Ingredients for Pork Jerky

Making pork or boar jerky involves a combination of ingredients to create a flavorful and well-textured end product. Here are common ingredients used in the preparation of pork or boar jerky.

  1. Meat
    • Pork: Choose lean cuts such as pork loin, pork tenderloin, or pork sirloin. Trim excess fat to promote better preservation. See the link below for pork cuts.
    • Boar: Similar cuts to pork, but boar meat might have a leaner and slightly gamier flavor.
  2. Marinade
    • Soy Sauce or Tamari: Provides a savory, umami base for the marinade.
    • Worcestershire Sauce: Adds depth of flavor and a hint of tanginess.
    • Honey and Maple Syrup: Adds sweetness and helps with caramelization during drying.
    • Brown Sugar: Enhances sweetness and contributes to the jerky’s texture.
    • Garlic Powder: Imparts savory and aromatic notes.
    • Onion Powder: Adds depth and complements the garlic flavor.
    • Black Pepper: Contributes warmth and a mild spice.
  3. Additional Flavorings
    • Liquid Smoke: Provides a smoky flavor, especially if air-drying rather than using a smoker.
    • Sesame Oil: Adds a nutty aroma and enhances the overall flavor profile.
    • Ginger: Freshly grated or powdered ginger can add a zesty and slightly spicy element.
    • Chili Flakes or Hot Sauce: For those who enjoy a spicy kick in their jerky.
  4. Salt
    • Sea Salt or Kosher Salt: Enhances flavor and aids in preservation.
  5. Optional Ingredients
    • Teriyaki Sauce: Adds a sweet and savory Asian-inspired flavor.
    • Paprika or Smoked Paprika: Introduces a smoky or mildly spicy element.
    • Mustard: Can contribute tanginess and depth.
    • Apple Cider Vinegar: Adds acidity and a slightly fruity note.
    • Sesame Seeds: For added texture and visual appeal.
    • Bourbon: Adds a smooth, sweet, and smokey flavor. It will also enhance the woody or smoke flavor when dried in a smoker.
  6. Curing Ingredients (optional)
    • Curing Salt (Prague Powder #1): If you prefer a cured or slightly pinkish color in your jerky. Follow usage guidelines as it contains sodium nitrite.
    • Note: If you have read through other ingredient pages, you will know I dislike preservatives, including nitrites and nitrates, in any of my food, including jerky.
  7. Fruit & Fruit Juice
    • Pineapple Juice, Orange Juice, or Apple Juice: Adds natural sweetness and can help tenderize the meat.
    • Fresh fruit can be pulverized and used in marinade; this way, you have the pulp along with the juice for a fuller flavor.
  8. Oil:
    • Olive Oil or Vegetable Oil: Helps in distributing flavors and prevents the jerky from becoming too dry.
Grey wild boar near a tree with a second boar behind him.
Wild Boar (grey)
 Photo by Kevin Jackson
Pig laying down on some hay in a barn. Once processed you can the ingredients for pork jerky and create a delicious snack.
Pig in a Barn
Photo by Laura Anderson

There are different varieties of Swine, commonly known as Hog, pig, and wild boar, but truthfully, there are many varieties, such as: Berkshire, Duroc, Chester White, Hampshire, Landrace & American Landrace, Spotted, and Yorkshire, among others.

Preparation Method

  1. Slice the Meat
    • Cut the pork or boar into thin, even strips. This ensures consistent drying.
  2. Prepare the Marinade
    • Combine the marinade ingredients for pork jerky in a bowl, adjusting quantities to taste. See the recipes for pork jerky marinades using the link below.
  3. Marinate
    • Place the meat in a resealable bag or covered container, pour the marinade over it, and refrigerate for several hours or overnight.
  4. Dry the Jerky
    • Dehydrate the marinated meat using a dehydrator, oven, or smoker until it reaches the desired texture. My personal opinion is sun drying is too risky for pork unless you’re in the desert (I’m half joking here).
  5. Store
    • Store the pork or boar jerky in airtight containers or vacuum-sealed bags to maintain freshness.

Feel free to experiment with these ingredients and adjust the quantities to suit your taste preferences. Jerky-making is a versatile process that allows for creativity in flavor profiles.

Links Related to Pork Jerky

Recipes for Pork Jerky

Cuts of Meat Used for Pork Jerky

More Recipes for Pork Jerky coming soon…