How Long to Dehydrate Deer Jerky?

If you are a hiker or a camper then, a deer jerky should be the most favorite and beloved food which you carry along on your journey. The main reason for such love for the deer jerky can be its ease of preparing, lightweight and rapid to eat. You can cook the jerky in different styles which suit your particular taste.

Do you know that the deer jerky is also one of the best survival foods which possess a longer shelf life?

Some of you might have a question in your mind that how long to Dehydrate Deer Jerky? The time taken for drying the jerky can be different and vary with the type of method you are using and also the conditions in which you are drying.

Venison Jerky

In the below article, we will answer your question in detail and also provide you some useful information regarding the topic as well.

Before Beginning the Article, Let’s Talk About the Deer Jerky First!

How Deer Jerky Dried Now as Well as in the Ancient Times?

Deer jerky is not a new food of our generation. It has existed from the ancient times. Earlier, people used to dry the jerky and store it for the later consumption. Through the drying process, they can easily store their food and use them in a case of food scarcity.

The ancient people use the sun rays for drying the food for several days. Whereas, nowadays we have got food dehydrators at our home which have to make our drying task simpler by dehydrating the food in few hours.

Benefits of Dried Deer Jerky

Deer jerky is one of the delicious snacks which can make your kids forget the fatty snacks or junk food. You get more nutrition and energy from the deer jerky in comparison to the other forms of meals. You do not need to add any harmful chemicals for preserving this snack for the longer period.

Making Jerky

Moreover, you can carry the deer jerky along with you in your picnic or hunting trip. It will provide you a good amount of energy which you lots of the physical work. You just have to take the deer jerky out from your bag and eat it. In fact, it is one of the favorite and yummy foods for a lazy person.

How Long Does It Take to Dehydrate Deer Jerky?

Yes, the central question of our article is that how long it takes to dehydrate deer jerky which is an obvious query of any person who is looking to dry venison jerky. In a case of drying any food, the main thing is the time taken. If your food not entirely dried, then it cannot be kept for a longer time, and in fact, that can affect its taste also.

The amount of time taken for drying also guarantees that all moisture from the food has to get removed without overcooking problem. For example: in an oven, at the temperature of 200 degrees Celsius, around five hours are taken. On the other hand, you need to be sure that every single side of the deer jerky correctly dried.

Important Tip

For better results, you can flip the strips of the deer jerky after the period of every two hours.

However, we will prefer a dehydrator instead of an oven. It not only gives the deer jerky a perfect texture after drying but also saves your lots of time. Besides this, the design of the food dehydrator also affects the time taken for drying the food. You can check the jerky after some period to know the drying status.

Bacon Jerky

If you are going on some long trip or journey then, it is evident that you want to carry some good stock of dried deer jerky with you. But you should not forget that drying of the food can only be done well if you keep it on the drying shelves in ample space. If you fill the dehydrator with lots of deer jerky, then that will not only take more time but also affects the results of the drying in the end.

Thus, if you place the right amount of deer jerky in the dehydrator, then it will take a proper time for drying. For example, if you set the temperature of the food dryer at 125 degrees F then, the machine will take around ten hours for completing the drying process of deer jerky. In case, if you think that time of ten hours is quite long then you just need to the increase the temperature up to 155 degrees F and it will take only four hours for drying.

So, What Is the Outcome of All the Above Things?

After reading the above words, it is clear that if you set the higher temperature, you can quickly do the drying of your deer jerky. However, you should know that if you try to dry out your deer jerky in less time at the higher temperature, then that will not result in the tasty food in the end. In fact, some part of the jerky can remain under dry, and it can also get crumbles or crack. Thus, a low drying is more important than the fast drying process.

Table of Different Drying Temperature with Minimum Drying Time

Beef Jerky Recipes

The following is the table which let you know that if you set your food dehydrator at a particular temperature then how much minimum drying time will it take:

Different Drying TemperatureMinimum Drying Time
125 degrees F10 hours
135 degrees F8 hours
145 degrees F7 hours
155 degrees F4 hours

What Is the Shelf-life of the Dry Deer Jerky?

