How To Smoke Deer Jerky: Smoking Temperature & Marination Method

Smoking deer jerky is an American tradition that has been around for centuries. It’s a great way to preserve and enjoy your wild game meat. The process, however, can be quite daunting for beginners, as there are many variables to consider, such as the type of wood used and the smoker’s temperature. To ensure you get delicious results every time, knowing precisely how long you should smoke deer jerky is essential.

Smoked deer jerky can be made in many different ways depending on the flavor you’re looking for.

Preparation: Tools & Ingredients

When it comes to making deer jerky, preparation is critical. To make your homemade deer jerky like a pro, you must have the right tools and ingredients before you start. To help ensure success in the process, here are some of the necessary items for smoking delicious deer jerky:

The primary tool you will need is a smoker. Smokers come in wide varieties, from electric to wood chip smokers allowing for controlled temperatures when cooking the meat at low heat over several hours. Additionally, secure tongs, gloves, and an oven thermometer are necessary for safety and accuracy when checking the temperature of your smoker and the meat itself.

Marinating & Tenderizing

Marinating and tenderizing is an essential step in making delicious deer jerky. Whether using a smoker, oven, or dehydrator to make your jerky, marinating the meat beforehand will give it a more flavorful taste. Not only that, but it can also help to tenderize the finished product so you can enjoy a chewier slab of jerky. The marinade used varies depending on individual tastes; however, some essential ingredients work well when preparing deer meat for jerky.

Standard marinade components include Worcestershire sauce, garlic powder, onion powder, and various spices like chili powder and pepper. Soy sauce is often used as well for added flavor and color.

Cooking Time: How Long To Smoke Deer Jerky?

Smoking deer jerky is a delicious way to preserve and enjoy the taste of the wild game. It can be intimidating for those who have never tried it before; however, with some knowledge and practice, it can become a rewarding hobby. The first step in making smoked deer jerky is understanding how long to smoke it.

The temperature you should use is between 250 and 300 degrees Fahrenheit. The process will take at least three hours, which may be different depending on the thickness of the meat and your smoker’s ability to maintain a consistent temperature. If the temperature gets too high, open the vent halfway. If the temperature gets too low, add more coals (if using a charcoal smoker). The smoker should do an excellent job regulating your temperature with an electric model. Smoke the meat for about 1.5 hours per pound or until the meat advances to an internal temperature of 140F. When the heart has the desired temperature, remove it from the smoker and let it rest for about 15-25 minutes before cutting it.


Once completely cool, store in an airtight bag for 1 to 2 months. The jerky can also be refrigerated for 3 to 6 months or frozen for a year.

The time that it takes to smoke deer jerky will depend on several factors, including the type of smoker being used, the size and thickness of the meat cuts, as well as outside temperature and humidity levels; generally speaking, smoking times can range from 4-6 hours for thin slices up to 8-12 hours for thick slices or large pieces of meat.


Smoking deer jerky is a labor of love that requires the right temperature and marination method to ensure optimal flavor and texture. While it can be intimidating for beginners, following these simple steps will guarantee an enjoyable result.

With proper care and attention, you can make delicious smoked deer jerky that will have your family coming back for more!