Jerky in Oven Vs Dehydrator – Which is Best?

Jerky is one of the most popular snacks that are loved by all kinds of people belonging to different age groups. It has not only good taste but also possess a large amount of nutritional value. Preparing the jerky is very easy. The time that you have to spend more is in making the marinade only.

There are so many recipes of jerky that you can prepare with the help of the oven as well as a dehydrator. Both the appliances offer incredible drying results of the jerky with the fantastic flavor. They differ in cooking time. But what is the difference between jerky in oven vs. dehydrator?

In the below article, we will discuss the jerky in oven vs. dehydrator. We will try to provide you every minute detail about both the methods of cooking jerky so that you can easily differentiate between two of them.

How the Food Dehydrator and Oven Method are Useful for Drying the Jerky?

These are the two most common methods of drying that helps in dehydrating the foods in very less time with effective results. Some other ways like air drying and sun drying are the ancient methods that our ancestors used for drying the foods, like, air dried herbs and sun dried tomatoes. But these methods were only useful if you have adequate climatic conditions in your region. So, the food dehydrator and oven are the best substitutes for such methods.

The food dehydrator and oven help you in drying the foods like jerky in very less time so that you can preserve them for a long time. You get good control of temperature and the drying time in these machines so that the natural taste and flavor of the jerky remains perfectly in the end.

The jerky needs careful temperature control so that it does not get spoil after drying. The dehydrator, as well as the oven, can easily do the drying of the jerky almost in the same way. So in the next section of our article, we are going to compare these methods to know the benefits of each jerky drying method.

How the Jerky Dehydrated in the Oven?

The oven functions quite well for dehydrating all kinds of jerky. But you have to select the low temperature of the oven for perfectly drying your jerky. You might choose the setting of lowest bake in it. If the broiler component approaches the uniform at the lowest setting of baking, you might have to put a heavy-duty foil or the cookie sheet over the shelf’s top to repel the heat.

Beef jerky in oven
Beef jerky in oven

If there is non-vented oven then, leave the door of the oven open by putting a wooden spatula for opening it slightly. The fan will blow towards the open door for uniform air flow. Most of the oven struggles to maintain the right temperature for jerky, so you have to follow this trick. It does not let the temperature to go too much high. You can check the temperature of the oven while drying jerky with the help of the oven thermometer that offers accurate internal temperature.

The airflow is quite essential for drying jerky in the oven because if the temperature is not right then the jerky will not dehydrate correctly. But, do not overload the oven with the jerky. The temperature required for drying jerky in the oven is 60 degrees C to 70 degrees C.

Pros And Cons of Drying Jerky in the Oven

Below are the pros and cons of dehydrating jerky in the oven:

Pros Cons
You don’t need to prepare the oven for beginning the drying process of the jerky It takes a longer time for drying jerky than the food dehydrator
There is no need to spend extra money on buying additional equipment for making jerky in it It needs more energy for drying jerky than a dehydrator
It does not need much space in the kitchen It provides less effective drying results of the jerky
  It is challenging to maintain constant airflow and temperature while drying jerky in the oven.
  The drying racks are limited.

How The Jerky Dehydrated in the Food Dehydrator?

You can also dehydrate jerky in the food dehydrator as many as times in the year. You get an adequate amount of airflow and proper control of temperature in the dehydrator for drying jerky effectively. The meat for making jerky needs an internal temperature of 140 degrees F to 160 degrees F for getting dehydrated in the food dehydrator. You don’t have to overheat the machine as you have reasonable control over the temperature.

Beef jerky in dehydrator
Beef jerky in dehydrator

The drying results of the jerky in the food dehydrator are comparatively better and consistent in the food dehydrator. The dehydrators are not only efficient in drying the jerky but also consume less time and energy in comparison to the oven. There are 5 to 12 trays in the machines that let you dehydrate a large amount of jerky in one go. You don’t get much benefit in the oven as it has limited racks.

Moreover, the jerky gets dehydrate more quickly than the oven method which is the biggest advantage of the dehydrator. You can’t tell how much time the oven will take for drying jerky but in the dehydrator, the drying time for jerky almost fixed between 8 to 10 hours.

There are few drawbacks of using the dehydrator for drying jerky like you might have to rotate the trays for drying the jerky as the lower trays will get more heat than the trays on the top. If you are a beginner, you might have to keep an eye on the drying process of the jerky. The meat for the jerky should arrange in a single layer in the machine.

Pros and Cons of Drying Jerky in the Food Dehydrator

Below are the pros and cons of dehydrating jerky in the food dehydrator:

Pros Cons
You get reasonable control of airflow and temperature in the dehydrator while drying jerky It needs more counter space
It takes less time for drying jerky than the oven method It is an expensive to the machine to buy for making jerky
You can dehydrate a large amount of jerky in one go in it. It might create some noise while drying jerky
It needs less energy for drying jerky You have to do tray rotation in between the drying process
There is no need to pre-heat the dehydrator before drying jerky  
You can increase the drying capacity of the machine by adding more trays.  

Final Word!

So, here we reach the end of our article “Jerky in oven vs. dehydrator.”

It does not matter much that what method you pick for drying the jerky, the drying time in both the methods differs due to a few factors like temperature and thickness of the meat. After drying the jerky always check if it’s done by breaking or bending it. It should have a dark color also. 

We will recommend that drying jerky with both the appliances offer you a different experience. You might like any of these methods that match your taste and needs perfectly. But keep in mind while using any of the methods, do not overlap the jerky and do not rely on the drying times blindly.

If you want to dehydrate the jerky for several times in the year the, drying in the dehydrator is a better option. But if you don’t have to dehydrate the meat for a jerky more often then, oven for dehydrating jerky is a better choice. Besides this, consider once your budget also.

Do you have any other view about jerky in oven vs. dehydrator? If yes then, please share with us in the below comment box. If you want us to cover any other topic in our blog then, let us know soon. We would love to hear from you always!


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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.