Homemade Spicy Venison Jerky

Homemade Spicy Venison Jerky

You might be wondering, why share a venison jerky recipe if we're in the business of selling it? Well, some recipes are just too delicious to keep to ourselves, and not everyone has access to a freezer full of venison meat.

What makes this recipe stand out for us is its perfect balance of heat and sweetness. While we enjoy a bit of spice, we understand that everyone's taste buds are different. That's why we encourage you to adjust the heat level to your liking by tweaking the amount of habaneros and crushed red peppers in the recipe.



  • 2 pounds of venison (recommended cuts: top round, eye of round, sirloin, rump roast, or neck)
  • 1 cup low-sodium soy sauce
  • 1/4 cup light brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup Worcestershire sauce
  • 1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
  • 1/2 cup orange juice
  • 1/2 cup grapefruit juice
  • 2-3 habanero peppers, finely chopped (adjust to taste)
  • 1 tablespoon crushed red pepper flakes


You can use a smoker, dehydrator or even you oven!


You are probably wondering how long jerky takes to make, well that depends.  The thickness of your venison slices will significantly impact the outcome, whether you're using a smoker or your kitchen oven. If the slices are uniform, you'll typically run them at 170 degrees F for 2-3 hours. Cutting them too thick may prolong drying by 1-2 hours, while overly thin slices could result in excessively dry jerky.


  1. Prepare the Venison:

    • Trim any excess fat from the venison and slice it into thin strips, about 1/4 to 1/2 inch thick. For the best results, slice against the grain to ensure tenderness.
  2. Prepare the Marinade:

    • In a large mixing bowl, combine the low-sodium soy sauce, light brown sugar, Worcestershire sauce, balsamic vinegar, orange juice, grapefruit juice, chopped habanero peppers, and crushed red pepper flakes. Mix well until the sugar has dissolved and the ingredients are thoroughly combined.
  3. Marinate the Venison:

    • Place the venison strips into a resealable plastic bag or a shallow dish.
    • Pour the marinade over the venison, making sure that all the strips are coated evenly. Seal the bag or cover the dish with plastic wrap and place it in the refrigerator to marinate for at least 4 hours, or preferably overnight. This allows the flavors to penetrate the meat fully.
  4. Dehydrate or Smoke the Jerky:

    • Preheat your dehydrator, smoker, or oven according to the instructions provided.
    • Remove the marinated venison from the refrigerator and drain off any excess marinade.
    • Arrange the venison strips in a single layer on the dehydrator trays, smoker racks, or baking sheets, making sure they are not touching each other.
    • If using a dehydrator, set it to 160°F (70°C) and dehydrate the venison for 4 to 6 hours, or until the jerky is dry and firm to the touch, but still slightly pliable. Adjust the drying time as needed.
    • If using a smoker or oven, set the temperature to 170°F (77°C) and smoke or bake the jerky for 2 to 3 hours, or until it reaches the desired texture. Keep a close eye on the jerky, rearranging it as needed to ensure even drying.
  5. Check for Doneness:

    • After the first hour of drying, check the jerky frequently to ensure it is drying evenly. Rearrange the pieces as needed to promote uniform drying and prevent over-drying.
  6. Enjoy Your Spicy Venison Jerky:

    • Once the jerky is done, let it cool completely before transferring it to an airtight container or resealable bags for storage.
    • Enjoy your homemade spicy venison jerky as a delicious snack on its own, or pair it with your favorite cheese and crackers for an extra treat. Be warned, though – it's addictive!

With its bold flavors and spicy kick, this homemade venison jerky is sure to become a favorite among your family and friends. Experiment with the level of heat by adjusting the amount of habanero peppers to suit your taste preferences. Whether you're out on a hunting trip or simply craving a protein-packed snack, this spicy venison jerky is the perfect choice. 

If you think that this is to much work, don't worry we have pretty darn good venison jerky too!

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