How to Make Buffalo Jerky

How to Make Buffalo Jerky: Tips for Creating Your Own Recipe & Bringing it to Life

What Does Buffalo Jerky Taste Like? Reading How to Make Buffalo Jerky: Tips for Creating Your Own Recipe & Bringing it to Life 14 minutes Next How to Make Elk Jerky: Step-by-Step Guide

Have you ever felt the call of the wild while munching on a strip of jerky? There is nothing like that satisfying chew, the burst of flavors with each bite, and the primal satisfaction of eating something so ruggedly delicious. 

But, what if you could heighten that experience by learning how to make buffalo jerky? The thrill of the process, the adventure of creation, and the pride in your culinary craft are just a few moments away. Because today, we’ll teach you how to make bison jerky or buffalo jerky.

In this quick conversation, we’ll guide you through the intricate art of transforming raw buffalo meat into flavorful, chewy jerky right at home. Yes, we're talking slicing, marinating, dehydrating - the works. We want to help you set your expectations right from the start, though - this process requires patience, time, and a bit of culinary skill. 

So if you ever feel that this task is a bit too daunting or you just don’t have time - but still want to enjoy the tantalizing flavor and unique texture of buffalo jerky - remember this: you’re just a few clicks away from the premier selection of buffalo jerky for sale online at Mahogany Smoked Meats.

With that said, you’re in the best possible hands with us as your guide on this quest to smoking buffalo jerky. We’ll simplify the process to help you feel confident and capable of replicating it in your own home. Let’s begin with an important question…can you make your own buffalo jerky?

Can You Make Your Own Buffalo Jerky?

Absolutely! Making your own buffalo jerky is not only feasible but also an exciting culinary expedition. A DIY buffalo jerky journey provides a rewarding sense of accomplishment as you witness simple, raw ingredients transforming into a complex, savory delight right before your eyes.

While the taste of buffalo jerky alone is worth the work, it tastes even sweeter knowing you’re the own that brought that flavor to life. However, it's essential to remember that this process requires a certain level of patience and dedication. 

You'll need to source your buffalo meat, prepare your spices and marinades, cut the meat just right, and spend hours watching over the dehydration or smoking process. It’s an adventure that takes you deep into the world of jerky-making, exposing you to the intricacies of flavor blending, meat curing, and even food safety. You’ll certainly have a renewed appreciation for what we do day in and day out here at Mahogany Smoked Meats!

Now, does this sound like a thrill you’re ready to take or a significant undertaking? Either way, remember: you're not alone in this endeavor. Whether you’re seeking the adventure of making your own buffalo jerky or you’re in pursuit of an easier, faster route to satisfaction, we have your back.

At Mahogany Smoked Meats, we value the artistry and craft of jerky making just as much as you do. We’ve perfected the techniques and recipes already so you don't have to. So, if you decide that the process of making your own buffalo jerky is more than you bargained for, don’t sweat it. Our doors are always open in person and here in our online storefront! 

That’s right - you can buy jerky online, expertly crafted to give you the taste of the wild without the need for DIY. From the classic, smoky Original Buffalo Jerky to the fiery Habanero Buffalo Jerky - we have a flavor to cater to every palate. 

Now, if you’re up for the challenge and we didn’t scare you away, enough chatting. It’s time to learn how to make buffalo jerky!

How to Make Buffalo Jerky: Step-by-Step Guide

While the process of making your own buffalo jerky can sound daunting, we’re here to simplify it for you. It’s really just 4 steps: sourcing, prepping, dehydrating, and enjoying! So, without any further ado, here is how to make buffalo jerky - starting with selecting the right cuts of meat.

Selecting the Right Cuts of Meat

Just as with choosing the best cut for beef jerky, choosing the right cut of buffalo is perhaps the most crucial factor in the process. After all, it’s your starting point. If you settle for less or choose a lower-quality cut, you’re already behind the 8-ball!

In general, you should look for lean cuts as they work best for jerky. Buffalo sirloin tip or buffalo roast are excellent choices. 

We’ll assume you aren’t fortunate enough to live in an area where you can legally hunt bison - as only a few US states have legislation that allows it. So, we’ll skip the step of actually getting the buffalo butchered. That being said, you’ll need to head to your local supermarket.

