How to Use a Dehydrator for Jerky – Your Ultimate Guide

Last Updated on November 23, 2021

Dehydrators are used to dry fruits, vegetables, meats, and other foods. It is a very useful appliance for people who love to eat healthily and live a healthy lifestyle.

A dehydrator is a great way to preserve food for later consumption. It is a safe way to store food because it does not expose food to any harmful chemicals. Food stored in a dehydrator will last longer than food stored in a refrigerator. De elements. It is a good way to preserve food for future consumption. It is a great way to save money because it saves you from buying expensive food items. It is a great tool to help you lose weight because it helps you reduce the number of calories you consume. It is a great investment because it lasts for years.

Today we are going to look if one can use a dehydrator for jerky and how to do that.

How to Use a Dehydrator for Jerky?

The first thing you need to know about using your dehydrator for jerky making is that there are two types of dehydrators: convection-dehydrated and air-dried.

The difference between these two types lies in their drying process. Convection-dehydrated uses hot air while air-dryers use warm or cool air. Both methods work well but some prefer one over another. Air-dryers tend to be more efficient at preserving moisture content compared to convection- dehydrators.

This means they require less time to finish the job. They also produce better results when it comes to texture. The downside with this type of dehydration method is that it requires constant monitoring so as to avoid overheating which may cause damage to the product. On the other hand, convection-dehydration produces faster results without having to monitor the temperature constantly. However, it tends to leave behind a lot of residue after processing.

Remove any extra fat from lean meat using a dehydrator or an oven that reaches 160°. Then cut large strips perpendicular to the grain. For 10 minutes, soak the meat in white vinegar. Drain and marinate in the refrigerator overnight. Dehydrate for 4 hours at 160°F, flipping halfway through. Not chewy enough for you? Dehydrate for another 1-2 hours.

However, there are many questions regarding how to make jerky using a dehydrator. Sugar, MSG, and preservatives are commonly included in store-bought jerky. It’s also difficult to tell if the meat they used was of excellent quality or not.

What sort of meat is best for jerky?

Lean beef cuts like flank steak, sirloin tip roast, eye round roast, top loin chop, tenderloins, tri-tip, bottom round roasts, brisket, short ribs, chuck shoulder blade steaks, hanger steak, skirt steak, ribeye, rump, shank, leg, and drumstick all have high amounts of collagen. These cuts contain lots of connective tissue and gelatin.

Aside from beef, chicken, and turkey, which are inherently lean, also perform well. However, before dehydrating chicken (or pig or game meats), you should roast them in a 160° oven for at least 60 minutes. Salmonella risk is reduced as a result. As an added precaution, it’s a good idea to freeze game meats beforehand.

Do you have to cook jerky before dehydrating?

No, you don’t have to cook jerky prior to dehydrating. You just want to remove excess fat and salt. If you’re concerned about bacteria growth, then you might consider cooking the meat. But remember that salmonella risks increase during cooking. So, unless you plan to eat raw jerky, I would suggest freezing it instead.

The dehydrator will remove the moisture from the meat and allow it to cure naturally. The initial vinegar soak will aid in the preservation of the meat and prevent the growth of bacteria on it. If you’re using hog, chicken, turkey, or other game meat, roast it in a 160° oven for at least 60 minutes before drying it to decrease the danger of salmonella. As a precaution, you can freeze the meat first.

Is it necessary to cure the meat before making jerky?

No, you do not need to cure your beef before the dehydration process. There are two ways to dry beef: air-drying and vacuum-drying. Air-drying involves hanging the meat up while exposing it to the open atmosphere. Vacuum-drying uses a machine that sucks out the water vapor from inside the meat. Both methods work equally well.

If you choose to use a food dehydrator, you’ll be able to control the amount of heat applied to the meat. There are a few reasons why salt curing your beef is a good idea. For starters, if you’re using ground beef, a salt cure can help prevent microbial development. Because ground beef has been exposed to more air and handled more, it is inherently more vulnerable to germs.

A salt cure also extends the life of the jerky. Beef jerky that has been salt-cured can survive up to three months, but beef jerky that has not been salt-cured will only last approximately two weeks. In both situations, keep the food refrigerated by sealing it in an airtight container.

What effect does the cure have on jerky?

Cure helps preserve foods because it inhibits bacterial growth. It works by creating a barrier between the outside environment and the interior of the product.

This prevents harmful microbes from entering into the meat. Salt also draws moisture away from the surface of the meat so that it doesn’t get too wet. When this happens, the meat dries out quickly. By adding salt to the meat, we slow down its rate of evaporation. People used to slaughter an animal, butcher it, and then chop and cure it to have food for the coming months before freezers were invented.

Salt absorbs moisture from everything it comes into contact with. When you consume anything really salty, for example, you will naturally become thirstier than usual.

As a result, salting or salt curing meat eliminates extra moisture from the meat, allowing it to last longer.

How long do you use a dehydrator for jerky?

You should always follow the manufacturer’s instructions when using any type of equipment. However, most people recommend leaving their jerky in the dehydrator overnight. This allows the jerky to absorb enough flavor from the spices without burning them off.

When you make jerky, you may notice some smoke as the meat begins to brown. That’s normal. Smoke is created when the protein molecules break apart due to high temperatures. Once they’ve broken apart, these proteins form new bonds with each other. Using a food dehydrator to create jerky at 160° takes about 4-6 hours on average.

However, the thickness of the strips or pieces of meat might vary greatly. It might take up to 15 hours to make really thick strips. If you want thicker slices, try making smaller batches. You could even cut the strips into bite-size chunks instead of large slabs.

The best way to tell whether your jerky needs additional time is to check it every hour until it reaches the desired consistency. The color of the jerky should remain consistent throughout the drying period.


There are many different ways to dry meats. Some methods require special tools while others don’t. Regardless of which method you decide to use, there are certain things you need to consider first.

You can make use of a dehydrator to make jerky and there are things you should know. I hope this article mentioned everything related to tha.

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