How Long To Dehydrate Deer Jerky

Venison is more popular than any other meat when it comes to making jerky. Jerky is, simply put, spiced-up, dried meat. Dehydration is a significant step in the processing of deer jerky as like beef jerky with a dehydrator. It can, however, be a little tricky. You MUST know how long to dehydrate deer jerky.

Dehydrate for too long, and the jerky will be as hard as wood. Dehydrate for too short a time, and you lower the shelf life. Under-dehydration also runs the risk of not killing pathogens in the venison.

N.B.:Since you do not cook jerky before eating it, jerky must be processed in a way that kills all pathogens.

Read on for the full insight on How long does it take to dehydrate deer jerky?’

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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.

Step 2:

Preheat your oven between 130⁰F to 160⁰F. Make sure to place a pan that can catch the oil drips from the jerky on the bottom of your oven.

How Long To Dehydrate Venison Jerky

Many factors determine how long to dehydrate jerky. The two most important factors are:

How To Make Deer Jerky In A Dehydrator, Smoker, and Oven

On the first day of making deer jerky, slice choice venison at a quarter to half-an-inch thickness. The strips should be cut from low-fat portions of the deer. Fat reduces the shelf life of jerky. All visible fat must be sliced from venison parts before slicing it for jerky slices.

This next step is one many people skip despite advice from the USDA. Heat the slices at 160 F until they ooze fat all over. Before dehydration, dry the slices of the fat they ooze. This step is not only useful in killing pathogens; it also rids jerky of excess fat.

The next step is marinating. Marinate the slices in a marinade of choice. Bag the slices in the marinade and refrigerate overnight for the best results. On the next day, pat them down off excess marinade before dehydration. You will save on dehydration time.


How long does it take to make deer jerky in a dehydrator?

When heating meat before drying, the estimated drying time is 4-5 hours. Begin checking jerky at 3 hours, and remove pieces which are dried. Jerky pieces are done when they are firm throughout, with no sponginess, and will not break when you bend them.

How long do you dehydrate venison for?

The best way to prepare meat for venison jerky is a three-step process:
  1. Freeze (at 0 degree Fahrenheit) the meat in pieces less than 6” thick, for a minimum of 30 days. …
  2. Steam or roast the meat to an internal temperature of 160 F. …
  3. Place the meat in a 140 F pre-heated food dehydrator for 10-24 hours.

What temp should I dehydrate deer jerky?

In order to safely dry meat at home, your oven or dehydrator must be able to maintain a temperature of at least 145° to 155°F (see below).

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