Duck or Goose Jerky Recipe - How to Make Duck Jerky (2024)

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4.91 from 30 votes

By Hank Shaw

February 29, 2012 | Updated June 22, 2020


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Duck or Goose Jerky Recipe - How to Make Duck Jerky (2)

Who doesn’t love jerky? I mean, really. It is a staple in the duck blind, and goose or duck jerky is a perfect use for “off” ducks like spoonies, fishy divers or snow geese. Once the fat is removed, there’s no fishy flavor.

But there is jerky and there is jerky. Some people run their meat through the grinder and use a “jerky gun.” This is fine, but it is not traditional jerky, which is always whole cuts of meat. Thickness is up to you.

Really thick slices need long drying times and result in a very hard product. If you’ve ever heard of biltong in Africa, that’s what this is. I ate lots of biltong when I was in Zimbabwe and South Africa in the 1990s, and I’ve developed a taste for thick jerky. But you can cut yours thin if you’d like.

This recipe makes a jerky that is dry enough to store at room temperature — although the fridge is best for really long storage — but pliableenough to keep it meaty.

Duck or Goose Jerky Recipe - How to Make Duck Jerky (3)

What follows are my flavorings: As long as you keep the ratio of meat to water to Worcestershire sauce to salt the same, you can vary the other flavors. You need enough salt to draw out moisture and help with preservation, and the Worcestershire sauce adds both extra salt and vinegar, which is also a good preservative.

I designed this recipe for a dehydrator, but if you don’t have one, set your oven to “warm” and put the meat on a wire rack set above a rimmed cookie sheet; the sheet catches any drippings. I also leave the oven door ajar for air circulation.

The porcini powder in this recipe is made by grinding dried porcini in a coffee grinder. You can buy dried porcini in most supermarkets. Or you can skip it.

As for the meat, while it is a duck jerky recipe, it will also work with any skinless goose breast, or with venison, elk, antelope, goat, lamb or beef.

4.91 from 30 votes

Goose or Duck Jerky

This jerky recipe is one I like a lot, but use it as a guide, not dogma. If you want to play with flavors, go for it. Just don't mess around with the ratios of salt, and be sure to let it marinate for at least 24 hours, and up to 3 days. I always use curing salt No. 1 for my jerky, as I like the rosy, hammy effect it produces -- and it's a food safety thing when you dry at lower temperatures.

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Course: Cured Meat, Snack

Cuisine: American

Servings: 10

Author: Hank Shaw

Prep Time: 15 minutes minutes

Cook Time: 7 hours hours

Total Time: 7 hours hours 15 minutes minutes


  • 3 pounds skinless, de-fatted duck or goose breast
  • 2 cups water
  • 2 tablespoons kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon Instacure No. 1 (optional)
  • 1/4 cup Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1 teaspoon cayenne
  • 1 teaspoon porcini powder (optional)
  • 3 tablespoons brown sugar


  • Slice the duck breasts into roughly 1/4 inch thick strips. Mix remaining ingredients well in a large bowl. Put the meat into the marinade and massage it all around to coat evenly. Pour everything into a seal-able plastic bag or container and set in the fridge. Marinate for at least 24 and up to 72 hours -- the longer it is in the mix, the saltier the meat will get, but the more flavorful it will be. During the marinating process, massage the meat around in the bag to keep all the pieces in contact with the marinade.

  • Remove the duck from the bag and pat dry with paper towels. Either follow your dehydrator's instructions for making jerky (I dehydrate mine at 140°F), or lay the strips on a wire rack set over a cookie sheet. Set the rack in an oven set on Warm until the meat is dried out, but still pliable, about 6 to 8 hours. Store either in the fridge indefinitely, or at room temperature for up to 1 month.


If you are interested in another flavor of jerky, try my chipotle jerky with duck instead of venison.


Calories: 183kcal | Carbohydrates: 5g | Protein: 26g | Fat: 6g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 129mg | Sodium: 1588mg | Potassium: 401mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 4g | Vitamin A: 121IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 26mg | Iron: 2mg

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

Tried this recipe? Tag me today!Mention @huntgathercook or tag #hankshaw!