Buffalo meat is leaner than beef and packed with flavor, so it makes fantastic jerky. Still, the source of your jerky matters. Our advice is to pay a premium for better quality. You’re doing all the hard work, it’s worth the extra few dollars per pound - trust us! 

Other Supplies & Ingredients You’ll Need

To successfully craft your own buffalo jerky, you'll need more than just the meat and a good recipe. Here's a rundown of other crucial ingredients and supplies you'll need to have on hand:

  • Marinade Ingredients: The specific ingredients will depend on the recipe you choose, but common components might include soy sauce, Worcestershire sauce, brown sugar, onion powder, garlic powder, and a variety of spices. If you like it hot, you may want to have some chili flakes or hot sauce ready.
  • Dehydrator or Oven: A food dehydrator is ideal for making jerky as it allows for precise temperature control, but you can also use an oven set to its lowest temperature. Just keep in mind, using an oven can be a little trickier to ensure the meat dries out without cooking.
  • Sharp Knife: A sharp knife is essential for slicing the meat thin enough for proper dehydration. If you don’t have a sharp knife, consider having your butcher slice the meat for you.
  • Cutting Board: You'll need a sturdy cutting board to safely slice your buffalo meat.
  • Meat Tenderizer (optional): Some recipes may suggest using a meat tenderizer to ensure your jerky isn’t too tough.
  • Ziplock Bags or Glass Containers: You'll need something to marinate your buffalo slices in. Large ziplock bags or glass containers work best.
  • Paper Towels: These are handy to pat the marinated meat dry before placing it in the dehydrator or oven.
  • Cooling Racks (if using an oven): These allow for better air circulation around the meat if you're drying your jerky in an oven.

With all the essentials on hand and ready to go, it’s time to get some prep work underway. Let the fun begin!

Preparation and Marination: The Art Behind the Taste

Once you have your buffalo meat, it's time to prepare it. Start by trimming off any visible fat from the meat. Remember, fat can cause your jerky to spoil faster - and if you’re making your own jerky at home, you’re going to have a lot of it to go through! This is part of why we recommend leaner cuts of meat.

Then, partially freeze the meat for about 1-2 hours. This makes it easier to slice. Slice your meat into thin strips, about 1/4 to 1/8 inch thick. The thinner the meat, the less time it will take to dehydrate.

While this is happening you can create your marinade. This is what will give your meat flavor - and where you can get really creative or experimental. Your choices range from the classic peppered jerky taste to something unique with a spicy kick.

You can look for inspiration online - but we won’t be giving you our own secret family recipes today, unfortunately! With that said, we’ll give you a hint: Common ingredients for a marinade include soy sauce, Worcestershire sauce, brown sugar, liquid smoke, and various spices. 

Then, after the freezing period is up, it’s time to marinate the meat. Mix your ingredients and place the meat strips into the marinade. Let them soak for at least 24 hours to really absorb those flavors. Get a good night’s rest - because tomorrow, we start dehydrating!

The Dehydration Process

Now, the actual process of creating jerky is all about dehydrating the meat. And there are three primary ways you can go about that:

  • Using a Dehydrator: If you're using a dehydrator, arrange the marinated meat strips evenly on the trays, ensuring they do not overlap. Set the temperature to around 160°F (71°C). You should let the meat dehydrate for approximately 4-6 hours. However, dehydration times can vary based on the thickness of your slices and the specific model of your dehydrator, so start checking the jerky after 3 hours. The jerky is done when it is completely dry but still pliable, not brittle.
  • Using an Oven: If you're using an oven, arrange the meat strips on a wire rack set over a baking sheet. This allows air to circulate around the meat for even drying. Set your oven to its lowest temperature setting, typically around 170°F (77°C) for most ovens. Prop the door of the oven open slightly to allow moisture to escape. This process can take anywhere from 2-6 hours, depending on your oven and the thickness of your slices. Again, the jerky is done when it is completely dry but still pliable.
  • Using a Smoker: If you're using a smoker, the process will be very similar to using a dehydrator. Arrange the meat strips on the smoker racks, ensuring they do not overlap. Set the smoker at 165°F (74°C) and let it run for about 4-5 hours. Check after 3 hours to gauge progress. The smoke will add a flavorful dimension to your jerky.

