Can you dehydrate jerky twice? This question often pops up in my comment section. The reason for this maybe is that many people love jerky. If you ask the same question, then this post is for you.
One of the best ways to store meat is to dehydrate it. Dehydrating removes moisture from the meat that could potentially lead to spoilage.
Can You Dehydrate Jerky Twice?
You can definitely dehydrate jerky twice. This may be against food guidelines but I did it many times. In fact, some people dehydrate jerky more than twice and they found no issues.
The only obvious effect of dehydrating jerky many times is that it becomes harder and harder over time. For me, dehydrating meat is like finding the dryness that you like. There is no certain rule or requirement. Everything depends on your taste.
So my suggestion is to try it for yourself and see if you like the outcome. You’ll find out whether dehydrating jerky twice suits your taste preference.
How Long Will Dehydrated Jerky Last?
Dehydrated jerky could last for about two weeks in an airtight container. This depends on the way it is stored.
If you want to keep dehydrated jerky last longer, you can do so by storing it in the fridge or refrigerator.
How Long to Dehydrate Jerky?
The length of time required to dehydrate jerky varies depending on one’s taste preference and many other factors. If this is your first time, you need to pay close attention to it to make sure that everything goes smoothly.
But I can tell you the general estimate of the length of time it takes to dehydrate jerky. In most cases, it takes between 5-15 hours. The time variation depends on many factors.
Here are the factors that affect the drying time of jerky:
Thickness is one of the determining factors behind the length of time it takes to dehydrate jerky. The thicker the jerky the longer the time it needs to dehydrate.
The best practice, therefore, is to slice the jerky thinly. Also, make sure that all slices have at least a similar size. This helps the jerky dehydrate at the same length of time.
2. The Dehydration Method
Another factor is the method being used to dehydrate the jerky. Technically, you can dehydrate jerky in the dehydrator, oven, or even under the sun.
However, each of these dehydration methods has a certain required amount of time. The quickest method is using the dehydrator. Both the oven and sun-drying take a longer time.
3. Dehydrator Temperature
Temperature is one of the strongest factors that affect the length of time it needs for the jerky to dehydrate. The lower temperature the longer the time it takes to dry.
The best way is to dehydrate jerky at 160 degrees Fahrenheit until the heat penetrates through. Then you can reduce the temperature down to 130 degrees Fahrenheit to slow down the dehydration process.
Although high temperature dehydrates the jerky faster, it will not give you the best taste that you want to enjoy. Low temperature slows down the dehydration process but will give a better flavor result.
4. Marinade and Salt
If the jerky is soaked in the wet marinade, the jerky needs to be free of it before dehydrating. This is because the marinade will dry faster than the jerky dehydrate. You will not like it.
The amount of salt also affects the time it takes to dehydrate jerky. This is because the salt absorbs the moisture of the meat.
How to Know if the Jerky Is Done?
Knowing the best way to dehydrate jerky and knowing when it is done are two different important things you need to know.
Fortunately, there are simple steps you can do to know if the jerky is done.
Here’s how to know if the jerky is done:
1. Bend it
One way to test if the jerky is done is by bending it. Do this method when you think that the jerky is already done.
Take one piece out of the dehydrator and let it cool for several minutes. Once it is cold, bend it at 90 degrees angle and see if moisture comes out. If moisture is present, then it needs to be dehydrated more.
2. Chew it
The second test you can do is to chew the jerky. If already dehydrated correctly, the jerky should give you a chewy texture without moisture. If it is brittle and sharp, it is over dehydrated or over dried.
Can you dehydrate jerky twice? Yes, you can dehydrate jerky twice. I have done it many times and saw no problem. Many people do it too.
Dehydrating meat especially jerky is a matter of personal taste preference. You can dehydrate it as many times as you want. The only problem I see with it is that the meat tends to become harder and difficult to chew when it is over dried. But again, if that is what you want, it is totally fine.