How Can I Tell When My Dehydrator Beef Jerky Is Done?

By Dana Poblete

Beef jerky is a convenient snack; it stays good for months, doesn't need to be refrigerated, and is light and easy to carry. Nutritionally, 100 grams of chopped and formed beef jerky contains 54 percent of your daily zinc, 41 percent of your daily phosphorus, 30 percent of your daily iron, 17 percent of your daily potassium, and 15 percent of your daily selenium, according to SELFNutritionData.

Beef Jerky on wooden background
credit: HandmadePictures/iStock/GettyImages
Beef Jerky on wooden background

When you make your own beef jerky in the dehydrator, removing it at the right time is essential. If you leave it in too long, it becomes hard and difficult to chew.

Remove a single piece of jerky from your dehydrator. Bend it, if possible. If it bends very slightly then breaks, it's perfectly done. If it snaps easily, it's overdone. Remove the jerky from the dehydrator immediately if either of these is the case.

If it bends easily or feels moist to the touch, return the jerky to the dehydrator. Check it every 30 to 60 minutes until it's done. Depending on the dehydrator and the thickness of the jerky, it may take between four and 12 hours for jerky to fully dry.