Making Chicken Jerky Dog Treats

by Tina
(Houston, Texas)

Tina asked:

I wanted to ask you about your directions to making chicken jerky dog treats. You bake them first in the oven and then place them in the dehydrator for final drying. I just wanted to make sure that I was correct. I have a dehydrator so this would work perfectly for me.

Cheryl’s response:

Thank you for the question.

The instructions I listed for making chicken jerky dog treats actually intend for the treats to be completed entirely in the oven.

I can see why there would be confusion as the photos show the chicken on a dehydrator. I do note toward the beginning of the page that you can use a dehydrator rather than the oven. Which is exactly what I did – thus the photos of dehydrator. : )

If you do decide to use your dehydrator be sure to follow the instructions with your particular dehydrator. And no matter what method you choose – be sure to follow safe food handling techniques.

All that being said, I have seen recipes that suggest doing exactly what you described. Starting the chicken in the oven or other cooking method so that it is cooked – then finishing it off in the dehydrator. That certainly is another great option.

NOTE: I’ve had a couple recent questions regarding the safety of making chicken jerky. I did some additional research and have included the information below. I will be adding the information to the chicken jerky dog treats recipe page as well.

USDA food guidelines do recommend that chicken be heated to 165 degrees by steaming or roasting the chicken prior to finishing in the dehydrator. This is to minimize the risk of food borne illness.

The USDA recommendations are for jerky intended for human consumption. My understanding and experience is that healthy dogs are more resistant to food bacteria illness than we are. I know that I and others have made jerky entirely in the dehydrator with no issues.

If you have concerns about whether the dehydration method is safe – then i would definitely recommend following the USDA guidelines. Check out the USDA page for more information.

No matter what method you use – you’ll be rewarded with wagging tails of approval when they get to taste their jerky dog treats.

Hope that helps!