How Long to Dehydrate Beef Jerky? (For Different Temperatures)

Today, we’re going to talk about the right amount of time to dehydrate your jerky.

How Long to Dehydrate Beef Jerky? You should dehydrate your beef jerky for something between 5 and 15 hours. The exact time will depend on many variables.

But what does it exactly depend on? To put it simply, how should you know that your jerky is indeed done? That is exactly what we’re going to uncover in this article, so keep reading, and you’ll know everything needed!

How Long to Dehydrate Beef Jerky

How long do you dehydrate beef jerky?

In most cases, beef jerky will take something around 10 hours of dehydration to be thoroughly done.

How long does it take to dehydrate beef in a dehydrator?

While using a classic food dehydrator, dehydrating your beef can take anywhere between four to even twenty hours. For how long exactly should you dehydrate your jerky depends mainly on your own preferences.

If you like your jerky to be still a little bit moist and less chewy, stop the dehydration earlier. On the other hand, if you’re a fan of really tough jerky you can chew on, you’re going to have to be more patient.

Related: Is Beef Jerky Cooked Before It Is Dehydrated?

What temperature do you dehydrate beef jerky at?

But it also varies by the temperature you’re dehydrating the beef jerky at. So what temperature should you choose? 

It’s hard to say because there simply isn’t just one concrete temperature to dehydrate beef jerky at. Everyone likes to make their jerky differently, and every jerky recipe talks about different temperatures. 

What can be said in general, though, is that it is absolutely neccesary to heat your beef to at least 160 °F for a while. This is because that gets rid of the bacteria from the meat. But otherwise, you have a free choice.

dehydrating jerky

How long to dehydrate beef jerky at 145°F?

That choice will, however, affect the time amount needed to make the jerky. So for how long should you dehydrate the beef jerky when you choose to go with the probably most common temperature of 145°F?

At 145°F, dehydrate the jerky for somewhere between 9 and 10 hours. As we’ve touched above, the exact timestamp depends on your tastebuds.

How long to dehydrate beef jerky at 150°F?

If you decide to stick to 150°F, you will obviously save some time. And even though that increase by 5°F may seem like a tiny change, it will hasten the dehydration quite a bit.

At 150°F, dehydrate the jerky for something like 7 hours. If you like your jerky to be softer, it may be done even in six, and by the 8th hour of dehydrating at 150°F, it will be done entirely even for the lovers of the hardest jerky out there.

How long to dehydrate beef jerky at 155°F?

If that is still too long for you, you can save even more time by using the temperature of 155°F. That way, your jerky will be done quickly!

At 155°F, dehydrate the jerky for something around five hours. If it still isn’t done then, check it every 15 minutes and end the process when you’re fully satisfied.

How long to dehydrate beef jerky at 160°F?

Even though we’ve said that it is necessary to heat the jerky for at least 160°F to kill all of the harmful bacteria, most people indeed only heat it to that temperature for a while and then switch to the lower ones.

To put it simply, we’re now getting to the temperatures not many people like to dehydrate their jerky at. It is possible to do so, though, so if you for any reason possible want to try it, we won’t let you down.

At 160°F, the jerky will take something between 3 and 4 hours to be completely dried.

How long to dehydrate beef jerky at 165°F?

Since we mentioned such high temperatures as 160°F usually aren’t used to make beef jerky, drying it at 165°F is even rarer. It still is plausible, though, and as you’ve probably guessed, that way, the jerky will be done quickly!

At 165°F, dehydrate the jerky for 2 hours. It isn’t assured that it will be done that quickly, but it surely won’t take much longer. Therefore, it is wise to check the jerky regularly after that amount of time passes.

Related: How Long to Cure Jerky Before Dehydrating?


Dehydrating beef jerky is a complex process that requires a lot of patience and carefulness. One of the most important things to keep an eye on is the time you will dehydrate your jerky for.

How long exactly should that be, depends on many things, mainly your own preferences – if you like your to be soft and still a little moist, you don’t need to wait for that much, on the contrary, it will take longer for the fans of hard and chewy jerky.

In general, it can be said that your beef will need to sit in the dehydrator for something like 8 hours. 


Image credits – Canva

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