Best Dehydrator For Jerky

There are several food dehydrators on the market today but which is the best dehydrator? We researched the most popular jerky dehydrators for sale today. We read all the reviews from customers as well as professional reviewers and narrowed down the options to find the very best jerky dehydrator. Our research found that the Nesco FD-75A Dehydrator was the best dehydrator for the money. Continue reading to learn why we believe it’s the best dehydrator and our other recommendations.

Our Number One Pick:

Nesco FD-75A Snackmaster Pro Food Dehydrator

The Nesco FD-75A Food Dehydrator wins out amongst the other competition for several reasons. It is currently the most popular jerky dehydrator available. It has an incredibly low return rate and an amazingly high satisfaction rate. It has a powerful 600 watt drying unit and is expandable up to 12 drying racks from the included 5 drying racks. It’s also adjustable so it can be tuned specifically for your jerky or allow it to be used for dehydrating other foods.

There are more expensive dehydrators available and some of those are better but for a significant premium. The Nesco FD-75A is the best food dehydrator for the money.

Upgrade Pick:

Nesco FD-1018A Gardenmaster Food Dehydrator

The Nesco FD-1018A Gardenmaster is essentially a more powerful version of the Nesco FD-75A. This unit is a 1000 watt dehydrator and is a great option if you need a more powerful unit for drying larger batches of jerky. The more powerful dehydrator is also capable of dehydrating jerky faster. The FD-1018A comes with 8 drying racks and is expandable to an amazing 30 trays.

The FD-1018A is also an extremely popular dehydrator although not nearly as much as the FD-75A due to the higher price point. It has received very high praise from customers and reviewers alike.

Additional Information:

Things To Keep In Mind

What is the best cut of meat for beef jerky?

  • Eye of Round
    • Eye of round is the most tender round and the most popular cut for beef jerky. It’s also not terribly expensive.
  • Bottom Round
    • Bottom round is a great meat for jerky although it’s not as tender as eye of round or top round.
  • Top Round
    • Top round is also a great choice. It’s not quite as tender as the more popular eye of round.
  • Sirloin Tip
    • Sirloin tip is a more expensive option but it is very lean and makes a great jerky.
  • Flank Steak
    • Flank steak is the most expensive on this list and makes a very good jerky. You will need to be sure to cut the meat against the grain to ensure that the jerky isn’t too tough.
  • Ground Meat

How long does it take to dehydrate beef jerky?

There are a lot of variables that determine how long it will take jerky to dehydrate. You can expect at least 4 hours to as much as 15 hours. Things that affect jerky dehydrating are how thick it is cut, how densely packed it is in they dehydrator, and the amount of ambient humidity.

What temperature do you set a dehydrator to make beef jerky?

Beef jerky should be dehydrated at a temperature of 160 degrees. It will take at least 4 hours at this temperature but it can take significantly longer.

How long can you keep homemade beef jerky?

Homemade jerky will keep for up to 1 week in a sealed container and up to 2 weeks when refrigerated.

How can you tell if beef jerky has gone bad?

When your beef jerky becomes darker in color and more rigid it is has started to go rancid and shouldn’t be eaten. The smell will also have altered. The leaner your jerky the longer it will keep.

How thick do you cut meat for jerky?

1/4 inch thick is the usual recommended thickness. Jerky will obviously reduce in thickness after it has been dehydrated.

How long should you marinate beef for making beef jerky?

Anywhere from 6 to 24 hours of marinating in the refrigerator is typical. 18 hours is a fairly typical length of time. You’ll want to experiment with your marination duration to get the best flavor and texture.

How can you tell when beef jerky is done?

You can tell when beef jerky is done when you are able to bend it but it doesn’t actually break into two pieces. It should crack and split some but not break.

How many pounds of meat does it take to make a pound of jerky?

Jerky typically looses about two thirds of it’s weight when dehydrating. This means that you’ll need to prepare 3 pounds of meat to produce 1 pound of jerky.

Is beef jerky raw or cooked?

Jerky is essentially cooked at a temperature of 160 degrees for an extended period of time. It may not be completely appropriate to consider it a cooked food but it definitely isn’t raw.

Other Resources:

Helpful Links

Wrapping Up:

The best jerky dehydrators

From the results of our research we consider the Nesco FD-75A to be the best dehydrator for most people. If you have a need to dehydrate larger batches of jerky then the Nesco FD-1018A is an ideal upgrade option. It is not much more expensive but it is quite a bit more powerful and capable. Jerky is a great treat that’s easy to make at home with the right equipment. We hope we’ve made your decision on which jerky dehydrator to pick by well informing you on what we found to be the best dehydrator available today.

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