Are you a fan of beef jerky? Do you want to know how to make it at home?
Dehydrating beef jerky is a simple process that can be done with just a few ingredients. However, the time it takes to dehydrate the meat can vary depending on the temperature you choose.
In this article, we will explore how long it takes to dehydrate beef jerky at 145°F and provide some tips for making the perfect chewy, flavorful jerky.
So, grab your dehydrator and let’s get started!
How Long To Dehydrate Beef Jerky At 145?
When dehydrating beef jerky at 145°F, the ideal time to leave it in the dehydrator is between 9 and 10 hours. However, the exact time can vary depending on the thickness of the slices and your personal taste preferences.
It’s important to note that dehydrating beef jerky at a lower temperature for a longer period of time can result in a more tender and flavorful product. So, if you have the time and patience, consider dehydrating your beef jerky at a lower temperature for a longer period of time.
Additionally, it’s crucial to make sure that the beef is sliced thinly and seasoned properly before placing it on the dehydrator racks. The beef should not be touching each other to ensure even dehydration.
Why Dehydrate Beef Jerky At 145°F?
Dehydrating beef jerky at a temperature of 145°F is important for food safety reasons. This temperature is high enough to kill any harmful pathogens such as Salmonella and E. coli O157:H7 that may be present in the meat. It’s essential to ensure that the jerky reaches this temperature throughout the drying process to prevent any potential foodborne illnesses.
In addition to food safety, dehydrating beef jerky at 145°F also helps to preserve the texture and flavor of the meat. This temperature is high enough to remove moisture from the beef, but not so high that it results in tough and chewy jerky. Dehydrating at a lower temperature for a longer period of time can result in a more tender and flavorful product, but it’s important to ensure that the meat still reaches a temperature of 145°F throughout the process.
Preparing The Beef For Dehydration
To prepare the beef for dehydration, it’s important to start by trimming all excess fat off the meat. Fat does not dehydrate or preserve well, so lean meats should be used and all excess fat should be removed. A clean, sharp, and flexible knife should be used to easily slice off unwanted fat, gristle, and other parts like bone that aren’t consumable.
If there is a line of fat and silver skin, slice under the fat starting from the top of the meat while keeping the knife parallel to the cutting board. This way, you can remove most of the fat safely and quickly. Once the trimming is complete, the meat can be cut into thin strips or ground up for faster dehydration.
It’s important to choose the leanest meat available and cook it until no pink meat remains. After cooking, transfer the meat into a colander to drain the fat and rinse with hot boiled water. Season to taste and leave to cool before spreading cooked ground meat on dehydrator trays covered with non-stick sheets or parchment paper.
When dehydrating beef jerky at 145°F, it’s recommended to blot off any excess fat with paper towel once or twice while drying. It’s also important to make sure that the beef is spread out sparingly over trays and not touching each other to ensure even dehydration.
Once the beef is dehydrated, it can be put into vacuum-sealed containers, glass jars or zip lock bags for storage. It’s best to store dehydrated meats in a dry, dark place at room temperature for up to two months. For longer shelf life, vacuum-seal or freeze the beef jerky.
Seasoning Your Beef Jerky
Seasoning your beef jerky is an essential step in creating a delicious and flavorful snack. There are various techniques for seasoning your beef jerky, including using salts, dry rubs, brines, and marinades.
One popular marinade recipe includes a mixture of soy sauce, Worcestershire sauce, smoked paprika, honey, black pepper, red pepper flakes, garlic powder, and onion powder. Whisk these ingredients together in a large bowl before adding the beef strips. Make sure that the beef is completely coated with the marinade before covering the bowl with plastic wrap and marinating it in the refrigerator for at least 3 hours or overnight.
When it comes to seasoning your beef jerky with dry rubs or brines, it’s important to use the right combination of spices to enhance the flavor of the meat. For example, a basic marinade consisting of soy sauce, Worcestershire sauce, and sugar can be combined with additional spices like ground black pepper, chiles, jalapeno, garlic powder, or even beef bullion to add more depth and complexity to the flavor.
It’s also important to note that using fresh meat is always the best choice when making beef jerky. Fresh meat is more flavorful and tender than frozen meat, which can affect the overall quality of your finished product.
Loading Your Dehydrator
Loading your dehydrator properly is crucial to ensure that your beef jerky dehydrates evenly and thoroughly. It may be tempting to pack as much meat as possible onto the trays, but this can actually result in uneven drying and longer dehydration times.
To avoid this, make sure to space out the beef slices on the trays, leaving some room between each piece. It’s also important to make sure that the slices are not too thick, as thicker slices will take longer to dry. Aim for slices that are around 1/8 inch thick.
If you’re using a dehydrator with multiple trays, make sure to preheat the unit before loading the trays. This will ensure that all the trays are heated evenly and that the beef jerky dehydrates at a consistent temperature.
When loading the trays, it’s important to follow the manufacturer’s instructions for your specific dehydrator model. Some dehydrators may require you to rotate the trays periodically during dehydration to ensure even drying.
How Long To Dehydrate Beef Jerky At 145°F
When dehydrating beef jerky at 145°F, it’s important to keep in mind that the exact time needed can vary depending on the thickness of the slices and personal taste preferences. However, a general rule of thumb is to leave the beef in the dehydrator for between 9 and 10 hours.
It’s worth noting that dehydrating beef jerky at a lower temperature for a longer period of time can result in a more tender and flavorful product. So, if you have the time and patience, consider dehydrating your beef jerky at a lower temperature for a longer period of time.
When dehydrating beef jerky at 145°F, it’s crucial to ensure that the beef is sliced thinly and seasoned properly before placing it on the dehydrator racks. It’s also important to make sure that the beef is not touching each other to ensure even dehydration.
It’s important to use a dehydrator that can maintain a consistent temperature of 145°F throughout the entire process. The Nesco Gardenmaster and the Excalibur are two models that have been shown to maintain this temperature consistently.
After the beef jerky is done dehydrating, it’s important to let it cool for several hours before storing it in an airtight container in a cool, dry place. Properly dehydrated beef jerky can last for several months when stored correctly.
Checking For Doneness
Checking for doneness is an essential step when dehydrating beef jerky. While it may take many hours to dry fully, it’s important to begin checking the jerky after about 3 hours to avoid over-drying.
To test for doneness, remove a piece of jerky from the tray and allow it to cool to room temperature. Once cooled, the jerky should crack slightly but not break completely when bent. If the jerky breaks completely, it’s over-dried and will be too tough to eat. On the other hand, if the jerky is still pliable and bends easily, it needs more time in the dehydrator.
It’s important to note that thicker slices of beef will take longer to dehydrate and may require additional time in the dehydrator. Additionally, if you prefer your jerky to be more tender, you can remove it from the dehydrator slightly earlier than the recommended time.
By following these tips and checking for doneness regularly, you can ensure that your beef jerky is perfectly dehydrated and ready to enjoy.