As Kurt said, a little different technique, but the end result is pretty much the same.
Learn how to make Walton's Tender Venison Jerky with Walton's and Meatgistics. Watch the video, read the guide, and then post your questions or comments below.
Walton’s Tender Jerky is a formula that we came up with to try to mimic the tender, shelf-stable jerky you buy in stores. Jerky is usually shelf-stable as it is so low in water activity, but that can make it fairly dry. So, how can we make jerky that is both tender and shelf-stable at home? The answer lies in binding the extra water in your jerky up with sugar. This makes it still tender but the water is occupied with the sugar so it is not available for microbial growth. The addition of soy sauce, rice wine vinegar, and lemon juice concentrate will all work to tenderize the meat when we hold it overnight.
Walton’s Bold Jerky Seasoning
18% of products weight in brown sugar
18% products weight in low sodium soy sauce
1.2% products weight in rice wine vinegar
0.6%products weight in lemon juice concentrate
Freeze your venison whole muscle cuts untill just before it is frozen solid. You want these to have some good resistance to them as this will make it easier to slice. Setup your slicer so it will cut pieces slightly less than 1/4" thick and then slice all of the meat you will be using across the grain.
Mix all of your non-meat ingredients until as much of the sugar and seasoning is suspended as possible. We don’t want to see sludge at the bottom of the container when we are done mixing. With this level of brown sugar, it probably won’t suspend fully but we want to make sure we get as much of it as possible. We would recommend mixing for at least 5 minutes and then when you think you are done, mix for 2 more minutes.
Add your meat and mixed ingredients to your canister and pull as much of a vacuum as possible with your tumbler. Place it in a cool location and vacuum tumble for 30 minutes or until most of the solution has been picked up in the meat. Set in a cooler overnight to let the soy sauce, rice wine vinegar, and lemon juice concentrate continue to break down the meat. The next morning vacuum tumble it again for 20 minutes or until there appears to be no remaining free liquid in your tumbler.
Without a tumbler a very important step is to run all your meat through a tenderizer first. The interlocking blades of a tenderizer will work to breakdown the meat and make it easier for the solution to penetrate. Vacuum seal your meat and the solution in as many bags as necessary, being careful to keep the correct amount of solution with the correct amount of meat. Every few hours take the bag out of the cooler and massage the meat through the bag, this will help loosen the muscle fibers. Leave it in the cooler for at least 24 hours.
20 minutes @ 140 drying phase (no humidity and open vents)
30 minutes @ 150 (add smoke and humidity)
30 minutes @ 155 (add smoke and humidity)
Smoke @ 165 until internal temp is 155 and make sure it stays there for 5 minutes (add smoke and humidity)
15 minutes @ 160 with no humidity and vents wide open.
We achieved a .643 water activity which is 100% shelf stable with this process. Meaning we could leave this outside of a cooler or fridge indefinitely and it would not grow mold or bacteria. Now, at home, you don’t have a water activity meter so you will need to treat this as you would normal jerky.
After being in a vacuum bag you might notice that the outside of the jerky has gotten sticky. Simply lay it out for a few hours and that will absorb back into the meat for the most part. The sugar has been pressed out of the jerky from the force of the vacuum but it should be able to be reabsorbed by the meat.
Interesting. Tender jerky and venison in the same breathe… Hmm, may have to try it. With all the tender and flexibility looks like it might be rubbery?
Curious how much flavor does all the extras impart on the jerky? Like to keep it simple, venison and seasoning.
@paasop the flavor was spot on, it was delicious. Rubbery probably isn’t the right term for it but it wasn’t like classic jerky at all, very tender for sure. Trying to think of a different term than rubbery because that doesn’t sound appealing and this was really good/fun. Tender is the best I can come up with!
Jonathon Hello, I am going to do a 20lb run of tender jerky this weekend in my PK100. I see n the smoke schedule that both vents are wide open. What should I set the vents at during the smoke WITH humidity phases? I’m also going to use Worcestershire instead of low sodium soy. I’ll let you know how that comes out.
Thanks for your time.