How to Keep Jerky from Sticking to Dehydrator

One of the irritating things that almost all of us dislike is the jerky sticking to the trays of the dehydrator while drying. It not only wastes the dried jerky food but also annoys us a lot as it is quite challenging to take off the dried jerky from the trays.  

The people who actively go for outdoor activities or the women who have to do lots of jerky drying for their family does not like to waste their food as well as time on the sticking food. There are so many people around the world who dehydrates food regularly but often wonder how to keep jerky from sticking to the dehydrator.

Dried beef jerky
Dried beef jerky

With the help of a few ways as well as tips, you can avoid the problem of jerky sticking to dehydrator easily. In the below article, we will discuss with you about the methods through which you can keep jerky from sticking to the dehydrator. Moreover, we will also share some useful tips and tricks that will benefit you in avoiding the problem of jerky sticking on trays.

How can We Keep Jerky from Sticking to Dehydrator?

The recipes of the jerky have a certain quality of sugar in them that make the food to stick to the drying racks. But, you can keep jerky from sticking to dehydrator with the help of a few methods. For example, you can spray the non-stick cooking spray on the trays of the dehydrator before putting the jerky strips on them. It benefits to keep jerky from sticking to the trays. Moreover, you can easily clean the trays after finishing the drying process of the jerky.

Furthermore, you can do the coating of the trays with the vegetable oil so that the jerky does not stick to the dehydrator trays. If you are using the small round food dehydrator for drying jerky then, coat the oil over the drip area, i.e., dehydrator base’s top region. 

Why Does Jerky Stick to the Trays of Dehydrator?

Well! There are so many reasons due to which the jerky stick to the trays of the dehydrator likes food’s nature, humidity, temperature and also the machine that you are using for drying food. The following are a few reasons due to which the jerky might get stick to the dehydrator trays:

  • You have sliced the jerky very thin, and due to the heat flow it releases a high amount of sugar that easily stick to the dehydrator
  • You have set very high temperature for drying the jerky meat
  • There is lots of moisture in the meat of jerky that needs excessive time for drying
  • You have over dehydrated the jerky for a long time in the dehydrator machine
  • The meat is not prepared correctly before beginning the drying process
  • The pieces of the meat not blotted before placing over the trays of the dehydrator
  • The temperature of the machine not set accurately

Useful Tips to Prevent Jerky from Sticking to Dehydrator Trays

There are few tips that you can utilize for preventing the jerky from sticking to the trays of the dehydrator. They will not only make your drying process more manageable, but you also get benefited from it every time you dried jerky. We have divided this part into three subsections.

1. Before Placing Jerky in the Dehydrator

  • You should cut the pieces of the meat in the size that recommended for the recipe. The thin slices of meat quickly get stick to the dehydrator trays.
  • Try to use fresh meat for making jerky.
  • You can use the parchment paper on the trays before placing the meat. But don’t forget to flip the meat during the drying process so that both the sides of the meat pieces fetch an equal amount of heat.
  • You can use the non-flavored cooking oil for spraying on the trays of the dehydrator. But don’t spray too much oil as the oil can reduce the shelf life of the jerky.
  • You might also use the mesh screen that stops the meat from sticking on the dehydrator trays. If the jerky stick to the mesh screen then, bend it, and the jerky will come off quickly.
  • There should be sufficient space in the middle of the meat pieces so that they do not overlap each other.
  • You should make use of paper towel for blotting away any moisture or oil on the slices of the jerky before placing them inside the dehydrator.
Jerky drying on dehydrator trays
Jerky drying on dehydrator trays

2. For the period of Dehydration

  • You should always dry out the meat for jerky as per the instructions for making your recipe. The right setting of the temperature and the drying time plays a significant role in taking out the moisture from the meat so that they don’t remain sticky.
  • You can flip the pieces of the meat during the dehydration process so that they don’t stick to the trays of the dehydrator easily.
  • You should check the meat in between the drying process if they are drying correctly and also not sticking to the dehydrator trays.

3. Afterward the Process of Dehydration

  • Always cool down the jerky before taking off them from the dehydrator trays.
  • If the pieces of the meat are not correctly dried then, they will also stick to trays. So, dry them for more time if there is any moisture content.
  • You can put some drops of water on the dehydrated jerky for lifting them quickly from the trays if they are sticking.
  • Place the trays of the dehydrator in the refrigerator, and soon you can easily take off the pieces of jerky from it.

What Are the Best Ways to Clean the Jerky That’s Stuck to Dehydrator Trays?

If after following the above methods, the jerky still sticks to the dehydrator trays then, you can follow the below ways for cleaning it off from the trays:

  • You might use the small size brush for cleaning the small areas inside the trays where the pieces of jerky get stuck most often. During this method, keep the tray under the running water tap.
  • If the dehydrator trays that you are using are dishwasher safe then, you can easily wash them in the dishwasher in the warm water. Do not use the hot water as that can warp off the trays easily.
  • You might also soak the dehydrator trays in the mixture of water and soap for a night and clean it easily the very next day.
  • The stainless steel trays also get cleans quickly with the powerful water jet to take off any residue of jerky meat on trays.
  • Sprinkling the Epsom salt on the trays also helps in removing the sticking jerky from the trays. You have to dip the trays in the water and sprinkle some Epsom salt on it.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

While drying the meat pieces for making jerky, some of the pieces get stuck to the trays. So, how to take them off?

Sometimes the meat has a little amount of sugar content in them that makes them sticky. So, if your trays of the dehydrator manufactured from good plastic material then, slightly bend it to make the pieces rise from the trays for pulling off.

Should I buy the dehydrator with the stainless steel trays for stopping the jerky from sticking to the trays?

The trays material is not essential to stop the jerky from sticking. There are so many other factors that are responsible for food sticking to the trays. So, you will not get any benefit if you buy the dehydrator with stainless steel trays. But the only advantage that you will get is that you can easily clean the stainless steel trays in comparison to the plastic ones and moreover the stainless steel material is more durable than the plastic material.

What is the best tip to avoid the jerky from sticking to the trays of the dehydrator?

You should cut the pieces of the meat for jerky in equal sizes and width. You can take help from the instruction booklet that you got along with your product to know the right size. You might also use the non-stick sheets or non-stick spray on the trays to keep jerky from sticking. You can also use the parchment paper so that the pieces do not stick easily on the trays. Don’t do over-drying and under-drying of the jerky if you want to get excellent drying results without sticking issue.

Final Word

Drying meat for making delicious jerky in the dehydrator is an easy and fun job to do. But some of us have to face the problem of jerky sticking to the trays of dehydrator sometimes. However, if you follow the above methods along with the tips and tricks then, you can quickly stop the jerky from sticking. Do not worry about using these methods as once you apply them correctly; it will be going to benefit you a lot.

After reading the above information in the article, now there is no need to lose your heart about the problem of jerky sticking to the dehydrator trays at all. You can keep your trays clean after drying the jerky and in case if you still face the challenge of sticking then, follow the above tips of cleaning.

So, we hope that now you got the answer to your question “how to keep jerky from sticking to the dehydrator.” Is there any other way that you use for avoiding the problem of jerky sticking to dehydrator? If yes then, please share it with us. We will inevitably mention it in our blog.

Feel free to ask the query, if any, in the below comment box. We will reply to you at the earliest!


Linda
 

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.

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