Whatever approach you end up taking, you’ll need to be diligent in checking your jerky as it nears closer to completion. There is a fine line between underdone and overdone - and that delicate middle ground is where perfection is achieved.

So, remember this: roperly dried jerky should be firm and look dark, almost like a well-done steak. It should bend slightly when you apply pressure, and you may see white fibers if you bend it too far, but it should not snap or crumble. If the jerky feels soft or spongy, it needs more time to dehydrate.

Once your jerky reaches this stage, let it cool at room temperature for a few hours before storing it. And, we can’t stress this enough: food safety is paramount when making jerky. Use gloves or wash your hands frequently, make sure all ingredients are always stored correctly, and don’t neglect the next steps…

Safety and Storage: Making Sure Your Buffalo Jerky Doesn’t Spoil Prematurely

After your jerky has been dried and cooled, proper storage is essential. Airtight containers are the way to go. Why? Well, these containers prevent unwanted moisture, air, and pests from getting in. Plus, it keeps the flavor locked in tight. You can learn more about how to store jerky in our separate article.

Now, you might be wondering - how long does homemade jerky last? It should last a few weeks at room temperature, but if you want it to last longer, you can refrigerate it. Wait…does jerky go bad? It certainly can, which could lead to foodborne illness. That’s why we told you earlier food safety cannot be overlooked. Learn more about how to tell if jerky is bad in our blog. For now, it’s time to start bringing our guide on how to make buffalo jerky to a close.

The Reality of Making Buffalo Jerky: Is It Worth the Time and Effort?

Creating your own buffalo jerky can be a rewarding experience, especially for those who love to experiment in the kitchen. You can play around with different flavors, control the thickness of the slices, and take pride in crafting a snack with your own hands. However, the reality is that making jerky at home is no small feat.

From sourcing the meat to waiting for it to marinate, the process is a time-consuming endeavor. This doesn't even include the hours of dehydration, the monitoring involved, or the potential trial and error in getting your recipe just right. Plus, there are safety considerations like proper handling of raw meat and ensuring your jerky is adequately preserved to prevent spoilage.

In a world where convenience often reigns supreme, this might seem like a lot of effort for a snack, especially when there are top-tier alternatives available at the click of a button. For those who prefer to savor their time and energy while enjoying premium buffalo jerky, there's a solution that combines quality, flavor, and simplicity. It's time to consider if it might just be more rewarding to let the experts do the heavy lifting.

Rather Than Making Your Own Buffalo Jerky, Take a Shortcut to Satisfaction at Mahogany Smoked Meats!

While it's undeniably fulfilling to create your own buffalo jerky from scratch, it's also a process that involves quite a bit of work, time, and patience. If you're craving the robust, flavorful taste of buffalo jerky without the labor, we have the perfect solution for you at Mahogany Smoked Meats.

We've done all the hard work for you, from sourcing the highest quality buffalo meat to perfecting the marinating and slow-smoking process. Our selection of buffalo jerky is crafted to offer a balance of bold flavors and tender texture that's truly unmatched. 

We have other amazing jerky snacks to consider trying, too. That includes our elk jerky for sale, wild boar jerky for sale, and even fish jerky for sale. Of course, we have the classics - including beef jerky for sale and turkey jerky for sale. With so many tantalizing flavors to choose from, the only hard part is figuring out which is your new favorite!

Closing Thoughts on How to Make Bison Jerky

There you have it - how to make bison jerky. Making your own buffalo jerky can be an exciting culinary adventure, providing an avenue for you to express your creativity and hone your skills. 

However, it's also a process that requires a significant amount of effort and resources. In a world where time is precious, it's always beneficial to know where you can find shortcuts without compromising on quality.

Whether you're a jerky-making enthusiast or a gourmet snack lover, remember that there's always a place for you at Mahogany Smoked Meats. We're here to provide you with top-tier, delectable buffalo jerky, saving you time and effort while ensuring your snack cravings are always satisfied. 

After all, life is short, and you deserve to savor every bite. Find out firsthand why we’ve come to be known as one of the best jerky brands online! It’s time to taste the difference at Mahogany Smoked Meats.