Air fryer deer jerky makes an awesome snack, it is low in fat, high in protein, and easily portable, perfect for hiking, packed lunches, or picnics.
Why you’ll love this recipe
Deer jerky is a delicious and high-protein snack that’s perfect for on-the-go. While it’s traditionally made by drying out strips of meat in a dehydrator, you can also make it in an air fryer! Not only is this method faster, but it also produces jerky that’s just as tender and flavorful as the original.
In this article, we’ll walk you through the steps of making deer jerky in an air fryer, including the best cuts of meat to use and the optimal cooking time and temperature. Get ready to sink your teeth into a tasty and nutritious snack!
Scrolls down for the recipe card for this air fryer deer jerky, or read on for all the details.
What do you need?
Boneless venison roast
Venison roast is a great option for making deer jerky in an air fryer. Rump roast and eye round are ideal, as they are lean cuts of meat that are rich in flavor and high in protein. To use venison roast for this recipe, simply slice it into thin strips against the grain. The thinner the slices, the faster they’ll cook in the air fryer.
The marinade in the recipe below uses a simple homemade marinade made from:
- Worcestershire sauce
- Soy sauce (you can substitute coconut aminos)
- Honey (you can substitute brown sugar, but make sure it is all dissolved)
- Garlic powder (you can substitute onion powder)
You can add other spices to change the flavor to your preference, try adding some chili flakes for extra heat, or a dash of liquid smoke for an earthier flavor.
How to Make Deer Jerky in an Air Fryer
This recipe is very simple to make, but there are a few key steps to getting it just right:
Remove any silverskin: Cut as much of the silverskin off the venison as possible. It can make the jerky hard and difficult to eat if it is left on.
Slice the venison thinly: The venison needs to be thinly sliced to around ¼ inch. You will need to use a very sharp knife to get clean thin slices. It is easier to do if the venison is partially frozen, so you can place the venison roast in the freezer for forty minutes to an hour before you start.
Marinate the venison: mix all marinade ingredients together in a large bowl, then add the sliced venison. Cover and refrigerate overnight (or ideally for 24 hours).
Drain the venison: When it has finished marinating, drain the venison thoroughly and discard the marinade.
Air fry deer jerky until dehydrated: Place the venison strips in the air fryer basket, and try to ensure it is not overlapping. You can use a rack if your air fryer has one. Air fry at a low temperature (185°F/ 85°C) until completely dehydrated.
This will take around 2 hours, but monitoring the jerky closely after 1½ hours is best to get the cooking time just right.
When the jerky is ready it should bend and crack, but not break in half.
It needs to reach 160°F/71°C to be safe to consume, so check with an instant-read meat thermometer to be sure it has reached this temperature.
Use an instant read thermometer to measure the temperature in several of the largest pieces of jerky to be sure it has reached the safe temperature.
How to make deer jerky in an air fryer.
- 1lb/ 450g boneless venison roast
- ¼ cup Worcestershire sauce
- ¼ cup soy sauce
- 1 tablespoon honey
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- ½ teaspoon chili flakes (optional, or add more if you like it spicy)
- Remove any silverskin from the venison roast, then thinly slice across the grain [Note 1] into slices around ¼-inch thick.
- Mix all the marinade ingredients together in a bowl. Add the venison strips to the marinade, ensuring that all surfaces of the meat are covered by the marinade.
- Cover the bowl and place in the refrigerator overnight or up to 48 hours.
- Drain the venison thoroughly and discard the marinade.
- Place venison strips in air fryer basket in a single layer - ensure it is not overlapping.
- Air fry deer jerky at 185°F / 85°C until completely dehydrated. This will take around 2 hours, but check the jerky regularly after around 1½ hours, continuing to air fry for 15-20 minute intervals until it is ready [Note 1]. The jerky should bend and crack, but not break in half.
- When the jerky is ready, allow to cool completely and store in an air-tight container.
- To make this easier you can place the venison roast in the freezer for up to 1 hour before slicing.
- It needs to reach 160°F/ 71°C to be safe, check with an instant-read meat thermometer to be sure. The jerky will bend and crack when it is ready, but not break in half.
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 112Total Fat: 2gSaturated Fat: 1gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 1gCholesterol: 51mgSodium: 859mgCarbohydrates: 5gFiber: 0gSugar: 3gProtein: 18g
Nutrition information is an estimate and provided for informational purposes only.