Cola-Crusted Venison Jerky

Coke, Dr. Pepper or root beer marinated wild game jerky.


  • 2-3 lb venison round roast, sliced against the grain
  • 2 cups regular cola (not diet)
  • 1 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
  • 2 tbsp coarse salt
  • 2 tsp black pepper
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp onion powder

*Flavours can be adjusted to suit your tastes. If you like it hot for example, increase pepper or add chili flakes.
**Try different soda for different flavour, but do not use diet. Root beer, Dr. Pepper and Mountain Dew are great options.


  1. Combine all the ingredients except the roast in a saucepan and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to a simmer for 10 minutes or until the mixture has reduced by half. There should be just over a cup of marinade. Chill the marinade completely, as you never want heat near raw meat that isn't being cooked immediately.
  2. Place sliced venison in a sealable bag and pour in the marinade. Work the marinade into the meat to ensure all areas are coated, and refrigerate at least 12 hours or overnight.
  3. Preheat your smoker or oven to 170°F.
  4. Remove the meat from the marinade and dry each strip thoroughly by laying on paper towels. Smoke cannot penetrate moist areas. Place venison strips on the grill or jerky rack, and smoke/cook for 2-3 hours (for slices ¼-inch thick). Check the jerky often after the first hour to be sure it's drying evenly. Rotate the racks every 30 minutes if heat is uneven.
  5. Place the finished jerky in a gallon zip top bag while it is still warm. Don't seal closed all the way. The jerky will steam in the bag slightly, and this step will keep the jerky slightly moist.

The jerky will last two weeks in the fridge. There is no cure in this recipe, so the jerky shouldn't be stored at room temperature. For more jerky tips, check out Jerky Making 101.