Making beef jerky in dehydrator?

Discussion in 'Homesteading Questions' started by cast iron, Aug 30, 2012.

  1. cast iron

    cast iron Well-Known Member

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    Do you use your dehydrator for making beef jerky?

    We recently replaced our very old and tired dehydrator with an Excalibur 3900 which lists jerky to be made at its highest temperature of 155*

    We checked our old dehydrator with a thermometer and found it could only get to 132* at best. I haven't had a chance to hook up the Excalibur yet but was wondering if others have verified the temp in your dehydrator to verify that it's actually running at the advertised temp?

    Also, the usda says this about using a dehydrator for making beef jerky.
    Jerky and Food Safety | USDA Food Safety and Inspection Service

    Additionally this document on the subject from the University of Wisconsin comes up frequently when searching on this subject.
    http://www.foodsafety.wisc.edu/assets/pdf_Files/Making_Safe Jerky_in_a Home_Dehydrator3.pdf

    What say you about this? No big deal, pre or post heating is not necessary, just stick it in the dehydrator for X hours and it's fine... My family has been making it this way for 250 years and nobody has died yet. :)

    Or do you either pre or post heat the meat to 160*+?

    Thanks
     
  2. farmmom

    farmmom Well-Known Member

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    I make jerky in my Excalibur. It doesn't get stored long though. I can't keep myself from eating it!
     

  3. Macybaby

    Macybaby I love South Dakota Supporter

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    I make mine in the deyhdrator - but I store in in the freezer and only take it out to be eaten so it's not sitting at room temp for long.

    I don't like how it turns out with the heating up to that temp, but I'm not willing to take the chance of the bacteria either. I figure if someone else has been doing it for years with success, that does not mean I can assume that the way I do it is similar enough to have the same success.
     
  4. Ozarks Tom

    Ozarks Tom Well-Known Member

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    We've made beef jerky in our Excalibur for years. It keeps in the fridge for months with no problem.
     
  5. Danaus29

    Danaus29 Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Don't know what brand my dehydrator is and I've never checked the temp. And I've never made jerky from store bought meat.

    We store our jerky in the fridge.
     
  6. countryfied2011

    countryfied2011 Well-Known Member

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    I have an Excalibur 3900 9 tray with fan and timer ..I have made beef jerky with it using Alton Brown's recipe..DH doesn't keep it in the fridge but then again it is never around very long either maybe a couple of weeks or three. I just keep it in a ziplock bag.

    Alton uses a fan and a/c filters..lol I follow the cooking instructions with the Excalibur Dehydrator Book

    Beef Jerky Recipe : Alton Brown : Recipes : Food Network
     
  7. Dusky Beauty

    Dusky Beauty I got it on farm status. Supporter

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    Since my favorite jerky is "teriyaki" I'd probably experiment with cooking my jerky meat with marinade before drying it anyway.
     
  8. mekasmom

    mekasmom Well-Known Member Supporter

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    I use the oven. It is just easier, cheaper, and holds a lot more.
     
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  9. pinfeather

    pinfeather Well-Known Member

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    Just make mine in the dehydrator. I use enough salt in the marinade so I figure that plus dehydration makes it shelf stable. Done it that way 20+ years.
     
  10. Silvercreek Farmer

    Silvercreek Farmer Living the dream. Supporter

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    Made jerky for years in a cheap dehydrator from Walmart, dunno what temp it gets to but nobody that has eaten it has died yet. Can't comment on storage life, it never lasts more than a day or two...
     
  11. jhambley

    jhambley Well-Known Member

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  12. pinfeather

    pinfeather Well-Known Member

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    The test they talk about in the article is about ground beef formed into strips and dried into jerky. It's my understanding that ground beef is much more likely to contain ecoli than larger pieces of meat. For jerky I either use venison or buy beef roasts on sale and slice them myself. Not sure why anyone would go to the trouble of grinding the meat, THEN forming it into strips and drying it. Must be a regional thing.
     
  13. Paquebot

    Paquebot Well-Known Member

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    Teeth! Jerky shooters allow those with plates to bite off a piece without picking their teeth off the floor! Also allows the meat to better absorb the flavors of marinades and cures.

    Martin
     
  14. pinfeather

    pinfeather Well-Known Member

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    :) Jerky shooters . . .
     
  15. Chixarecute

    Chixarecute Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Usually make my jerky with store bought ground round, no preheating, no temperature verification, no food borne illness occurring...

    And I love using those jerky caullking guns! :) So much easier than rolling it out.
     
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  16. Paquebot

    Paquebot Well-Known Member

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    If you've never heard of them, you haven't been following much in the field of jerky the past 25-30 years. I have used the original one for roughly 25 years.

    jerky shooter - Bing

    Martin
     
  17. Reb

    Reb Well-Known Member

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    I've always used the oven to make my jerky for the boys. I make so much it would take several loads in the dehydrator and more time than I have...

    I just take strips of meat that have marinated in the frig overnight, poke a toothpick in the end of each or buy the shishkabob sticks from the Dollar Store and put several on each stick then hang on the oven racks to dry a little on the counter. I use four liter bottles at each corner of the rack, tin foil underneath to catch any drips. After they've hung for about four hours and the drying process has begun, I put the racks in the oven at its lowest temp (about 165) crack the door a little and let hang for about 5-8 hours, depending on thickness..

    Stored in the refrig in a large pickle jar with an oxygen absorber. Hubby and boys love to take a pack when they're out in the woods. If you'd like, I'll share my recipe.. Reb
     
  18. dollmaker

    dollmaker Well-Known Member

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    Just don't feed this homemade jerky to the elderly, very young (unlikely anyway) and the immune suppressed. Food borne illness can go to the brain and cause a brain event, kill you or paralyze your limbs. And don't laugh it off and say it will never happen. It happened to me.
     
  19. woodsy

    woodsy Well-Known Member Supporter

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    I've checked my dehydrator temp, its an american harvest ,no temp settings, runs 160- 165*, good for jerky but kinda hot for drying some fruits and veges.
     
  20. jhambley

    jhambley Well-Known Member

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