Categorized as:
American Recipes, Appetizers and Snacks, Charcuterie, Ducks and Geese, Recipe, Wild Game

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About Hank Shaw

Hey there. Welcome to Hunter Angler Gardener Cook, the internet’s largest source of recipes and know-how for wild foods. I am a chef, author, and yes, hunter, angler, gardener, forager and cook. Follow me on Instagram and on Facebook.

Read More About Me

Duck or Goose Jerky Recipe - How to Make Duck Jerky (2024)


How do you cut goose for jerky? ›

Tips for making great goose (or other game meat) jerky

Cut the strips into consistent thickness to ensure they dry evenly — aim for slices between ⅛- and ¼-inch thick. Reserve any good-looking trim, ends and non-uniform slices for grinding or making chorizo!

How long does it take to dehydrate goose jerky? ›

If you're using a dehydrator, dehydrate the goose meat for either one hour at 160F, two hours at 140F, or three hours at 130F. If you're using a smoker, pellet grill, or oven, shoot for 160F for four hours. If you like your jerky more brittle, you could cook it for another hour or two at 130F.

How long does it take for a duck to dehydrate? ›

Dehydrate at 160°F (71°C) for 6 to 8 hours When done, the jerky should just bend but not snap. Remove the jerky from the dehydrator, arrange on baking sheets in a single layer, and place in a preheated 275°F (135°C) oven for 15 minutes.

What is the best method for making jerky? ›

For an authentic smoky flavor, we recommend making your jerky inside a smoker. The beef should be smoked over low heat for 6-8 hours. Smoked jerky maintains more moisture and flavor. Some of the most authentic jerky brands use a smoker to make their jerky.

How to know when goose jerky is done? ›

The jerky should bend and eventually break, but not snap off. If you're unable to break the jerky into two pieces, and it's still rubbery, that means it needs more time. If the jerky snaps into two pieces with bending, it's most likely over-dried. Pro Tip: Finished jerky should be like a green tree branch.

What do you soak goose meat in? ›

Always Brine Ducks and Geese

Soaking waterfowl in a saltwater solution replaces blood with brine. The process also adds flavor and moisture. Once brined in the refrigerator for 12 to 24 hours, the meat will be paler in color, giving it less of a livery look and more the appearance of domestic meat.

How do you dry duck at home? ›

The best way to dry-age birds is to hang them by the neck, so that air can circulate around them on all sides. This isn't really possible with a hulking 12-pound prime rib, which is best aged on a wire rack, but it's far more feasible to pull off with duck crowns that weigh in at around two pounds each.

What does duck jerky taste like? ›

Thick-cut duck breast with a mildly sweet flavor complimented by a bit of black pepper.

Why won't my duck dry? ›

When a duck's feather quality declines to the point that they can no longer properly repel water, their condition is referred to as wet feather. Sometimes wet feather can be fully remedied; other times, it's chronic and only a full molt with new feather growth will restore your duck back to normal.

What is the secret to good jerky? ›

Here are the top ten tips on how to make jerky more tender.
  • Select cuts of meat with more internal marbling. ...
  • Slice against the grain. ...
  • Slice the meat a little thicker. ...
  • Add additional sugar. ...
  • Test acidic ingredients and other meat tenderizers. ...
  • Vacuum seal the meat during marination. ...
  • Massage the meat during the marination process.
Mar 8, 2023

Why add vinegar to jerky? ›

When making beef jerky, adding vinegar to the mix helps tenderize the meat. The acidic properties of vinegar work to weaken the meat's collagen tissue, making it less tough. Collagen is what gives meat its structure, but it's also responsible for making it chewy.

Is it better to make jerky in the oven or dehydrator? ›

Dehydrators are much more effective at this than most conventional ovens or other heat sources, so it is much easier to make a consistent product with a dehydrator. This allows fast, even drying with little risk of food spoilage. Look for a unit with a high wattage fan and a timer for best results.

Is it better to cut jerky with or against the grain? ›

It's up to you to decide what type of beef jerky texture you want. But we recommend slicing against the grain because most beef jerky consumers prefer a more tender texture. If you'd like to experiment, you could also slice your meat with the grain and then tenderize it with a mallet.

What cuts are best for homemade jerky? ›

Top round is considered to be one of the best cuts of meat to use for jerky. In fact, this is the cut that many commercial jerkies are made from. This is a good cut because it comes in large pieces, is a lean cut of meat, and is economical. Top round can also be referred to as London Broil or inside round steak.

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