How Long to Dehydrate Deer Jerky at 160ºF? Answered!

How Long to Dehydrate Deer Jerky at 160ºF?

Making your deer jerky is a great way to ensure that you have plenty of protein on hand, and it’s also a lot cheaper than buying store-bought jerky. Drying meat is one of the oldest methods of food preservation, and it’s still a popular way to preserve the game. 

But how long do you need to dehydrate deer meat at 160 degrees to ensure it’s safe to eat? Keep reading for the answer. 

In general, however, you can expect to dehydrate deer jerky at 160 degrees for six to eight hours. Of course, the best way to know for sure is to use a meat thermometer to check the internal temperature of the Jerky. 

What is the best temperature to dehydrate deer jerky?

Deer jerky

If you’re planning on dehydrating your deer jerky, you might be wondering what the best temperature is. The answer, of course, depends on a variety of factors, including how much time you have and how chewy you want your Jerky to be. In general, it takes 145° to 155°F.

If you’re in a hurry, you can dehydrate your Jerky at a higher temperature, which will shorten the drying time but may result in a less flavorful product. On the other hand, if you’re looking for a more intense flavor, you can dehydrate your Jerky at a lower temperature, taking longer but producing a tastier outcome.

Jerky is one of the oldest and most beloved snacks around. It’s portable, it’s protein-packed, and it’s perfect for a quick pick-me-up. But have you ever wondered how long it takes to dehydrate deer jerky? The answer may surprise you.

How long does it take to dehydrate deer jerky?

It turns out that the answer depends on a few factors, including the thickness of the meat, the type of dehydrator being used, and the desired level of dryness.

However, it takes anywhere from 4 to 7 hours to dehydrate deer jerky.

So if you’re planning on making your Jerky at home, be sure to set aside some time for the dehydration process. Once it’s finished, you’ll be able to enjoy delicious, homemade Jerky any time you want!

How to dehydrate deer jerky? Step by step!

Knife to cut the meat

Dehydrating deer jerky is a great way to preserve meat for long-term storage. Jerky will last for several months if properly dehydrated and stored in a cool, dark place.

  1. The first step is to trim the fat off of the meat. Fat does not dehydrate well and can cause the Jerky to spoil faster. Cut the meat into thin strips, about 1/4 inch thick. If you use a dehydrator, you can slice the meat thicker, up to 1/2 inch thick.
  1. Next, season the meat strips with a jerky seasoning of your choice. You can find these at most sporting goods stores or online.
  1. Place the seasoned meat strips on the dehydrator racks, ensuring they are not touching each other. Set the dehydrator to 155 degrees Fahrenheit and let it run for about 6 hours, or until the Jerky is dry and slightly brittle.
  1. Remove it from the dehydrator once the Jerky is done, and let it cool completely. Store the Jerky in an airtight container in a cool, dark place. It will last for several months this way.

How do I know when deer jerky is done in the dehydrator?

If you’re always on the lookout for new and exciting ways to prepare venison, Jerky is a great option because it’s easy to make and can be stored for long periods.

However, dehydrating meat can be a bit tricky, and it’s important to get the timing right or end up with either tough or rubbery Jerky. So how do you know when deer jerky is done in the dehydrator? 

The best way to test it is by taking a small piece out and letting it cool to room temperature.

Once it’s cooled, it should be chewy but not hard to bite through.

If it’s still too soft, put it back in the dehydrator for longer. Dehydrating meat can be a bit of an art, but you’ll be a jerky-making pro in no time with a little practice.

Can I speed up the process?

Yes, you can speed up the process by dehydrating the meat at a higher temperature. However, this will result in a less flavorful product.

If you’re looking for a more intense flavor, you can dehydrate your Jerky at a lower temperature, taking longer but producing a tastier outcome. Ultimately, it’s up to you to decide the best temperature for your deer jerky.

How long does deer jerky last?

