If you are not using a smoker to infuse smoke flavoring into your venison jerky recipes, there are several different liquid smoke flavors you can use. Mixing the liquid smoke concentrate with the other ingredients adds real depth of flavor. Although using a smoker to make venison jerky probably gives the meat the best natural flavor, liquid smoke products work very well.
This particular venison jerky recipe utilizes mesquite flavored liquid smoke. It also contains brown sugar to add a sweet component.
1 pound venison steak, cut into 1/4 inch strips
1 cup soy sauce
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
2 tablespoons Mesquite flavored liquid smoke concentrate
1 tablespoon ground paprika
3 cloves garlic minced
1/4 teaspoon salt
Add all of the ingredients together in a large bowl and add in the venison steak. Marinate the venison for 12-24 hours and use your favorite jerky drying method.
Since we are using artificial flavor to infuse the smoke into this venison jerky recipe, it would be overkill to use a smoker. If you do want to use a smoker for the venison jerky, I would eliminate the liquid smoke concentrate from the recipe. You could use mesquite wood in your smoker instead.
Although this venison jerky recipe uses mesquite for the smoke flavoring, there are several other options available, like hickory for example. Have fun with it and experiment with different flavoring options.