dehydrator users - The HuntingPA.com Outdoor Community
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post #1 of 15 (permalink) Old 11-13-2018, 11:27 AM Thread Starter
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dehydrator users

1. I was thinking about asking santa for a small dehydrator for Christmas to make jerky. What would be a good starter one to get?

2. Not looking for recipes yet but how do you prepare deer meat for making jerky. Do you do it yourself or do you need to get a butcher to make the cuts.

3. Years ago I used a jerky gun to make jerky and after following the directions on the box it did not come out too good. It was too moist for my liking and probably could of stayed in the oven for a couple more hours.

Any info would be appreciated

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Last edited by joe8768; 11-13-2018 at 11:31 AM.
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post #2 of 15 (permalink) Old 11-13-2018, 11:49 AM
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joe mine is an american harvester . have had it for years. ilet my roasts partially unthaw and hand slice with a sharp knife. its easier to get it uniform when its still fairly frozen in the middle. i usually slice it about an eighth of an inch or so.
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post #3 of 15 (permalink) Old 11-13-2018, 12:00 PM
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I too use an american harvester. It works fine for my needs. I think it was 30-40 bucks at either Walmart or Bed Bath and Beyond...

I butcher all of my own deer and cut my own jerky meat. It's super easy, partially frozen is the way to go.

Jerky gun? I'm not a fan of that method. I dont want ground paste mush to be turned into jerky. For me, I want SOLID strips of beef/venison for my jerky.

There are a lot of great how-to videos on YouTube.
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post #4 of 15 (permalink) Old 11-13-2018, 12:23 PM
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1) You'll find all sorts of entry level dehydrators for less than a hundred bucks on the walmart website.

2) If you don't want to pay a processor to slice a roast into jerky, learn to do it yourself. It's not difficult.

3) A dehydrator uses heat and moving air to get the job done faster and more uniformly than an oven.

When your supermarket puts top round or similar beef roasts on sale grab one or two to practice your jerky making skills before you risk your venison.
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post #5 of 15 (permalink) Old 11-13-2018, 03:10 PM
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I would second just about everything said. Partially frozen is easiest for cutting. Still won't be uniform but I appreciate the variation. There are jerky slicers out there too that are reasonable.
I have a cheap wal mart dehydrator too that works just fine but I'd probably go for a ten tray cabelas model or something, just always wish I had a little more capacity and the more trays you stack on the cheap beehive models the more you typically have to rotate the trays throughout the process.

After slicing I then usually marinade it for a good 24 hours. I don't use cure for muscle jerky, but plan to experiment.

I have a jerky gun too and I personally love the ground jerky. It's like a poor man's snack stick. Looks like a turd, kind of tastes like dog food, but I can't stop eating it when it's around. Definitely should not be wet.

If there's one thing I've learned, the further I get in meat processing the more I wish I spent a couple extra bucks on equipment the first time around.
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post #6 of 15 (permalink) Old 11-13-2018, 04:18 PM
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As stated previously, the stacking dehydrators with either a bottom or top-mounted heater/fan will require you rotate trays to get all the meat done properly. I messed with those for years...then I got a 10 tray rear fan model from Cabela's.....MUCH nicer. It took some extra coin for the equipment, but I spend much less time babysitting the dehydration process....plus I can do much bigger batches with the extra capacity.

I make jerky from all kinds of stuff....pheasants, turkeys, deer, geese, ducks. And I make both sliced and ground/jerky gun type. Both styles have their places in my jerky cook book. Some people like to have to rip and tear and jerky, and others prefer the easy-to-chew ground meat version. I sometimes chew up the ground meat version type and stick it down in my lip similar to a tobacco chew (my chewing is limited to jerky though).

Also as stated, slicing is more easily accomplished with semi-frozen meat, but it can be done with fresh or thawed meat as well. Get yourself a good knife and a good sharpener...they will make your life much easier.

Plethora of recipes out there, and you can tinker around with the ones that you do like to add spice, extra pepper, etc. Good luck!
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post #7 of 15 (permalink) Old 11-13-2018, 04:33 PM
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I agree with everything said already. I use a Nesco that I got from amazon, I think they are about $35. I numbered the trays so I can keep track when I rotate them.
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post #8 of 15 (permalink) Old 11-13-2018, 04:47 PM Thread Starter
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Another question, approximately how long does it take to process the meat in the dehydrator

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post #9 of 15 (permalink) Old 11-13-2018, 07:03 PM
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I too have a NESCO Snackmaster from Wallyworld. I do only ground jerky with a LEM jerky cannon. I mostly use the round nozzle. It takes 2hrs, 16 min. for a 1lb batch to my liking.
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post #10 of 15 (permalink) Old 11-14-2018, 08:19 AM
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joe its about 6 hours in mine. i turn the jerky strips over after 3 hours and rotate the trays
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