How to Dehydrate Meat

dehydrated-meatThere’s no denying that jerky is one of the US’ favorite snacks, but there’s also no denying that it’s expensive, and many people see it as a big treat in their weekly grocery shop. This is the main reason that many people are turning to the food dehydrator – this simple appliance allows anyone to make their own jerky for a much lower price than ready-made and packaged options.

If you would like to dehydrate meat yourself then you’ll first need a dehydrator appliance. Take a look at our By Brand pages and By Type pages for information on the best selling models and current ranges. From there, you can decide on what marinades or jerk seasonings to use, and of course which meats to use too. The most popular include turkey, beef, venison and buffalo.

Dehydrating meat safely is of paramount importance, and as you know it’s possible to suffer food poisoning from meats. Luckily, there’s a simple process that kills all dangerous bacteria from meat before drying, so before we tell you how to dehydrate meat, we are going to go through this step. It simply involves cooking the meat at 160 degrees fahrenheit, until it is cooked through and piping hot in the middle. You can check this by putting a knife into the meat for 2 to 3 seconds, removing and checking the temperature with your finger. From there you can dehydrate your meat as follows…

You should consider whether you want to marinade and season your meat before it is dehydrated, and if so then this should be done before the initial cooking to 160 degrees F. If you haven’t done so already, then slice your meat into pieces around half a centimeter thick, 6 cm long and 3 cm wide, and arrange them on your dehydrator tray.

To dehydrate meat, all you need to do next is turn the dehydrator on, and if it has settings, set it to dry for a long period of time. Most jerky tastes best when it’s dried over at least 3 days. To ensure it is safe to eat, you should keep the temperature to at least 120 degrees fahrenheit for the duration.

Once the meat dehydrating is finally dry, you can simply turn the appliance off and serve. It really is this simple to make your own beef jerky at home, and perhaps the best part is that you can choose your own seasonings too.