Wild Game: Walton's Tender Venison Jerky

  • Team Blue Admin Walton's Employee Power User

    Wild Game: Walton's Tender Venison Jerky
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    Wild Game: Walton's Tender Venison Jerky

    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.

    2 Grinds
    Stuffing into Casing
    Hang in Oven

    What is Walton’s Tender Jerky

    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.

    Meat Block

    Whole venison
    Walton’s Bold Jerky Seasoning
    Sure Cure
    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.

    Vacuum Tumbling (if you have one)

    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.

    If you do not have a 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.

    Smoke Schedule

    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.

    Wrap Up

    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.

    Other notes

    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.

    Shop waltonsinc.com for Marinade Express Vacuum Tumbler

    Shop waltonsinc.com for Jerky Seasonings

    Watch WaltonsTV: Wild Game: Walton’s Tender Venison Jerky

  • Team Orange Power User Veteran

    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.

  • Team Blue Admin Walton's Employee Power User

    @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!

  • PK100 Team Blue

    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.

  • Interesting procedure to making jerky. I’d love to make my own one day when I have the time. Thanks for sharing the recipe and how to make it.

  • Team Blue Power User Regular Contributors

    Calshondra Williams You should try it sooner than later because it is addicting. Then you can always say you are preparing for Doomsday too.

  • I’d love to try and make your tender turkey venison as soon as possible! It looks so tender and scrumptious. Along with the fact your turkey venison has a long shelf life. Thank you for sharing how you make your turkey venison

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About Walton's

Walton's Inc. sells meat processing equipment and supplies, including all of the Seasoning, Equipment, Supplies, Packaging, and Casings needed to make almost any type of sausage. Walton's sells to the commercial customer with a focus on the small to medium-sized processing plants or butcher shops, and directly to the hunter or processor who makes their own product at home. Whether you are a commercial or retail customer of Walton's you will be receiving the exact same seasoning and supplies, we do not have a different "line" for commercial and retail customers so that everyone can make the best sausage or jerky possible!

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