Dried Food Jerky and such

The shelf-life of the dry venison jerky depends on the way your store it. You have to store the dried jerky at the room temperature but inside the Ziploc bags. It is better to avoid storing them in the airtight container. The dry deer jerky can last from 1 – 2 months. But if you freeze them then it can last up to the period of 6 months.

Why Is It Important to Dehydrate Deer Jerky?

It is essential to dry venison jerky as the dehydration is the only way which preserves the food for a longer time. When you dry out food in the dehydrator, a maximum water content of the food gets eliminated that do not let the microorganisms to grow later. All this results in the longer shelf life of the food which makes you consume the dried food anytime.

At present, there are some food dryers which are available on the market and possess some innovative features which allow you to do proper drying of the deer jerky in very less span of time. So, now there is no need to do any sun drying or drying in the oven. Just buy a food dryer and set the drying temperature and leave the rest on it.

List of Factors Which Affect the Time Taken for Dehydrating Deer Jerky

There are so many factors which affect the time taken for drying the deer jerky, and some of them given below:

1) Thickness of the Meat Slices for Deer Jerky

If you cut thick slices of the venison jerky, then it will take more time for drying. The thickness of the slices should not be more than the half of an inch. It is better to cut the slices thinly so that the whole food gets dried uniformly in one time. In fact, the bacteria get favorable conditions for growth in the thickly sliced jerky.

2) Temperature for Dehydrating

The temperature for drying is also a significant factor which determines how long to dehydrate deer jerky. If you set the higher temperature, then the less time will be taken by the machine for drying the food. It is better if you buy a food dryer which comes with the feature of the adjustable thermostat as this will make the appliance automatically adjust the temperature for drying without much hassle.

Important Tip

The temperature range of 150 degrees F to 200 degrees F is recommended to set in the food dryer. You can preheat the dryer machine for killing the pathogens in the food in the beginning at high temperature and then start using the dryer for drying food at the desired temperature.

3) Type of Drying Method

If you are using a food dehydrator for drying the deer jerky, then it will take very less time in comparison to the other modes. But if you are opting for sun drying then it will take several days for drying. You can also dehydrate the deer jerky in a microwave or oven, but that will not provide a good texture to your food from inside as well as from outside.

How Do You Know When Deer Jerky Is Done Dehydrating?

With the help of a simple bend test, you can know that whether your deer jerky dried or not. It is a straightforward trick. The following are the steps which you need to follow to know the drying status of your dry deer jerky:

  • You need to set the desired temperature of the dryer first and dehydrate the jerky deer strips in it until that turns black or brown.
  • When the color changes, take out a strip and cool it down.
  • Now try to bend it, and if it gets bends quickly and gets cracks down also then it means your deer jerky is ready.
  • If the jerky gets a break without turning, then that means you have over dry your food. It means that entire deer jerky has got wasted and you have to begin the drying process again with a new jerky.
  • If you want to regain the texture and flexibility of your deer jerky again then just put inside two slices of the fresh bread inside the dryer. It will help you in getting out of the over drying situation.

Important Tip

You can also note down the time which is taken by your machine for drying at this stage for future references.

Final Words

Thus, now you know the correct answer to your question that how long to dehydrate the deer jerky. The time took entirely depends on the temperature which you set and the mode of the method which is using for drying the deer jerky.

So, now you know that how much time it will need for drying deer jerky. So, what are you waiting for now? Let’s try to make some food recipe of the dehydrated deer jerky in our food dehydrator.

We hope that you relish reading the above article and find it useful for answering your question.

However, if you have already made dried deer jerky in the past at your home and if its outcome is different from our above information then, you can share that info with us. We will be pleased to hear from your side as it will help in making our above article more useful and informative to all our dear readers like you.

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Hi there, I’m Linda, chief editor at Dehydrator Blog. We believe in Health is wealth. After struggling to buy healthy organic food for my family, I decided that’s not the right way to do. Still today many of them not aware of food dehydrators and uses of dehydrated food. That’s why my team and I want to solve this problem. That’s how Dehydrator Blog was born.. Our mission is simple. Trying to spread awareness of dehydrator to all. Join our hands if you believe in our mission.