Jerky is a delicacy for many people. Whether made with beef, pork, chicken, or turkey, this meat snack requires dry and adequately cooked. The average dehydrator takes around 8 hours to complete the process of drying jerky. Yet, there are ways that you can decrease the amount of time it takes to make jerky using a dehydrator. This article will discuss how you can make adjustments to create an even better tasting product than what comes out of your oven or low-temperature burner oven.
How to Make Beef Jerky in a Dehydrator?
Here is a step-by-step process of how to make beef jerky:
- Take enough quality, lean and seasoned beef and cut it into strips or chunks. You can cut it into more cubes or strips from time to time as you want.
- Place meat on the dehydrator trays and dry at a temperature of 115 degrees Fahrenheit for 8 to 12 hours, depending on your preferred jerky.
- Once the meat is dried, you can either go ahead and leave it on the dehydrator trays or flip them over so that they are dehydrated on both sides.
- Take the dry jerky and place it in airtight containers or bags. That will help you preserve the meat for more extended periods
- Take the dried jerky out of the oven, let them cool down to room temperature. Then remove each piece of dried beef jerky from its place on the trays with tongs or clean hands.
- Store your jerky in a cool and dry place away from any moisture or heat source to keep it fresh for more extended periods.
- When you are ready to eat your piece, please give it a quick grill on the stovetop until the pieces of jerky are cooked thoroughly.
- Enjoy some tender and juicy beef jerky pieces, and do not forget to share with your friends.
What Happens When You Leave Beef Jerky in the Dehydrator for Longer?
Two significant issues may occur when you leave jerky in your oven for too long. Firstly, the meat will dry much more complicated than what it is supposed to be. Secondly, affected jerky will lose its flavor. Proper drying is necessary because this process gets rid of unwanted moisture and fat from the meat, resulting in a better-tasting product. But if you leave the meat in the dehydrator for too long, it will become scorched and harden. It makes it lose much of its flavor and toughness that you can typically enjoy with this type of food.
Whether you cut your beef into cubes or chunks, you will need to flip the meat during the drying process. Given that jerky is not uniform in its color and texture, you may find that some pieces are already drier than others. Therefore, to make sure that all pieces are thoroughly dried, it is recommended to keep flipping them at least every hour. That especially applies if you use a digital dehydrator since it can be straightforward to forget about jerky in the oven for long periods. If you are using an oven or other type of dehydrator, then this process would take no longer than three hours at most.
To make sure your beef jerky remains tender during the drying process, it is also essential to consider the type of dehydrator you are using. There are specific types of dehydrators that are usually better than others when making jerky. For instance, if you are using an oven or low-temperature burner oven without temperature control. Then you will have to flip the meat every eight hours throughout the drying period. This type of dehydrator is also essential to check on the meat every couple of hours to test its progress. If there are still dehydrated pieces, then move them to another spot on the trays.
This process may take around eight hours to produce quality jerky. But if you leave it in for too long, the meat will become the texture of wood. When this happens, you will not be able to enjoy your jerky anymore without first adding more seasonings and spices. If you like having jerky that has very little fat, then do not leave it in for overly long. You can, of course, adjust the time that you leave your meat to dry based on preferences and personal tastes.
The reason behind this occurrence is due to moisture loss. When beef is cut into smaller pieces, more surface areas are exposed, which means there will be more fat and water than what is typically found with large chunks of meat. Thus, more time is needed for this type of beef to dry. It can take anywhere between 12 to 24 hours for jerky made from small meat cubes to be ready.
6 Tips on How to Make the Best Beef Jerky
Beef jerky is excellent because it tastes not only pleasing but also has many health benefits. Here are tips on how you can make the best beef jerky:
- Try using grass-fed meat to make your jerky for better results. This type of meat provides a cleaner cut with less fat, giving you a healthier snack option.
- If you choose to use a spice rub, make sure that the meat is dehydrated before putting any on it.
- You can also opt for a barbecue sauce or marinade once your jerky has been cooked and removed from the oven or low-temperature burner oven.
- If you want to maximize the amount of flavor and health benefits, then stay away from commercial brands and choose to make your jerky. It will allow you to determine the ingredients that go into it.
- Here is an interesting fact: if you use tenderloins rather than other cuts of meat, then you will have a tastier and more tender jerky.
- When storing your beef jerky, make sure that it is scorched as moisture can cause molding or spoiling as time passes by.
Losing weight can be a challenge. But, if you make a few changes to how much you eat and how much you exercise, then you will be well on your way to shedding those extra pounds. You may want to start with making beef jerky because it is an easy way to get that satisfying crunch that makes your mouth water every time you bite into it. We hope this article was helpful to you in finding the correct information about making beef jerky at home.