How Long to Dehydrate Jerky? – Tips, Temperature & Time Guidelines

Do you like to go on traveling or mountaineering very often? Are there any survival foods which you carry along? Well! There are so many different types of foods that can take along with you ate the time of camping or hiking, and dehydrated jerky is also one of them.

A dehydrated jerky, if dried-out perfectly then it can be stored for a couple of years without any problem. In fact, it is a very healthy snack to consume as compared to the other forms of dried food.

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But do you have any idea that how long does it take to dehydrate the jerky? Many of us do not know the accurate answer to this above query.

Well! In this below article, we will tell you about the time which is required by the jerky for a complete drying process. We will also provide you some other valuable information regarding the topic.

How Much Time Required for Drying Jerky in the Ancient Periods?

how long to dehydrate jerky

The dehydrated jerky recipe is not a new dish. It was used to cook from the ancient Egypt era by cutting extra meat from the different categories of animals which cannot be consumed raw.

At that time, drying the jerky was a beneficial way to save the meat from getting wasted. The people of that era thoroughly dry every single strip of the jerky meat after slicing them in the thin form. Then they keep the food under the sunlight with some favoring for few days.

So, this is how the dehydrated jerky cooked at that time. It almost took several days for cooking such type of food. But now, the time has changed, and we have got so many innovative mediums like food dehydrators for cooking dried jerky that take very less period for drying food.

Different Jerky Drying Times for Different Ways

The process of making the dried jerky is quite long. However once it gets ready with all the nutrition-filled essentials, those long hours look like completely worth. As you know that there are two different ways of cooking dried jerky i.e.

  • Jerky from the ground meat
  • Jerky from the sliced meat

Both the above methods take different times for making dried jerky. Let’s have a look!

  • Jerky from Ground Meat
    The foods like beef, buffalo, venison, as well as turkey are the popular options for the ground meat. It is effortless to make jerky from the ground meat as it dries faster, reasonable to made and stress-free to chew as compare to the jerky slices. Jerky from the ground meat will take around 4 to 15 hours to dehydrate in a food dehydrator.
  • Jerky Made from Sliced Meats
    The jerky can also prepare from the lean meat. You have to firstly marinade the meat and put in the fridge for freezing for around 8 to 24 hours. Then, you can place the jerky on the trays of the dehydrators for 5 to 10 hours until the process of drying completed.

How to Set the Temperature of the Dehydrators While Drying Jerky?

The following are the few ways of setting the temperature of the dehydrators for drying jerky adequately (with an example):

  • At the time of carrying out the process of drying jerky in the food dehydrator, you must set the machine at 135 degrees Fahrenheit. Now place the strips of the meat on all the trays, remember that the pieces do not overlap each other as it can affect the even drying of the food.
  • If you are selecting the temperature at 135 degrees F, then after the period of eight hours you should check the color of the food whether it has turned black or brown. It is not mandatory that you select the temperature of the dryer at 135 degrees; you can also set it to 125 degrees to 155 degrees F.
  • Remember that you should not dry out the jerky for more than 8 hours if you are choosing temperature at 135 degrees F. After the drying when the jerky cool down just keep it inside the Ziploc bag for storing.

The following table will make you more clearly about the different temperature settings along with their suitable drying time:

Set Drying Temperature

Minimum Drying Time

125 degrees F

10 hours

135 degrees F

8 hours

145 degrees F

7 hours

155 degrees F

4 hours

Tips for Saving Time While Drying Jerky

There are few ways through which you can save some time which required for drying the jerky food in a dehydrator, such as:

  • Always check the accurate temperature of the food dehydrator when you turn it ON without placing the food inside. It is better if you do not entirely rely on the food dehydrator's settings for temperature control.
  • You can check the dehydrator temperature with a pocket read meat thermometer by keeping it inside the machine. If the machine has a stable temperature, then your jerky will get dried fast.
  • It is helpful if you use the food dehydrators which come with the feature of temperature control. Never use the food dryers which come with the factory preset temperature settings which can't control.

If you follow all the above points carefully, then lots of your precious time can be saved while drying jerky.

Factors Which Affects the Time Taken for Drying Jerky

The following are the few factors which also influence the total time taken for drying jerky:

  • Thickness of Meat
    Some of the people prefer to eat thick slices of jerky, and some of them love to consume in the thin form. So, it matters a lot that how much is the thickness of the slices of jerky which you have to place in the dehydrators. The thin slices will need less time as compared to the thick one.
  • Load in the Dryer
    It is essential that how much quantity of jerky you want to dry out in the dehydrators. If you filled up the machine with lots of meat, then the dryer will take some more time for drying. On the other hand, if you place fewer strips of meat inside the machine, then your jerky will get ready much earlier.
  • Humidity
    The humidity also plays a significant role while drying meat in the dehydrators. If the jerky has already some water content in it, then it will take more time for complete drying. But if the moisture content in the food is already less, then you can expect some less time for drying. For example, the freeze-jerky meat will have more water content as compared to the fresh jerky slices.
  • Temperature Control
    If your dehydrator does not come with the temperature control feature, then it can influence the time taken for drying the jerky. When you have the power to change the temperature of the machine, then you can increase or decrease it as per your requirement. But the dryer that comes with the static temperature option takes more drying time for food like jerky.

Jerky Dehydration Video Guide

Final Words

We hope that you have got an answer to your question now. To conclude, the drying time for dehydrating jerky differs with the temperature settings of the dehydrators machines. Thus, now you have to check that how much temperature range your machine offers so that you can dry out your jerky correctly.

So, what are you waiting for now? Try out some new recipe of jerky in your food dehydrators and serve it your friends and family members!

If you still have any thoughts in your mind then, just only write to us in the below comment box. It will also help us in making our article more informative and useful. We feel pleased to hear from our dear readers.

Thanks for reading!!

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