Deer jerky can last for several months if it is stored properly. Ensure the Jerky is stored in an airtight container in a cold, dark spot. This will help to keep the jerky fresh and prevent it from spoiling.

Tips and tricks for a better-dehydrated deer jerky

Seasoning the meat

1. Choose the right cut of meat: The best cuts for making Jerky is the leaner ones, such as the flank or loin.

2. Trim away any fat: Fat will make your Jerky less healthy, but it will also cause it to go rancid more quickly.

3. Cut the meat into strips: The strips should be no more than ¼-inch thick and as uniform in size as possible. This will help ensure that they dehydrate evenly.

4. Season the meat: You can use any number of seasonings, but a simple salt and pepper mix is usually all that’s needed.

5. Place the meat on the dehydrator racks: Make sure that the strips are not touching each other, or they will not dehydrate properly.

6. Set the temperature: The ideal temperature for dehydrating meat is 160 and 170 degrees Fahrenheit.

7. Dehydrate for 4 to 6 hours: Check on the Jerky every couple of hours and remove it from the dehydrator when it is dry and slightly leathery.

8. Let the jerky cool: This will help it retain its flavor and prevent spoiling.

9. Store in an airtight container: Jerky can be stored in a plastic bag, but vacuum sealing is recommended for best results.

10. Eat within 2 weeks: Although properly stored Jerky can last several months, it is best to eat it within 2 weeks for optimum flavor and quality.

11. Freeze for longer storage: If you want to keep your Jerky for longer than 2 weeks, you can store it in the freezer. Just be sure to thaw it before eating, as frozen Jerky can be tough and chewy.

12. Rehydrate before eating: If you plan on eating your Jerky while hiking or camping, it’s a good idea to rehydrate it first. This will make it more tender and easier to eat.

13. Make a sweet & spicy jerky: If you like your Jerky with a little kick, try adding some cayenne pepper or other spices.

14. Try different flavors: There are endless possibilities for flavoring your deer jerky. Get creative and experiment with different seasonings and spices to find your perfect combination.

What to serve with deer jerky?

Crackers for side dish

Whether you’re looking for something to put on the table or just want a snack to munch on while watching football, some ideas will make your deer jerky taste even better.

1. Crackers: Serve your deer jerky with crackers for a classic pairing.

2. Cheese: Cubes or cheese slices make a great companion for deer jerky- consider a sharp cheddar or smoked gouda.

3. Fruit: Apple slices, grapes, or dried fruit like apricots are all great options for deer jerky.

4. Nuts: Almonds, peanuts, or even pistachios provide a nice crunch to contrast the chewy texture of the Jerky.

5. Dips: Try pairing your deer jerky with a flavorful dip like BBQ sauce, ranch dressing, or hummus.

6. Veggies: Sliced bell peppers, carrots, celery, or cucumber all make excellent choices to serve with deer jerky.

7. Pretzels: Soft pretzels are great for dipping deer jerky into dips like mustard or cheese sauce.

8. Bread: Slice up some baguette or other crusty bread alongside your deer jerky- perfect for making little sandwiches.

9. Crackers with peanut butter: This classic combo is delicious with deer jerky instead of plain old crackers.

10. Pita and hummus: Try dipping your deer jerky into some flavorful hummus for a quick and easy snack.

11. Ants on a log: Spread some peanut butter or cream cheese onto celery sticks and top with raisins or other dried fruit for a fun take on deer jerky.

12. Trail mix: Toss together with your favorite nuts, seeds, dried fruit, and maybe even some chocolate chips for a sweet and savory snack mix to enjoy with your deer jerky.

Final Words

Deer jerky is a delicious, nutritious, and easy-to-make snack that everyone can enjoy. With a little practice, you’ll be a pro at dehydrating your Jerky in no time.

Just remember to trim away any fat, cut the meat into strips, and season it to your liking. Then, set the dehydrator to the correct temperature and let it do its job. 

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