Can Jerky Be Made In The Oven?

Last updated on July 16th, 2022 at 08:06 pm

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Dehydrated meat last for a long time. Moisture in foods will cause bacteria growth over time and so when you remove the moisture the food can last longer. 

The process of removing the water content from food is called dehydration. Dehydration is used on jerky meat to make it the tough meat slices that it is. 

To make jerky, a dehydrator is usually used but if you don’t have one, can jerky be made in the oven?

Jerky can be made in the oven if you don’t have a dehydrator. It is simple and easy to do and can make tasty jerky just like that made with a dehydrator. 

Can Jerky Be Made In The Oven?

As you can see, jerky can even be homemade in the oven if you don’t own a dehydrator. Personally I think that homemade jerky tastes a lot better than store-bought jerky and I prefer it’s tenderness to the harder jerky in stores. 

A dehydrator is usually used to dry out the jerky for chewy meat slices. But if you don’t have a dehydrator, an oven can work as well. 

When using an oven to make jerky you will want the meat strips to cook evenly. By laying out the meat slices on wire racks that are placed on top of baking sheets they will cook more evenly for better jerky. 

You can also lay the jerky out directly on the oven racks then place a sheet of aluminum foil on the bottom of the oven to catch the drippings and cook this way. 

However this method will be pretty messy and that is why the wire rack method is recommended. In a pinch an over will work just fine however if you plan on making a lot of jerky you are better off buying a dehydrator. 

You can get dehydrators for pretty cheap and they will save you from heating up the house and spending the extra money on running the oven.

How Do You Make Jerky Without A Dehydrator?

What’s a food that you can take with you while backpacking in the mountains or while fishing at the lake? Something that doesn’t go bad quickly and can satisfy your hunger? 

Jerky, of course. 

Jerky is dehydrated meat slices. It can come in all kinds of meat. So, how can you make this tasty food without a dehydrator?

You can use an oven to make jerky when you don’t have a dehydrator. Drying meat slices in the oven can result in flavorful and delicious jerky.

Using a dehydrator will get you the best jerky but it is possible to use an oven to make the dried meat slices as well. It will still cook the jerky well. 

To cook jerky in the oven, start by selecting the right kind of meat. You can use any meat you’d like however more expensive, flank steak is a great option. 

Leaner cuts of meat can get you the thin slices that make great jerky. Other meats like eye of round, top or bottom round or London broil are also great for making jerky out of. 

Then you will want to trim the fat off of the meat. Otherwise you will get really tough and chewy pieces when you really want the meat.

After the fat is trimmed off, slice the meat as thin as possible. For chewier jerky, slice the meat with the grain and for more tender jerky slice the meat across the grain. 

If you pop the meat in the freezer for about 15 to 20 minutes before you start slicing it will help to firm up some for when you cut it. Or there is always the butcher at the grocery store who could cut it for you. 

Now, for the flavor. 

Some simple seasoning can bring out the flavor of the meat but you can use whatever marinade you like best. Let the meat sit in the marinade for as long as you’d like. 

Most people let it marinade for about an hour up to overnight. Then you are ready to put the jerky strips in the oven. 

How Do You Know When Jerky Is Done In The Oven?

Ranging from tough to tender, jerky is a favorite snack for when you are on-the-go or just because. Jerky has a salty, beefy taste that is yummy and filling. 

You can buy jerky at the store in packages. A variety of jerky brands are available at local grocery stores as well as many different flavors. 

If you are making homemade jerky in the oven, how do you know when it is done?

When jerky is done in the oven, it will be fully dried out. You can remove it at any time according to if you like more tender or more tough jerky.

You can place the slices directly on the oven rack with sheet of aluminum foil on the bottom of the oven to catch the drippings. Or you can put a wire rack on a baking sheet and place the jerky strips on the wire rack for a less messy method. 

Make sure none of the jerky is touching or overlapping so they cook thoroughly.  Jerky usually takes a few hours to dry out completely. Place it in an oven that has been preheated to about 160 to 180 degrees Fahrenheit and let them dry out for 2 to 5 hours. 

Dehydrating jerky requires low temperatures that slowly dry the food out. So, leave the jerky in the oven for a few hours to dry it out all the way.

The exact time frame depends on how long it takes for the jerky to fully dry out. Check the jerky every so often until the desired texture is achieved and then you can pull them out of the oven, and check their internal temperature. 

If it is at 160 degrees (165 degrees for poultry) Fahrenheit then they are done. let them cool, and enjoy!

Final Thoughts

Jerky is a great snack and can last for a long time. It can be taken anywhere without going bad since it is dried out. 

To make jerky you have to dehydrate it. Although the best way to make jerky is by using a dehydrator, it can also be made in the oven. 

Just follow the tips and steps on how to dry out the meat strips using an oven that we mentioned in this article. Use the oven to dehydrate meat slices and in no time you will have tasty jerky for snacks when you are on-the-go, hiking, or simply just because.

Hannah R.

Hey, I'm Hannah and I'm the founder of Get Eatin'.

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