How Long to Dehydrate Jerky – (And Why)?

Exact Answer: 10-15 hours

Dehydrated jerky is considered as great food for survival, especially for mountaineers, campers, and hikers. When a dehydrated jerky is well dried, it can last for long before going rancid.

Furthermore, it is considered as a healthy snack for consumption when compared to other dried foods. Knowing the shelf life of a dehydrated jerky is crucial. You don’t want to consume spoilt food while hiking or camping.

To avoid food poisoning due to the consumption of spoilt dried food, we shall take you through how long to dehydrate a jerky and why.

How Long to Dehydrate Jerky

How long to dehydrate jerky?

Method of PreparationTime Taken
Jerky from ground meat15 hours
Jerky from sliced meat10 hours

Time taken to dehydrate jerky depends highly on the method used. There are two main ways you can use to dehydrate a jerk, and they include;

• Jerky from ground meat: Buffalo, beef, turkey, and venison are the standard options for ground meat. Making jerky from ground meat is effortless; this is because the meat dries faster.

Furthermore, the meat becomes soft and stress-free when it comes to chewing. Preparing this dehydrated jerky it will take you approximately 4 to 15 hours when using a food dehydrator.

• Jerky from sliced meat: You can consider preparing your dehydrated jerky from lean meat. However, you will have to marinate and refrigerate or freeze it for around 8 to 24 hours.

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You will then use a dehydrator to prepare your dehydrated jerky for approximately 5 to 10 hours.

Why does it take long to prepare dehydrated jerky?

Usually, the process of preparing a dehydrated jerky is long. However, once ready, dehydrated jerky is said to be dense in nutrients. The method you use in preparing dehydrated jerky will affect the time taken for it to be ready.

Removing moisture from jerky helps in extending its shelf life and improves its nutritional content.

Setting the right temperature

When preparing a dehydrated jerky, setting the right temperature is essential. The high heat will denature plenty of nutritious components available in the food. Here is the recommended temperature for preparing dehydrated jerky;

  1. When making dehydrated jerky using a food dehydrator, you should set it at 135 degrees Fahrenheit. When this is set, place the strips of meat on trays, and you should ensure that they don’t overlap each other. Overlapping will affect the dehydration process.
  2. You should let the meat dehydrate for eight hours when the dehydrator is operating at 135 degrees Fahrenheit. You should assess color change if it turns black or brown; it is said to be ready for consumption.
  3. You should note that, when the dehydrator is at 135 degrees Fahrenheit, your meat should not be left for more than eight hours. Once dried, let the jerky cool down, and you might consider putting it in a Ziploc bag for storing.


For you to save time while preparing dehydrated jerky, ensure that the dehydrator is set at the right temperature. When operating under the right temperature, you will have a tremendous dehydrated jerky within a short period.

Also Read:  How Long Do Eggs Last ( And Why)?

Usually, the thickness of your meat will affect the time taken for it to be ready. Having thin slices is highly recommended if you want to save more time.


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Hi! I'm Nidhi.

Here at the EHL, it's all about delicious, easy recipes for casual entertaining. So come and join me at the beach, relax and enjoy the food.


  1. The discussion on the thickness of meat and its effect on preparation time is an important detail. Great tips for anyone looking to make their own jerky.

    1. Definitely! The thickness of the meat can really impact the outcome. This is a highly informative article.

    2. Yes, I appreciate the attention to detail provided here. It’s very useful information for meat enthusiasts.

  2. Dehydrated jerky requires patience and the right technique, but the health benefits and shelf life make it all worth it.

  3. This article provides an excellent guide for making dehydrated jerky. It’s very informative and helpful for anyone interested in this topic.

    1. I agree! This is perfect for anyone looking to learn how to make dehydrated jerky. Very detailed and well-explained.

  4. Dehydrated jerky is definitely a fantastic survival food, and this guide offers excellent insights on the time and preparation required for it.

    1. Absolutely! I’ve been wanting to learn more about this, and this article gives a great explanation of the process.

    2. For sure! This is a must-read for anyone interested in preparing jerky. The temperature and time guidance are on point.

  5. The appropriate temperature and time for dehydrating jerky are crucial to get the best results. This article offers valuable insight into that.

    1. Yes, the details about temperature and preparation time are very helpful. Great reference materials as well.

  6. Knowing the science behind the dehydration process is fascinating. This article provides a great in-depth look at prepping dehydrated jerky.

    1. Absolutely! It’s like food chemistry. The details about temperature and dehydration are really intriguing.

  7. Meat slices, temperature, and time – sounds like a science experiment! But the outcome is delicious. Great tips here!

    1. Haha, true! Like a science project in the kitchen. But the final jerky is a fantastic reward for the effort.

  8. The scientific approach to dehydrating jerky is interesting. It’s a balance between food safety and preservation. Very intriguing read.

    1. Absolutely! The scientific aspect is fascinating. This post really sheds light on the complete process.

    2. Definitely! It’s like a food science lesson. The details about safety and preservation are quite thought-provoking.

  9. The focus on preserving nutrients and extending the shelf life of jerky is very insightful. Great tips on preparing dehydrated jerky properly.

    1. Yes, it’s important to preserve the nutritional value. This article does a great job highlighting those key factors.

  10. Preparing jerky from sliced meat can be time-consuming, but it’s definitely worth it due to the final result. Important to know the right temperature for dehydrating jerky.

    1. Yes, knowing the right temperature is key. This guide explains the process well and makes it easy to follow.

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