How To Dehydrate Deer Jerky

Whenever you are keen to have good health, you always look for the healthy food recipes like dried deer jerky. It is a fantastic snack which fulfills your food cravings and keeps you away from the fried and unhealthy snacks.

Eating a healthy diet does not always include lots of veggies and fruits. You can eat your favorite foods like deer jerky without oil and in the dried form. People from ancient times used to survive on this food for many days while on hunting or long voyages.

Earlier people used to dry out the deer jerky under the sun, but it took many days. However, in our present time, due to the invention of the food dehydrators, you can dehydrate deer jerky only in few hours and serve this delicious snack.

Do you want to know that how to dehydrate deer jerky? Let’s find out the answer in the below article!

List of Things Required for Dehydrating the Deer Jerky

The following are the essential things which require for drying deer jerky in the food dehydrator:

  • Food dehydrator
  • 1 Knife
  • One large onion in the diced form
  • Two minced garlic cloves
  • 1 tablespoon of liquid smoke
  • 1 tablespoon of ground pepper
  • 1cup of soy sauce
  • 1 cup of Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 cup of maple syrup
  • One ziplock bag

Steps of Dehydrating the Deer Jerky

Here we will discuss with you the steps of dehydrating the deer jerky in the food dehydrator:

Step 1: Buy right deer jerky meat

If you want to cook a delicious deer jerky recipe then it is very important to buy the right jerky meat along with the good marinating. The best and healthiest form of the deer jerky is venison as it is not contaminated from any chemicals.

Step 2: Refrigerate at the right temperature

The next step is to refrigerate it at the right temperature before doing the slicing. Remember not to keep it in the freezer. Refrigerating helps in preserving the jerky correctly, and you can also cut it quickly. After the thawing, take out all the fat from it as this will help you in keeping your jerky for a more extended period along with the enhancement in the flavor.

Step 3: Do the slicing

Now, it’s the time to the do the slicing of the meat in thin-size with the knife. The piece of the meat should be smaller but not thicker than 1 centimeter. You can slice it either against or with the grain. The cutting against the grain is comfortable but, if you want a chewy texture then, tries to slice with the grain.

Step 4: Prepare the marinade

After the slicing completed, now you have to prepare the marinade. It will provide an exotic taste to the deer jerky recipe. You require one large onion in the diced form, two minced garlic cloves, and one tablespoon of liquid smoke, one tablespoon of ground pepper, 1 cup of soy sauce and 1 cup of Worcestershire sauce. Mix all the ingredients in the zip lock bag.

Step 5: Marinade the jerky

Now take 3 pounds of jerky deer strips and marinade it by keeping inside the mixture for overnight. If you want to have some chili flavor, then add some chili paste in the marinade. Some people like salt and sweet jerky then instead of the Worchester sauce you can include the 1 cup of maple syrup.

Step 6: Put the slices on the trays.

how to dehydrate deer jerky

Now, it’s the time to use the food dehydrator which is a fast and easy way to dehydrate deer jerky. After the above step, take the strips of the meat and lay it on the trays of the dryer machine in a single layer. You must assure that the pieces should not overlap.

Step 7: Set the temperature of the dehydrator

Keep the trays inside the dehydrator and set its temperature between 125 degrees F to 155 degrees F. The time of drying the deer jerky will vary according to the range of the temperature. For example, at 125 degrees F it will take 10 hours for drying, and at the temperature range of 155 degrees F, it will need 5 hours for drying.

Below you can find the table in which will tell you that how much time will it take for drying the deer jerky at a particular temperature:

Diverse Drying TemperatureLeast possible Drying Time
125 degrees F10 hours
135 degrees F8 hours
145 degrees F7 hours
155 degrees F4 hours

Step 8: Storing the jerky

When the drying time of the deer jerky gets completed, you should check the consistency, color, and texture of the meat first. The slice must get crack or bend after cooling down. After the drying process gets over, you should store them in the ziplock bag or airtight container for the consumption later. The shelf life of the dried deer jerky is two months, but if you freeze it, you can preserve the food for at least six months easily.

Benefits of Dehydrated Deer Jerky

Deer jerky is a tasty and delicious snack that helps you in getting rid of junk food and fatty snacks. It offers you more energy and nutrition in comparison to any other meal. In fact, there is no need to add the harmful chemicals in it for more extended preservation.

Furthermore, it is quite easy to carry the dried deer jerky on your hunting trip or picnic along with you. It makes you feel full quickly.

Why Must You Use a Food Dehydrator for dehydrating the Deer Jerky?

The packaged dried deer jerky which we buy from the market possesses lots of sodium content and harmful preservatives in it. If you want to have a healthy recipe for this food then, dehydrating it in the dehydrator at your home is the best option.

In the food dehydrator, you can control the amount of sodium at the time of drying. It is easy to maintain the temperature of the unit for killing the pathogenic bacteria. There will be no artificial color, chemicals or preservatives in it for the more extended preservation.

Helpful Video Guide:

Final Word!

Have you got an answer to the question now: how to dehydrate deer jerky”?

In his article, we have stated the complete process of dehydrating and preparing the deer jerky inside the food dehydrator machine. The time of drying the jerky can vary according to the time seating, temperature range and the type of dehydrator you are using. After dehydrating the jerky once, you will become acquainted with the drying process, timing and temperature correctly.

Let us know your final results of the entire drying process or if you add any twist to the above method for some delicious flavor.

You can share your experiences of drying the deer jerky here as well! We will feel exhilarated to hear from 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.