Sticky Molasses Jerky Recipe

In pioneer days, molasses was the sweetener of choice in a majority of kitchens. Today, we still enjoy this thick, dark, bittersweet syrup in ginger bread, beans and hams. Its combination of sweet and tangy is the perfect base ingredient for this old-fashioned jerky recipe. If you like molasses, I’m confident this will be one of your favorites.

5 lbs lean beef or venison (2.27 kg)
2 1/2 tbsp pickling salt (48.8 g)
1 1/4 tsp Prague Powder #1 (7.0 g)
1 1/4 tsp cardamom (3.5 g)
2 1/2 tsp ginger powder (5.75 g)
2 1/2 tsp coriander, ground (4.25 g)
5 tsp white pepper (13.5 g)
5 tsp hickory smoke powder (8.3 g)
2/3 cup molasses (213 g)
2 1/2 cups corn syrup or honey (840 g)
2 1/2 cups apple cider (590

1. Cut away all visible fat from the meat, chill to 31°F (-0.55°C), and slice into 1/4” (0.64 cm) thick strips
2. Cut the meat across the grain for a tender bite or with the grain for a chewy bite.
3. Combine remaining ingredients in non-reactive container; mix well. Add meat strips, cover, and refrigerate overnight.
4. Arrange meat strips on oiled screens in a single layer, leave space between the pieces to allow sufficient air flow.
5. Dry meat strips at 145°F (63°C) in usual manner until it is dried to about 40-50% of its original weight (green weight).*
6. Properly dried jerky will keep up to 2 weeks in a sealed container or vacuum seal and freeze up to 6 months.*

*Because of the sticky glaze that covers the exterior of this jerky, it’s best to consume it right away or vacuum seal and freeze up to 6 months.

Although pink curing salt #1 isn’t required in the production of homemade jerky, it is recommended because it inhibits the growth of bacteria, reduces spoilage and improves the overall color and flavor of the finished product.

Because of the possibility of microorganism contamination, do not reuse the marinade once the meat has been removed. Be safe and discard marinade.

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