Introduction: Coyote Jerky
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Now let's get started!
You might remember me as the lady who published the Possum Jerky Instructable, and I'm now back with another unique version of this tasty wild game recipe! This time, instead of opossum meat, I have used coyote meat, along with a few other added ingredients.
Coyote is another species that is not known for being edible, however when properly handled and prepared, it can taste just as good as lean beef!
Here is what you'll need:
- One coyote, freshly harvested. A local trapper may be able to provide you with one if you don't hunt or trap, yourself.
- Sharp knife
- Rope or skinning gambrel, to string up the animal for preparation
- Oven or meat dehydrator
- Container for marinade
- Apple Cider Vinegar
- Salt and pepper
- Soy sauce
- Worcestershire Sauce
- McCormick "Smokehouse Maple" Seasoning
- McCormick Pork Rub (or, brown sugar, onion powder, and chili pepper mixed together to make your own)
Step 1: Properly Handling Coyotes & Their Meat
This step may be disregarded if you have obtained an already-harvested coyote. However, if you catch your own coyote, understand that this is an intense and often aggressive animal when approached. Move cautiously when approaching one and dispatch it with a single shot to the head, which is clean, humane, and will not damage the meat.
Skin the coyote as soon as possible, or at least remove the organs if you cannot get it skinned right away. The coyote is a predator species with a lot of bacteria in its digestive system, and this bacteria can start to cause rapid decay if the carcass is not handled quickly enough. If you skin a coyote and notice any green coloration around the belly or sides, do not eat the meat.
Only the freshest, cleanest, healthiest-appearing animals should be chosen for safe consumption!
Step 2: Prepare the Meat
The first photo shows an outline of where to find the best cuts of meat on a coyote. The backstrap is the most tender, flavorful cut so I would reccomend using this for your jerky. The legs can be more sinewy and are best cut into smaller pieces for stew meat.
To begin, hang the animal up by its hind legs, and make an incision from one ankle to the other. Work the hide downwards like a tube and cut it off at the nose cartilage. The hide can be put in the freezer for another project at a later date!
After your coyote is skinned, cut out the long strips of meat along the back (as seen in the second photo), and then remove the legs if desired.
For jerky making, put the meat in the freezer until it feels firm (but not frozen solid) this will make it easier to cut into thin, even strips.
Step 3: Marinate and Dehydrate
Apologies for lack of photos here, but the process is easy to describe: After your meat has been cut into thin strips, add equal parts Worcestershire sauce, soy sauce, and apple cider vinegar, enough to entirely cover the meat.
Add salt and pepper, maple seasoning, and pork rub seasoning to taste. Mix the seasoned marinade thoroughly into the meat strips and place in the refrigerator for at least 24 hours. After this time, you'll notice the meat has turned a darker color, meaning it has soaked in the marinade and is ready to dehydrate.
Place your coyote strips in a dehydrator at it's highest meat setting, and allow to cook for 4 to 6 hours, checking it at least halfway through the process and turning the pieces over if needed.
For oven cooking, set the oven at 200 degrees and allow to cook for the same amount of time, but with the oven door slightly propped open to allow for proper air flow and drying. Again, check on it at least halfway through and remove any smaller pieces that may have dried before the others.
Step 4: Finish and Enjoy!
After your coyote meat has been thoroughly dried, remove it from oven or dehydrator and allow to cool to room temperature. It's now safe and tasty to eat, and many people are surprised at how good this "wild dog" can taste after it's been spiced up and cooked to perfection!
It's a healthy, all-natural snack and better yet, the entire animal can be used if you kept that pelt aside - I even made the skin of this same coyote into a taxidermy mount ...but that's an Instructable for another time! ;)