I'm looking to get a dehydrator and don't know what brand to look for. The wife wants to use one for her garden produce and I would like to try smoking some jerky then dehyrdating it. What brand do you use?
My oven has multiple settings but the lowest it goes is 100, which is perfect for yogurt. I've dried jerky at 140 after smoking it, as the convection does dry better and no need to keep opening the door on the smoker to dump the moisture.
I don't really know about veggies, but your FEC 100 is IMO is the absolute best jerky machine. Just keep her about 170-180 and in three to four hours, I can have about four pounds of the best smoked jerky ever!
I smoke for about 3 hours. The time in the oven depends on when it gets to the texture you want; just check periodically. Been a while since I've done jerky; maybe I'll pick up some meat and do some soon.
I think it is a flavor issue but it may also be that I tried to cut the jerky too thin for the dehydrator. It would always come out too dry and hard. I think cutting the jerky thicker and adding a cure (which I never did before) would yield pretty good jerky from the dehydrator but still, that smoke flavor would be missing.
I've only dried my jerky in my smoker, but whenever it's become dry and hard, it's been overcooked and/or dried too long. Guess that can happen in any smoker/oven/dehydrator if we let it get away from us. I'm smoking the jerky in the 180-190* range now and watching it closer.
For the last 11 years I have used the Nesco brand dehydrators and very pleased with my jerky and clean up is easy.I bought and tried an Excaliber a while back...but too time consuming with clean up.I will always go with Nesco.
I use the Cabelas as well as other jerky seasoning kits sometimes mixing them for different flavors, I will marinade my cut meat for 4-5 days have gone as long as 7 with mixing it once or twice a day.
If you do a lot I would buy the larger unit. I wish I had bought the bigger one, but I will go through times when I don't make anything at all and then I have people wanting jerky and do 20-30 pounds of meat every weekend.
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