Jerky, for me, is a "must" for all outings. (My son and his friends also eat a couple of pounds per month as an after-school snack.) As I keep all jerky in the freezer - not the cupboard - until needed, large amounts of salt or nitrates are not required. Although the best protection against bacteria or parasites is knowing your butcher and keeping your work area scruplulously clean, the 155 degree dehydrating temperature and a week in the deep freezer will kill anything. The amounts of salt I use have kept my jerky just fine on summer canoe trips. If the recipe is soya sauce based, I add a half-teaspoon of sea salt; if not, then I add a teaspoon of sea salt.

General Hints:

  • Remove as much fat as possible and use cheaper non-marbled cuts of meat.
  • Let your marinate sit for 20 minutes before using to let the flavours blend.
  • Marinate the strips for at least 24 hours, preferably 48 in the refrigerator.
  • Cut 1/4 inch strips across the grain.
  • Although teriyaki is North America's most popular jerky, experiment a little - try a non-soya sauce based marinate.
  • These recipes nicely marinate 2 pounds of strips.
  • Taste and adjust the marinate before using on good beef.
  • For ground-beef jerky, have your well-known butcher grind 2 pounds of chuck or rump. Don't use hamburger and don't use chain store "ground beef"! Cut the marinate recipe amounts in half and, after checking the flavour, mix right into the beef. Once well mixed, flatten and cut into strips or use a jerky gun.


    • 1 cup of Teriyaki sauce
    • 1/2 tsp of salt
    • 1/2 tsp of ground pepper
    • 1/2 tsp of liquid smoke - hickory or mesquite
        Any of the following:
      • 1 tsp of minced garlic
      • 1 tsp of grated ginger root
      • wassabi sauce to taste
      • 1 tbsp of minced onion
      • a shot of hot sauce


    • 1 cup of your favorite molasses-based bbq sauce
    • 1/4 cup red wine
    • heaping tsp chopped garlic
    • 1 level tsp of seasoned salt
    • a shot of hot sauce
    • 1 tsp of liquid smoke - hickory or mesquite


    • 3/4 cup pineaple juice
    • 1/4 cup of soya sauce
    • 1/2 tsp of salt
    • a shot of hot sauce
    • 1/2 tsp of ground pepper
    • optional: 1 - 2 tbsp of dark rum


    • 1 cup sage tea (1 cup boiling water 1 cup sage leaves steeped overnight)
    • 1 tsp of salt
    • 1/4 cup of minced onion
    • 1/4 cup of honey
    • 1/2 tsp of liquid smoke - hickory or mesquite


    • 1 cup of President's Choice Pomegranate Glaze
    • 1/4 cup of orange juice
    • 1/4 cup of onion
    • 1 tsp of salt


    • 1 package of taco mix
    • 1/2 cup of water or beer
    • 1/2 cup of mild salsa
    • 1 tsp of salt
    • 1/4 tsp of cumin
    • 1/4 tsp of chile powder
    • 1/2 tsp of liquid mesquite smoke


    • 8 ounces dehydrated ground beef or ground jerky
    • 8 ounces various dried fruits like raisins, cranberries, apricots
    • 8 ounces various nuts in pieces (broken almonds, cashews)
    • 2 teaspoons honey
    • 6 tablespoons Peanut Butter
    • shot of hot sauce
    warm both honey and peanut butter to soften, then mix. Keep in the freezer until ready to hit the trail.
    adapted from a recipe by Shelly Worth, Plainfield, Indiana USA

    Fruit Leathers

    Nothing tastes better than home-made fruit leathers and they're inexpensive and easy to make.
    Puree 3 or 4 cups of preferably overripe berries, adjusting the sweetness with a little honey or sugar. If using apple or banana, add one or two teaspoons of lemon juice to stop browning - if you even care, that is.
    For a berry extender, just add a cup of pureed apple. It doesn't usually affect the taste but makes those more expensive berries go a lot further. I use a fifty-fifty mix and nobody seems to mind.
    For a quick and tastey leather add a little cinimmon to some apple sauce.

    Line a cookie sheet with parchment or wax paper with a bit of a lip at the edges. If using a commercial dehydrator with plastic trays, a little light oil should be spread on the tray so the leather won't stick.
    It can take anywhere from 4 to 8 hours to firm up. It's finished when the leather is only slightly sticky and stays together when peeled off the paper. I then cut everything into snack-sized strips and wrap in cling-wrap.