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How to make ‘the best jerky in Central Oregon’

Good jerky starts with superior ingredients. A successful hunter may have lots of meat to use.
How to make ‘the best jerky in Central Oregon’

Survival food is sustenance that can be made easily during a survival or emergency situation using mainly simple, long-term storage food items, cooked outdoors, using off-the-grid methods.

by Leon Pantenburg

I got this Facebook post from land navigation expert Blake Miller (who also can find his way around in the kitchen!):
“The Aspen leaves are turning gold, the mule deer are in my garden, hunting season starts in 13 days and it’s time to make homemade beef jerky.

Make the best jerky in Central Oregon.

It’s time to make jerky for hunting season. (Blake Miller photo)

 Here’s the best recipe in Central Oregon.

“I’ll share if you want it.”

Well, yeah!

I was out last weekend at the gun range performing my traditional pre-hunt rifle sight-in. I haven’t needed to adjust the scope on my Remington 7 mag for about a decade, but a  responsible hunter always checks! And you’ll want to check all the other gear that needs to go along, like the best hunting knife, your pocket survival kit and your ten essentials!

Those of us who are getting ready for hunting season know that energy in the field is a vital part of the whole experience. Healthy snacks keep you from getting hungry. Prolonged calorie deficit means you’ll start to get weak. That can affect your ability to maintain your body heat and keep moving.

Besides, who wants to go outdoors and be miserable! Here is Blake’s jerky recipe. The meat should be completely covered by the mixture, so I’m not sure just how many pounds this recipe might be good for!

Carlin Jerky

Trophies abound in town! This buck was photographed with a point-and-shoot camera by my friend Phil Brummett.

1/2 gallon of water.
1/2 c of Worcester sauce
1/4 c of Teriyaki sauce
1/8 c of Soy sauce
1/2 c brown sugar
1/8 c white sugar
1 tsp. black pepper
1/2 tsp. lemon pepper
1/2 tsp. garlic salt
1/8 c salt

Combine ingredients, dissolve in water. Soak meat in a glass bowl for 48 hours. After the 48 hours, drain the solution from the bowl and replace with cool water; this removes the excess salt.

Put paper towels down on a clean surface and place the cooking racks on top of the towels. Lay the strips of meat on racks and let them drain. Sprinkle pepper (coarse). If desired add Tabasco/Hot sauce before cooking.

Use hickory chips to smoke. Smoking time will vary with type of smoker.

(Blake’s comment: I use one of the Big Chief smokers. I can’t regulate the temperature. For  jerky I use hickory chips.  I have the meat cut to 1/4-inch slices and I’d expect it to take six hours for the jerky to get done, and a lot longer if  the smoker gets cold.)

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1 Comment

  1. Bob P.

    12/04/2015 at 16:36

    Here’s a really simple recipe for a jerky marinade that I’ve been using for the last 40 years and it tastes just as good as the stuff that comes in the plastic bags. It will work with in a dehydrator or in the oven.

    It makes enough to soak meat in a large mixing bowl and is pretty concentrated so a couple of hours will do it. I used to soak the meat over night, but that was too much. If you are making jerky in the oven, you can soak then next batch while the first one is drying. Stirring the contents of the bowl a few times ensures even taste throughout.

    Basic ingredients:
    Soy sauce – 3 bottles
    Liquid smoke – 1 bottle
    Brown sugar – 1 cup – stir until dissolved

    Flavor additives:
    Garlic cloves – frappe’
    Onion – frappe’
    Teriyaki sauce
    Worcestershire sauce

    The basic ingredients make a good jerky all buy themselves. If you make a lot of jerky, it’s fun to have some flavor variations using the other additives.

    I like to mush up the garlic cloves and onion, or frappe’ them in a blender so the meat is basically soaking in the juice. If you use the blender method, it WILL affect the flavor of your next margarita.

    Happy munching,
    Bob P.

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Leon Pantenburg is a wilderness enthusiast, and doesn't claim to be a survival expert or expertise as a survivalist. As a newspaperman and journalist for three decades, covering search and rescue, sheriff's departments, floods, forest fires and other natural disasters and outdoor emergencies, Leon learned many people died unnecessarily or escaped miraculously from outdoor emergency situations when simple, common sense might have changed the outcome. Leon now teaches common sense techniques to the average person in order to avert potential disasters. His emphasis is on tried and tested, simple techniques of wilderness survival. Every technique, piece of equipment or skill recommended on this website has been thoroughly tested and researched. After graduating from Iowa State University, Leon completed a six-month, 2,552-mile solo Mississippi River canoe trip from the headwaters at Lake Itasca, Minn., to the Gulf of Mexico. His wilderness backpacking experience includes extended solos through Yellowstone’s backcountry; hiking the John Muir Trail in California, and numerous shorter trips along the Pacific Crest Trail. Other mountain backpacking trips include hikes through the Uintas in Utah; the Beartooths in Montana; the Sawtooths in Idaho; the Pryors, the Wind River Range, Tetons and Bighorns in Wyoming; Rocky Mountain National Park in Colorado, the Catskills in New York and Death Valley National Monument in southern California. Some of Leon's canoe trips include sojourns through the Okefenokee Swamp and National Wildlife Refuge in Georgia, the Big Black River swamp in Mississippi and the Boundary Waters canoe area in northern Minnesota and numerous small river trips in the Midwest and Pacific Northwest. Leon is also an avid fisherman and an elk, deer, upland game and waterfowl hunter. Since 1991, Leon has been an assistant scoutmaster with Boy Scout Troop 18 in Bend, and is a scoutmaster wilderness skills trainer for the Boy Scouts’ Fremont District. Leon earned a second degree black belt in Taekwondo, and competed in his last tournament (sparring and form) at age 49. He is an enthusiastic Bluegrass mandolin picker and fiddler and two-time finalist in the International Dutch Oven Society’s World Championships.

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