How long does a deer jerky dehydrator take to cook? This is a common question for people who are new to dehydrating their food. This blog post will answer the most important questions about how long it takes for your deer meat to be ready in a dehydrator. We’ll also share some recipes and cooking instructions so you can get started as soon as possible!
Is it better to smoke or dehydrate jerky?
This is a difficult question to answer because it is dependent on your tastes. Smoking meat has been done for ages, but some people like the flavor of dry meat over that of smoked meat. I believe both are delicious and have their set of benefits!
Smoked Jerky Benefits:
- Smoked jerky has a more intense and distinct flavor.
- Smoked meat will be leaner than dehydrated meat due to the fat loss in the drying process. This can make it easier for some people to eat.
- Smoked jerky is more expensive than dehydrated jerky, usually due to time spent smoking.
Dehydrated Jerky Benefits:
- You can make it in a dehydrator, which is very easy to use and doesn’t take up too much space!
- It will store for a long time.
- It is less expensive than smoked jerky.
- The flavor isn’t as intense or distinct as that of smoked meat, but this may be better for some people depending on their tastes!
How long does it take to make deer jerky in a dehydrator?
The time required to make deer jerky varies depending on what you’re using as fuel (electricity vs gas), the thickness of the cut, how wet your product is, and the temperature. But in general, expect it to take about 4-7 hours to make deer jerky in a dehydrator from start to finish.
How do you know when deer jerky is done dehydrating?
When making deer jerky, there are two main ways to know if it is done by using the bend or chew test. If you are cooking the jerky in an oven or dehydrator, make sure that it reaches 160 degrees and leave it for 5 hours or more. For using a dehydrator, cook at 165 degrees until it looks dry and tough. When taking out a piece of jerky to test if it is done, bend the meat gently to about 90 degrees and see if any moisture comes out. If any water comes out, then you need to add more cooking time before testing again.
If the jerky hardly cracks when you bend it, but doesn’t break in half, then your jerky is done!
How long should I leave my jerky in the dehydrator?
It depends on what type of equipment you’re cooking with but generally speaking, don’t walk away from your food while drying! The longest possible time you should leave a jerky in is about 12-15 hours, depending on the thickness of the meat. So once it hits the 12-hour mark, you can test if it’s done. Typically, thin strips of jerky take between 4-7 hours.
But you’ll want to avoid over-drying your jerky as much as possible by timing it properly and testing doneness occasionally closer to the end of the cooking period; otherwise, you’ll be disappointed once it’s done.
How do you dehydrate deer jerky in a dehydrator?
If you have a dehydrator, set it to 145 degrees or higher. Put the meat on the dehydrator and then remove it after 3 1/2 to 5 hours. If you do not have a dehydrator, put the jerky onto baking sheets and bake at 160°F for 3 1/2 to 5 hours.
What temperature do you cook jerky in a dehydrator?
Here, a good rule of thumb is to cook to 160 using the standard cooking period of 4-7 hours for thin strips, then check every hour after. Some people set their unit to 165-170 degrees, but this isn’t recommended for most because it runs the risk of drying too quickly, leading to tough pieces and a poor quality product overall.
Can you dehydrate jerky at 170 degrees?
Yes, but this isn’t an ideal temperature for the food. We recommend cooking to 165 and then checking every hour after the initial cooking period recommended until finished. Raising your oven’s temp will speed up cook time, but it also runs a higher risk of drying too quickly or unevenly, which can affect quality! Also, you may end up with tough pieces on one side while others remain moist because they were never exposed to enough heat (or vice versa).
When we make our deer meat snacks in bulk, we set the dehydrator unit to 160-165 and leave them inside overnight without any problems. But we always tell you that it’s better not to walk away from your machine when making homemade jerky, especially if you are using an oven instead.
How long do you dehydrate jerky at 160 degrees?
In general, expect it to take about four hours from start to finish for thin strips of meat, but this can vary depending on the thickness and size of your cut(s). If using an oven versus a dehydrator, the highest recommended temperature is 170°F for 7 hours, depending on the thickness!
To be safe, we recommend cooking until it reaches 165-170 before checking every hour after, as stated above.
Can you over dehydrate jerky?
Yes! Dehydrating meat is an art form, and it’s easy to ruin your product if you don’t dry with the right temperatures for long enough. We recommend starting by experimenting on a small batch first before making large batches of homemade deer jerky in bulk so that you can fix any mistakes without wasting too much time, energy, or food.
I hope this article has helped you learn more about how to cook deer jerky in a dehydrator. Remember, cooking time is dependent on the thickness of your cut(s), so be sure to check them periodically throughout the process for doneness. If it’s not done yet after 4 hours have passed since starting, leave it inside and continue checking every hour until finished!