If you didn’t know yet, you could make homemade buffalo jerky. When we hear the word jerky, we immediately think of beef or pork. However, the list goes longer than beef!
Game meat is often used as a protein source for making jerky and it makes it even taste better. Here, we explore how to make buffalo jerky using different kinds of kitchen equipment and we give you secret tips and tricks to make it work.
Buffalo meat is the healthier meat option. Why? It is high in protein and low in fat. Buffalos are considered exotic animals because they aren’t farmed as opposed to beef and pork where the cows and pigs are usually kept in barns.
Buffalo provides a selection of amino acids that are essential to our diet and they absolutely taste delicious. It has a particularly robust flavor making it slightly gamey compared to beef.
Here, we explore using buffalo meat for jerky.
What cut of buffalo should I look for?
The best cuts of meat for jerky are top round, sirloin tip, and flank steak. These cuts of meats are leaner compared to the other parts that contain more marbling.
What’s good about using buffalo as meat for jerky is that it is free-range meaning it goes around eating whatever it wants. It becomes leaner than farmed animals made to stay in one place. Marbling is never a good sign for making jerky. When dried, the fat is an unpleasant feeling in the mouth. It also causes the jerky to spoil faster.
How long will my buffalo jerky last?
Buffalo jerky, just like any other cooked meat can last in the chiller safely for around 10 days. Although cooked for a prolonged and slow time, it’s always safe to consume cooked food within the safe timeframe.
If you’re staying in a cooler place, you may store your jerky in an airtight container and leave it at room temperature for around 3-4 days. If you want to prolong the shelf life of the jerky, vacuum seal it and keep it in the chiller.
- Buffalo Meat
Buffalo meat is leaner than beef and is very high in protein. It is low in fat making it an ace choice of meat for jerky. In this recipe, we’re using sirloin tip roast. Remember to trim the fat and discard it. We won’t be needing that.
- Liquid Smoke
We want that smoke flavor to shine through the jerky. If you’re not using a smoker for making jerky, this is a good addition to the marinade.
- Garlic Powder
We’re using garlic powder for this recipe to equally distribute the flavor of the garlic.
- Onion Powder
The same goes for onion powder.
- Soy Sauce
Soy sauce adds good umami to the jerky marinade. Use any brand of ordinary soy sauce for this.
- Black Pepper
Use freshly cracked black pepper.
- Worcestershire Sauce
Worcestershire sauce always adds character to a dish. It has that zing that makes you want more of the jerky.
Tips and Tricks
- Marinate your meat for up to 24 hours if you can
It’s good for the marinade to soak up the buffalo meat longer. It has a robust flavor that would go so well with the marinade. You can marinate your meat for 4-24 hours. The longer, the better.
- Cover the baking sheet in foil if you’re using an oven or smoker.
This would capture the juices from the buffalo meat making it a lot easier to clean when you’re done.
- Make sure to create spacing between each strip of meat while dehydrating.
It’s important to have that space between each piece of meat so that the air circulation to dry up the meat is even.
- Let the meat rest after cooking.
This is a rule of thumb when cooking meat and making jerky isn’t an exemption from this.
How to make buffalo jerky in a dehydrator
Set the temperature to 65F. We are cooking and drying nicely and slowly.
Mix all of your ingredients for the marinade in a bowl. Slice the buffalo meat into 1/4” thick strips. Marinate the meat for 4 – 24 hours.
Lay each strip of meat on the racks at least 0.5” apart. Cook in the dehydrator for 4-6 hours, flipping each slide to the other side halfway through the cooking time.
How to make buffalo jerky in an oven
You can also use an oven to make jerky! Preheat the oven to 200F.
Line the baking sheet with foil to make the cleaning easy. The sheet will capture any juice that drips from the buffalo meat while drying.
Lay the marinated buffalo meat on the baking racks, 0.5” apart and place over the lined baking sheet.
Bake for 3-4 hours, flipping each slice to the other side at the halfway mark.
How to make buffalo jerky in a smoker
You may also use a smoker to make jerky. Marinade the buffalo meat accordingly.
Preheat and maintain 200F temperature in your smoker throughout the cooking process.
Lay the buffalo strips on the smoker-safe racks, 0.5” apart, and cook for 3-4 hours until it reaches your desired texture.