I go through ups and downs of being completely obsessed with something one month and then tossing it to the side the next. Cheese used to be my nightly snack, especially Tillamook pepper jack cheese, but I’ve laid off of the cheese lately. This month? I’m definitely craving jerky. I posted my sliced venison jerky with fish sauce a bit ago and since then went straight into obsessing over venison snack sticks.
Instead of doing 10+ pounds at a time, I usually stick with 5 pounds or less when I’m testing a recipe. That way, I have enough for everyone to munch on throughout the week, but not an overabundance of something that perhaps just isn’t good enough to hand out, just yet.
When you get the recipe right, that’s when you double-up on the meat and make enough to freeze for later.
Venison Snack Sticks are Perfect for Outdoor Adventuring
Hunting? Fishing? Hiking? Backpacking? Trekking? These venison snack sticks are the perfect treat to pack for any of your outdoor adventures. They pack a protein punch that is perfect for keeping your energy up, and the cure helps preserve them so you don’t have to worry about refrigeration if you do an overnight camping or backpacking trip.
If we’re planning on heading to the woods overnight, these venison snack sticks would be the first thing I’d put together for our trip.
If you don’t have a smoker, no worries, just add a teaspoon of liquid smoke into the meat mix and put the sticks in the oven for the same temperature and time that I mention it should go on the smoker.
If you don’t have a dehydrator, you can just use your oven to do that part too. Adjust the temperature to 160℉ and let the venison snack sticks rest in the oven for the two hours that I mention having them in the dehydrator.
A lot of recipes call for an 80/20 meat to fat ratio, but I find that a 70/30 ratio makes these venison snack sticks come out tastier and not as dry. You can play with different ratios to find what you like best. For the fat, we usually use bacon.
You don’t have to use the cure, but it helps control microbial growth, especially when cooking anything between the temperature danger zone of 40℉ and 140℉. The cure also helps with keeping the venison snack sticks shelf-stable for overnight backpacking trips.
We always have hatch green chilis in the freezer. When the fall comes around and it’s time to get more, we’ll dehydrate any that we had from the previous year and crush them up to use as a spice on jerky, meats and soups. If you don’t have access to green chilis, you can also just order the dried mix on Amazon. We prefer hatch green chili, but really any green chili powder will work for this recipe. Powdered green chili is the secret ingredient in an amazing green chili stew. Try it on eggs too, you won’t be disappointed.