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How To Make Jerky In A Dehydrator

If you are reading this, then chances are, you happen to be a beef jerky lover!

Buying bulk beef jerky from the store may seem subtle, but it is incomparable to the satisfaction that making your jerky gives you.

There are several ways of making beef jerky at home, but if you are looking to speed up the process, then this is where a dehydrator will come extremely handy!

There are various ways of making beef jerky, and everyone has their secret recipes. Whatever the formula is, putting jerky in a dehydrator is one of the best methods to get it done!

Here’s how to make beef jerky in a dehydrator!

Prepare your meat

The first process is to get the right meat. Be sure to choose a lean meat piece – this may be a top round, sirloin tip, flank steak, or a bottom round. The intention is to opt for a lump of meat with zero fat as it reduces the shelf life of your jerky.

Well, the thing is, no matter what you choose, your meat will always have some amount of fat in it. Carefully slice the fats off before you start.

Freeze your meat

The next step is to freeze your meat for around one to two hours. This eases the process of cutting your meat into thin slices. Ensure that your meat is hard to touch.

Then, carefully cut 1/8th to 1/4th against the grain for a more natural chew. In case you are looking for jerky pieces along with the grain, then cutting your jerky will be more stringent.

In this case, you can approach a professional butcher to get it done.

Marinade the jerky

This is one of the most critical steps, as this is where the recipe differs. Every individual has a personal set of favorite spices that they like to use in their jerky. Add your favorite herbs and spices in your meat and then keep it in a bowl or zip lock it.

You can leave the meat to marinate for anywhere in between six to twenty-four hours. This ensures that all the herbs and spices have evenly spread across your flesh.

The longer you keep your meat for marination, the better it will be. Once the process is done, you can pat the slices dry and get the extra marinade off. Doing this will expedite the process of dehydration. Once you are done with this process, your meat will be ready for dehydration.


Place all the meat slices carefully in your dehydrator. Ensure that the slices are not overlapping and make sure to leave no space between them. This will allow the meat to dry better, thus allowing for smoother air circulation.

You can then turn your dehydrator to 160 degrees approximately and keep it on for nearly four hours. The intention here is to make sure that the meat’s internal temperature hits 160 degrees too. You need to set the time and temperature depending on the thickness of your flesh.

Keep checking the meat throughout the entire process to ensure that are slices are cracked and bent but not broken by the time this process is done. Keep checking your meat to ensure it does not dehydrate more than it is supposed to.

Once the process is done, give the jerky approximately two hours to allow it to cool down.

Opt for airtight storage

This is the final step of the lot. It would be best if you ideally stored your jerky in glass jars, vacuum-sealed bags, or zip lock bags. Opting for a vacuum-sealed bag will give your jerky a shelf life of up to two months. In case you think your jerky is not meant to last that long, then you can opt for zip lock bags instead.


There are many kinds of dehydrators available in the market. In case you happen to be a rookie, it might take you some time to nail the process, but with continuous practice, you will definitely be able to achieve the best results.

Most people prefer using this appliance as it gives a flavourful outburst to your jerky and speeds up the entire process. Don’t worry, the process, as mentioned above, will definitely help you to get your basics right and you will be dehydrating fantastic jerky before you even know it!


  1. Putting Jerky In A Dehydrator: https://foodsafety.wisc.edu/assets/pdf_Files/Making_Safe%20Jerky_in_a%20Home_Dehydrator3.pdf
  2. Dehydrating Fantastic Jerky: https://www.wikihow.com/Make-Beef-Jerky-in-the-Oven

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