Recipe: Homemade Jerky Treats

 

Here’s an easy-to-prepare homemade treat you can make for your dogs.  Commercial jerky treats have been linked to numerous pet illnesses and deaths, primarily associated with product imported from China.  (You can read more about this in FDA Provides Update on Jerky Pet Treat Investigation .)  By preparing these at home, you control the quality and ensure your dogs receive human-grade meat.  Another advantage of preparing these at home is that you can adjust the cooking time as needed, avoiding those brittle, sharp shards of “jerky” that you wouldn’t want your dog to eat.

My dogs LOVE these.  It’s usually the first thing they pull from their bowls at breakfast.

 

INGREDIENTS

  • 4 large, skinless, boneless chicken breasts OR 3-4 pounds of London broil or similar cut of beef with minimal fat/marbling. Cut away and discard any excess fat.
  • Kosher salt
  • Cooking spray, such as olive oil Pam

EQUIPMENT NEEDED

  • Two 10″ X 16″ grate/grid design baking racks
  • Two large rimmed baking sheets, large enough to contain your racks.

PREPARATION

Preheat convection oven to 185°F.  (You may need to experiment.  Other jerky recipes dry the meat in a regular oven at temperatures ranging from 160° to 200°.)

Prepare the racks:  generously spray both sides of each rack with cooking spray and place one rack in each rimmed baking sheet.

Work with the meat while it is still partially frozen, as it will be much easier to slice.  Slice the meat into strips about 7 inches long and about 3/16” to ¼” thick.  Do not slice them too thin.  They will dry and shrink considerably, and if your strips are too thin, they will be too frail to remove easily from the racks.

Lay the strips out in a single layer on the prepared racks:

Sprinkle lightly with Kosher salt (helps dry the meat and adds a little flavor).

Position the pans on separate racks in the oven to maximize circulation of the heated air.

Cook for about 3 hours in a convection oven at 185°F.  In a conventional oven, it could take 3-5 hours, depending on your desired end texture.

Allow to cool.

Store in a tightly covered container in the refrigerator for up to one week.

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