours.
As mentioned, for this cook, I used my Traeger Grills Pro 780 pellet smoker. When ready to cook, preheat smoker to 175 degrees, with the lid closed.
On this cook, I used the Traeger Pecan Flavored pellets. Even though I had a little bit of Hickory flavor already going into the jerky with my seasonings, I decided to blend the wood flavors and use a Pecan flavored pellet to get the most out of the wood-fired flavors.
While the smoker is preheating, remove the flavored ground venison out of the refrigerator and load it into a jerky cannon with the round snack stick attachment to form the jerky sticks.
I made as many 6" to 7" sticks as I could (which was several). I placed them on a plastic tray because it is easier to transfer over to the smoker when ready to cook.
After all the sticks have been made out onto the tray, place them directly onto the Traeger's grates. I placed the sticks at least 1 inch apart.
With the lid closed the entire time, smoke the jerky sticks at 175 degrees for 5 ½ hours.
Once the sticks are cooked, pull them off the smoker and place them back on clean plastic trays until cold.
The Smoked Venison Jerky had a great wood-smoked flavor. Using ground venison, instead of thinly sliced strips of meat, you will get a more tender bite and more blended flavors from the seasoning and the Traeger Jerky Rub than regular sliced jerky.
After my wife and I make a large batch of jerky, we usually have a jar on our kitchen counter with jerky, ready to eat anytime. We also put 10 to 15 sticks in a bag a vacuum seal and freeze them until ready to use. Like I mentioned earlier, Smoked Venison Jerky is a great snack to pull out of your backpack while in your treestand or ground blind while deer hunting.
Therefore, please take your weapons, your quiver, and your bow, and go out to the field and hunt game for me. And make me savory food, such as I love, and bring it to me that I may eat, that my soul may bless you before I die. Genesis 27:3-4
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