Ground Beef Jerky/SnackSticks

Hello everyone, I am new to this forum and jerky/snack stick making.

I have read a bit about it and I know that 160F should be the desired "initial" temperature to kill off any bacteria in ground beef jerky or 165F for chicken jerky I do believe.

After doing some researches on the internet, I found that the Nesco FD-75A was one of the best entry-level food dehydrator for making jerky as it was keeping a controlled temperature. I am testing mine at the moment, it has been running for about an hour, with no food in it, at its maximum temperature setting which SHOULD be 160F, but it will not go higher than 152F with a digital probe thermometer (the one that has a base, a monitor and the probe is tied to a thin cable so it doesn't release too much hot air in the room).

So, here is my question;  Is curing salt enough to kill off all of the bacterias or should I still heat the meat to 160F before dehydrating it? If so, how would I do that with ground beef? I know it's much simpler with strips, but I want to test ground beef first, since its way cheaper over here.

I understand that I should marinate the meat in the fridge, then probably cook it to 160F, then mold it with the jerky gun and then dehydrate to 140-150F for as long as I want for the texture I want.

 

Thanks!!

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