As dog owners and lovers, we know how important it is to be mindful of what we feed our dogs. And to be quite honest, the selection of dog treats at the local grocery store (and even the pet stores!) leave plenty to be desired. Usually, they are either made of junk (full of wheat and soy...hardly any meat) or just too expensive for the all meat versions. And in some cases, the treats you are feeding your pets are imported from China with questionable ingredients and processes that have been linked to pet deaths! In light of all of these pet treat recalls, inferior ingredients, and high price per ounce...we prefer to make our own dog jerky treats. Believe it or not, it's simple, inexpensive, and fun! Plus, this way, we know the ingredients used and their sourcing, we provide our pets with the highest quality of treats possible and at a lower cost than the store bought stuff. Knowing all of this, why wouldn't you make your own dog jerky?
This is going to be soooooo easy you are never going to buy dog treats again! Ready? Let's go.
- Baking sheet
- Jerky.com Jerky Gun with tips and cleaning accessories
- Optional: Parchment paper - This makes clean up a breeze.
- Optional: Wire Rack - the wire rack is the best option as it allows for air movement (which is VERY important to the dehydration process!) all around the product. This makes for a more consistent drying process and eliminates the need to constantly turn your jerky.
- 1 pound 96% lean ground turkey
6 steps to making this jerky
- Pack the ground turkey into the barrel of your Jerky Gun, trying to eliminate air pockets inside of the barrel. The better you can pack it in, the smoother and consistent the meat will extrude out of the gun's nozzle.
- With the gun loaded up and fully assembled, you are ready to extrude it onto your surface (either directly onto your baking sheet, your parchment paper (on top of your baking sheet), or on your wire rack on top of your baking sheet (the baking sheet will catch the drippings!). Squeeze the handle on the jerky gun and the seasoned meat will be pressed out of the nozzle for you to pull the gun towards you as you pull the handle forming long strips of seasoned beef. Place the strips parallel to each other, without touching as it can affect the dry time and consistency of the dehydrating process. ***Tip: Pay attention to the rate of speed that you move the gun and the rate at which you pull the trigger. These two factors will determine how much meat is coming out of the gun and how thick your jerky strips will be. The thinner they are, the less time they will take to dehydrate. Try to get all of the strips as consistent as possible in thickness to ensure a consistently dried batch.
- Put the baking sheet with your strips into your preheated oven at 300F for about 10-15 minutes. This should get the internal temperature of your jerky to over 160F, the point at which all bacteria is killed. After this, you can back the temperature down to between 150-175 (which is ideal). Some ovens won't go that low...but, just set it at the lowest temperature that it can go and crack the oven door open to allow air to circulate in and out of the oven. This should take between 4-8 hours depending on your oven and texture preferences. Check on the jerky until it has the desired texture that you are looking for. Usually, its firm but pliable.
- Once your jerky has reached the proper texture, pull it out of the oven and let it 'rest' to room temperature. Once this process is completed, your jerky is ready for consumption!
Tip: On your first couple of batches, you may want to keep an eye on the jerky every hour or so. Every oven is different and will perform this process differently. Once you understand how your oven works during this process, you will more reliably understand the proper cook time and process.
Tip: If you are not using a wire rack, you may want to flip the jerky several times during the process to get air flowing around all surfaces as evenly as possible.
***This recipe will yield you about 8 ounces of jerky from 1 lb. of beef. So, this recipe we used 3 lbs of ground turkey and we yielded about 1.5 lbs of jerky. This should keep your dog stocked up for a while! Your results may vary some depending on your selected meat type and texture preference but...generally, this is the kind of yield you should expect.
Now you have a clean, safe, high-protein jerky treat for your dog.