Last week I said I’d be making a dog treat in my dehydrator this week. (I recently bought a dehydrator for $5 at a thrift store and can’t wait to use it.)
But then my new kitchen toy arrived: a jerky maker:
I first planned to make jerky in the dehydrator but then saw that you have to make sure the dehydrator reaches a minimum temperature to kill bacteria…so I decided my first dehydrating project needs to be fruits and vegetables, not meat. (So stay tuned for dehydrated bananas!)
The kit I ordered (The Original Jerky Kit) included drying racks and a tray so the jerky was easy to make in the oven (and the low temperature you cook it at doesn’t heat up the house too much.)
The ingredients list is super simple:
2 pounds lean ground turkey
That’s it! My kit arrived with jerky seasoning but I’ll save that for jerky I prepare for us; I wanted this very mild for the dogs so it’s turkey and nothing but turkey. I stuffed the jerky gun with the ground turkey and put it on the drying racks:
Different attachments allow you to make flat, bacon-shaped jerky or tubular, “Slim Jim” type jerky. I found the flat attachment was a little difficult to use; it releases two slices at a time and the slices kept sticking together. I switched to the tubular attachment and it worked great. (If you don’t have a jerky gun, you can also roll it out with your hands..that works, too!)
Next time I’m going to space the jerky a little further apart on the tray (I was trying to squeeze both pounds of turkey onto one big tray). The meat really shrinks during the slow dehydration process but for best drying results you want the pieces about a 1/2 inch apart.)
Next, pop the tray into a preheated 170 degree oven for 2-1/2 hours. About half an hour before they’re done, turn each of the pieces. That’s it!
After you remove the trays from the oven, all the jerky to completely cool. I cut up the slices into training treat size portions and refrigerated them. They were a BIG hit!