The Jerky Tutorial Home Page


The Oven Method

The oven method works well and is fine if you only make Jerky a couple times, but if you really want to do it right, a dehydrator can make the process a lot more enjoyable and less messy.



  After following the steps in Getting Started, you should place a sheet or two of aluminum foil on the lower oven rack to make for easier clean-up. After preparing the oven racks - top rack (positioned in center of oven), bottom rack covered with aluminum foil - take the meat strips off the paper towels and throw away the messy paper towels.


Now lay the meat strips out on the oven rack. I used a cookie cooling rack to prevent sagging, or hanging meat strips and it keeps smaller pieces from falling through. The meat should be laid out so as not to be touching the other strips of meat. Allow for air flow, you are DRYING (not cooking) the meat after all.

Set your oven at the lowest temperature setting (usually 'WARM') to dry the meat, you want a temperature of about 140-160 degrees f.

Open the oven door from time to time to allow moisture to escape.
If you're like me, peeking in at the product will provide plenty of opportunity for that! (grin)

I flipped the meat over at least once during the drying process. This is not required, but I think it helps.

The smaller pieces will dry anywhere from 2-4 hours. Larger pieces may take 6-8 hours. Drying times vary due to oven differences and size of meat strips.

The images below illustrate how jerky that is 'DONE' should look:


NOT Done

Not Done.
The meat does not 'crack' and is still moist.

  done

Done.
See how the meat is dry and stringy?



This oven method works great, and is easy and relatively clean (using the tips I have provided). You can also pick up a dehydrator for around $30-$40 at Nesco/American Harvest or most any Target, Walmart or similar store. Features vary. But they all work. Buy extra trays if they offer them. The procedure will be the same, minus all the oven-prep steps. Typically in a dehydrator there is no need to rotate or move the trays.


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Oven Method
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