Ovens are convenient and economical kitchen tools for making delicious beef jerky. Moisture, which is the breeding ground for microbes, is usually found in lean cuts so setting high oven temperatures to kill them is best. You can also use the oven to dehydrate either marinated or dry cured jerky.
How Making Beef Jerky in an Oven Works
Here are the steps you can take to make beef jerky in your own home oven:
Cut the beef into thin strips. Place the strips in a dish, season them, cover them with foil and store in a fridge for at least one or two hours, and up to over night.
Set a temperature of 160°F to pre-heat the oven. When heating is done, remove the strips and position them on a tray or baking sheet. Do not let the strips overlap each other as they should be assembled in a single layer. Allow some space between the oven shelves so that the strips will cook evenly. If needed, an oven thermometer can be used to determine temperature levels.
Let meat dry for 6 to 12 hours.
General Concerns of Making Beef Jerky in an Oven
Ovens are the next best thing to making jerky if meat dehydrators are not available. However, conventional ovens consume more energy as the drying process takes a lot of time. As heat rises, conventional oven temperatures can vary requires rotating the trays occasionally.
Convection ovens have a built-in fan to transfer heat around the food, making the heating process faster. Also, overcooking in ovens can result in reduced nutritional value of meats. It's because overheating zaps the natural nutrients that are contained in the meat.
General Benefits of Making Beef Jerky in an Oven
Probably the biggest benefit of making beef jerky in an oven is that ovens are a fixture in almost every home.
Convection ovens give off uniform results unlike conventional ones. Heating the meat and giving the trays an occasional rotational spin every hour can help even out the cooking with conventional ovens. You can also create multiple batches of beef jerky as the heat is quickly distributed throughout a convection oven.
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