Hi all. I’m thinking of getting a food dehydrator to dehydrate for the dogs their raw treats. Would love to know your thoughts. Also, do you have one, are you happy with it? Wish you’d bought a different brand, if so which one? What do you dehydrate in yours? Pros and cons please. As always, a great big thank you for going on this ride with me as I continue my research and education on better nutrition for my canines on what I call DFA University.
I would stick with a stainless steel dehydrator that has stainless steel trays (some have chrome trays). I would NOT use a dehydrator that contains any plastic or chrome. I would also stay away from the dehydrators that blow from the bottom up. You want to get a dehydrator that has the fan and heating element in the back so it blows across all the trays evenly.
Amazon – 5 trays all stainless steel
Amazon – 10 trays all stainless steel. This is the first dehydrator I ever bought and I still use it at home for my pupsSusanParticipant
Gee the dehydrators are dear, what about the old fashion way, in the oven on very low heat or doesn’t that work as good USA Dog Treats..MelissaandcrewMember
Hi Dori- I have a cheap, 5 drawer plastic tray model somewhere in my attic. I take it out perhaps5 times a year and dehydrate meat for the dogs as treats, which I then keep in my freezer. I lack patience and think it takes too long, but others that have seen it run think they are great..so go figure, lol. Would I buy another one? Yes, because I like to dehydrate pure chicken breast pieces and have them on hand for dogs with digestive upset.
The oven doesn’t work as well but I think you are on to something! Dori (or anyone else) should probably make some treats in the oven first while they find out if making jerky is something they are going to stick with. Once you are making jerky regularly and want to go to the next level of quality and/or volume than the investment in a dehydrator seems more justified.
For an oven you would put it on the lowest heat and leave the door slightly ajar for better air circulation. For jerky that will last a long time without preservative you would cook until it it pretty hard and breaks easily into smaller pieces. For a raw fed dog like Dori’s you could cook it less because the dog is used to dealing with bacteria but you would only make a couple of days worth at a time (it will spoil) unless you freeze it.
You must remove any external fat from the neat before you slice it (no thicker than 1/4 inch) because fat goes rancid fast no matter how long you cook the jerky.
I am fearful of using anything other than 100% stainless steel for dehydrating foods. Plastics even if they are “food safe” and “BPA free” scare me.
Hi USA. I’ve tried the regular oven at the lowest setting. It seems to take FOREVER. Seems like an awful lot of fuel (gas and electricity) will this all dehydrates. That’s what got me started on thinking maybe I should get a dehydrator. I’m going on the Amazon sites that you suggested and check them out and buy one. Thanks so much.
USA Treats. I’m very very excited. I just ordered the five tray stainless steel dehydrator from Amazon that you gave the http. to. Cannot wait to get it. I’ll be dehydrating real soon. I thought about getting the 10 tray but I thought that’s pretty much over kill with the size of my three girls. As always, thank you thank you thank you USA. Can always count on you for help as I do with others. Great group here on DFA.CyndiMember
I have a deer liver in my freezer that I think I’m finally going to get to dehydrating in my oven. I’ve been thinking about getting a dehydrator myself, but I think I’ll take USA’s advice and try out the oven way first. Thanks for the tips USA! 🙂 (as always) 😉 Oh and I’ve heard my house is probably going to STINK! I can’t wait, lol!
Hi Dori and Cyndi, you are both very welcome!
Please clean the trays and interior of the dehydrator before first use. Then make a dry run to further insure that any thing offensive is gone. First try the highest temp and see how they are after 10 hours. Then adjust time and temp to your preferences. I slice the meats to about 1/8 of an inch and I would recommend you go no thicker than a 1/4 of an inch. Once you hit a 1/4 of an inch the outside of the treats will cook faster than the inside and it could take longer than 12 hours to make a treat that doesn’t go bad without any preservatives. Of course you feed raw so making a softer treat with more moisture in it is always an option for you.
Organ meats can be pretty odiferous and tripe could cause your neighbors to send you nasty letters. But some people don’t mind at all. Fish is pretty high up on the stinky list too!
Thanks for the tips USA. I just copied and pasted your tips on the hydrator so that I’ll be ready when it arrives. Do you slice meats with a regular butcher type knife? OH! What kind of offensive smells should I be looking for while first heating up the dehydrator? You mean typical “new appliance” type smells? Again, thanks.
Yes, typical new appliance smells. I use an eight or ten inch chef’s knife like this one.
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