View Full Version : Food Dehydrator Help

03-11-2011, 04:30 PM
I have a jerky gun that I use to make Beef Jerky for my friends & Family. I use really lean ground beef and use the cure & seasoning packets. The jerky is really good. My guestion is?? Can I use just plain ground chicken or turkey with no cure or seasoning at all to make jerky for my dog. He has alot of food allergies including beef. Someone told me that ground meat alone will not hold up under dehydration without something added? Anyone ever try it?

03-12-2011, 05:33 AM
Anyone have any opinions?

Goin' Coastal
03-12-2011, 07:40 AM
Can't help with the ground meat. We have made jerky many times, but always used slices of meat.

03-12-2011, 12:43 PM
That's a tough question. I don't know a whole lot about using ground beef but you can do slices with little to no seasoning. Maybe if you stored it in the fridge/freezer once it was dry? But even then, I'm a bit concerned about it being chicken/turkey.

I've never done chicken/turkey and it's been a long time since I read about it but I was thinking you had to be a lot more careful with chicken vs beef? Or maybe it was just a temperature thing. Does your gun have a recipe using chicken/turkey with a cure/seasoning? One book I have actually says not to try it at all but then another says you can (but that's with cure/salt).

I think I'd hit google and look at some dehydrating/jerky making sites (if you haven't already). And actually, I think I'll go look too because now you've made me curious :D

Editing to add...

The issue of chicken and turkey seems to be temperature and that most home dehydrators don't get hot enough to make it safely (my dehydrator only goes to 155 degrees but I've always done jerky in the oven). I see suggests for 160 to 165 degrees as the "safe" temperature and suggestions to either pre-cook (boil in a marinade/liquid or bake) before drying or bake after drying.

This is from the University of Oregon Extension: (they actually said do not use ground meat at all but plenty of other sites say you can)

Turkey breasts, thighs, and legs are the best cuts for making jerky. Skin and remove all fat...

...Poultry to be used for jerky must be heated to a safe temperature to kill harmful E. coli 0157:H7 and salmonellae bacteria. Unless jerky is heated to 160 degrees F, these bacteria can survive. Because most home dehydrators and smokers aren't designed to reach this temperature, the jerky must be heated in another way to guarantee safety. This can be done by precooking. Precooking in marinade shortens the drying time and makes a more tender jerky. Although the color and texture will be different from conventional jerky, precooked jerky is still tasty.

Prepare 1-2 cups of marinade of your choice in a saucepan. Bring the marinade to a full rolling boil over medium heat. Add a few meat strips, making sure that they are covered by marinade. Re-heat to a full boil.

Remove the pan from the range. Using tongs, immediately remove meat from the hot marinade to prevent over-cooking. Repeat steps until all meat has been precooked. Add more marinade if needed.

*The University of Georgia has suggested oven heating after drying as an alternative to pre-cooking. Precooking in marinade has a wider margin of safety for bacterial destruction, however. To heat in the oven, place dried strips on a baking sheet, close together, but not touching or overlapping. For strips originally cut 1/4 inch thick or less, heat 10 minutes in an oven pre-heated to 275 degrees F. Thicker strips may require more time to reach 160 degrees F.

Note: Jerky can be made with reduced or no salt. Any combination of seasonings can be used for flavor, including low-sodium soy sauce. Because salt helps preserve the meat and draws out the moisture, lower salt jerky may take longer to dry and won't keep as well. Jerky made without salt should be stored in the freezer and used soon after thawing.

This is from ehow.com

Be sure to preheat your dehydrator (let it warm up before putting the meat in it). Chicken must be heated to 165 degrees F. Do not cool but place immediately in dehydrator and keep at a constant temperature between 130-140 degrees F.

Also found this:


And I seem to have lost the url but there were a couple of comments about using the above method (dogtreatkitchen) with sliced liver for dog treats too (if your dog's not allergic to liver). Just slice and dry like the chicken.

03-13-2011, 07:40 AM
Patty, I found a recipe for Jerky Sticks pet treats in the recipe book that came with my dehydrator. Here you go!

Roxanne's Jerky Sticks

3 c. ground lean meat (beef, chicken or turkey)
1 c. flour
2 T. Brewer's yeast
1 c. cottage cheeese, drained
1 ground bouillon cube

Combine ingredients and thoroughly mix. Spread mixture on paraflexx sheet until 1/8" thick. Dry at 155 degrees (F) until dry. Cut into strips.

07-26-2011, 12:33 PM
I thought I'd report to everyone that I put watermelon in my dehydrator and it came out GREAT! I used the paraflex sheets so clean-up was super easy. It did take a long time to dry; over 24 hours. However, the results were great. It's super sweet so some won't like it. The consistency is that of fruit leather. Fun!! :D

heavy hedonist
07-26-2011, 05:29 PM
interesting, golden1225.