Jerky is a yummy snack that is healthy and helps keep us going when our energy is lacking! It’s a perfect snack to bring on a hike or to chew on while hanging out at the campsite! Especially for people who go camping and hunt at the same time, fire pit jerky is a fun and unique way to make a delicious snack without the help of a kitchen. Making fire pit jerky will bring out the inner mountain man or woman in you!
In this fun snack creation process, there is also tons of room to experiment and make your own seasonings to perfect the taste of your jerky! What is important to know before setting up and making fire pit jerky is that making jerky is a drying process, not a cooking process! You want to make sure that while making your jerky, someone is keeping a close watch on it and monitoring it! Low and slow is the key!
If you want to season or marinate your meat before making it a jerky, you’ll want your jerky to sit overnight in your seasoning. A basic seasoning would be a combination of water, garlic powder, a sliced onion, and Worcestershire sauce. Again, get creative and experiment with your seasonings! The options are endless!
You’ll want to have a pretty good fire pit to begin with. Take some hard woods to create a fire. Let the fire burn down to a coal fire. If you don’t have a fire pit you can also make your jerky on a charcoal grill. Having the coal bed is important! No raging fires (sorry pyromaniacs … not this time)!
- Lay sturdy sticks across your fire pit (or metal grill grate). They should be about two feet up from the coal bed.
- Cut your meat into desired strips. The thinner they are the faster they will dry. Make sure all the fat is cut off of your meat. If it isn’t it will compromise the drying process.
- Drape your meat slices over the sticks (or grill grate) about an inch apart.
- Make sure you keep an eye on your fire! A constant temperature is important! Keep it between 225-250 degrees.
- Keeping your fire at a coal bed lull makes it smoke and keeps the bugs away and off of your meat.
- Be sure it is a sunny day so the sun helps dry your meat! If it starts to rain, place sticks upright around your fire and put a tarp over it to create a tarp teepee! This keeps the rain from putting out your fire, keeps the meat dry, and creates a smoke chamber!
- The process could take up to four hours. Plan ahead and be patient!
- Keep kindling your fire by adding wood to the back part of the fire.
Checking Your Meat
If the strips of meat bend and no fibers show at the bend, it is NOT done yet. You want very dry meat! You don’t want to over crisp your meat though because it will make it hard and tough to chew. Make sure your meat isn’t brittle though. You want the meat to be hard.
The Best Part
When your meat is dry, hard, and not brittle, it is ready to eat! Taste the deliciousness of your creation and all the seasonings you added to make it perfect! Remember, make it fun! Even though your jerky has to be monitored, take turns with everyone so each person gets to help in the process of making the jerky! Play some family games, like lawn darts
, make a craft like these rain gauges
or leaf animal art
, or go on a nature scavenger hunt
(just watch out for poisonous plants
!) while waiting for the four slow hours to go by before you get to eat your fire pit jerky! That way, when it’s done everyone will have an appetite and a healthy, protein-filled snack to chew on! Yum!
For all you hunters out there, making fire pit jerky creates a whole new meaning to delicious fresh meat! Mmm, fresh jerky! For those who like to make a competition out of things, make it a jerky tasting contest! This way, everyone can make their own jerky how they like it and different meats can be used too! The options are endless and the process is fun and can always be changed and tweaked to fit the taste buds of everyone making fire pit jerky!