View Full Version : Dehydrators? What's the best for jerky

November 18, 2004, 20:10
I've got a fair amount of meat and I want to buy a dehydrator. My buddy has a mostly plastic type that takes about 12 hours per load. I was looking on Cabelas and I see they have a semi professional one that does about 30 sq ft of drying area.

I don't know what I don't know, so help me decide. Tell me about your dehydrators.

November 18, 2004, 20:23
I never have tried a fancy one myself.
The last "good" one I had come from Sam's but it was borrowed, never to be returned. I know have a cheapo walmart snackmaster. While it does do a good job, it takes forever. Both were/are plastic jobs too.

November 18, 2004, 21:47
I had a "Ronco" dehydrater that I bought off of TV.

That sucker worked pretty good! A buddy and I made some deer jerky following the recipie book that came with it, and took it camping with us.

We even made a type of stew and re-hydrated the meat in it along with tators and veggies....yum!

Somehow I let my buddy wind up with it...and haven't seen him since in three years. :rofl:

November 18, 2004, 21:56
All of them I've messed with were the plastic tray type. They had the perforated, circular trays that looked like they were made of the same material a plastic fly-swatter is made of. Get one that has a fan in it, i.e. forced air. I've had them with and without fans. Both worked very well, but the one's with the fan dry much, much faster.

November 18, 2004, 21:58
I got one of those cheapies from walmart, although I paid extra for the one with a control for the temperature. I keep it at my deer camp now, I can make a load of jerkey in app 8 hours with it. I start off on the higher temps and then cut it down low after about 4 hours.

The kids love it and you can't beat it for a snack.

edited to add: It is made of plastic and has a fan to force the air through the layers, as well.

November 19, 2004, 02:05
Anybody got a good recipie for beef jerky?

November 19, 2004, 05:52
Agreed on the cheap plastic ones WITH A FAN! As far as recipe goes, I sprinkle copious amounts of Montreal Steak Seasoning on the strips / rub / pat it in and let 'er rip. The kids like it REAL spicy. So their batches are marinated for a couple hours in a mixture of Lea & Perrins Worcestershire and Texas Pete. Light on the Texas Pete. (Tabasco or any other red sauce works same.) Then a sprinkle of crushed red pepper as it is stacking in the rig. They go nuts for it and get a LOT of giggles when Dad tries a nibble.:eek: Too bleeming hot!

I have seen a few of the cookoff pits with jerky racks built onto the top of the firebox. They take the brisket trimmin's and make finger food for the crowd while the brisket is cookin' and the Margaritas are flowin'. Me thinks that is a tactical ploy to "set up" the taste buds of the judges!:wink:

November 19, 2004, 08:09
So what is a fair price for a good unit? I saw one a the Western Auto Store for $60.00 last night. Seemed high to me but I'm just starting to look.

November 19, 2004, 08:45
I have one of the first generation de-hydrators ( read that as OLD and NO fan), it works well enough, but it takes a long time to get done.

LOOK HERE (http://search.ebay.com/food-dehydrator_W0QQfromZR40QQsojsZ1QQsosortorderZ1QQso sortpropertyZ1QQsospellrecommendationZ1)

November 19, 2004, 16:18
buy a excalibur dehydrator it has a fan , its well built and works great.

November 20, 2004, 15:17
I got one from sears and it has the fan in it ,works real good.Bought a Jerky Shooter at Walmart and spice packs,really like the cajun stuff.Just grind the meat use the little greasgun shooter to put the meat on the racks and sprinkle on spice.Rotate the racks once an hour,after about six hours its done.I put some on one night and left it till morning and it still come out good.
Good Stuff

November 24, 2004, 18:43
Hang it in the attic, and put some in the gas oven with a pilot flame.

Dig a pit and keep a coal base going and lay the meat up on green branchs thonged together about 4 ft up, turn every few hours.

Presoak in brine-salt- with spices.

Stand guard for bears , use smudge pots .

November 27, 2004, 12:44
,,,,,,I just used the regular old oven
cut the meat in strips, marinate 8hrs
and hang it from the racks in oven.
Be sure to put a drip pan underneath
the meat , and don't turn the temp
up over 180. Overnite should do it.
Oh....leave the door open a smidge.