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dried beef jerky spilling out of glass jar

How to Dry Meat in an Oven


  • oven
  • cookie tray
  • aluminum foil
  • tongs
  • paper towels
  • oven thermometer


  • Wrap cookie tray with aluminum foil and place on the bottom or bottom-most rack to catch any drippings.
  • Place your oven thermometer about midway back on the top tray. This is to keep an eye on how accurate your temperature will be. Remove the top oven rack for now.
  • Preheat the oven to 160 degrees Fahrenheit (71 Celsius). It’s okay to have it at a higher temperature at the beginning, as moisture will evaporate quickly on the surface.
  • Arrange your prepared meat strips directly on the rack with a 2 inch spacing around each piece, this will encourage even drying.
    steak laid out on metal rack uncooked
  • Place in the prepared oven and keep the oven door open 5 to 6 inches to release the excess moisture (this step is important if you don’t have a fan to circulate the air around). If your oven can’t keep the door open, you can prop it open with a block of wood or another item.
  • Check on the meat every half hour until the surface of your meat looks and feels dry to the touch.
    steak in oven not cooked
  • Drop the oven temperature to 140 degrees F (60 Celsius) for the rest of the drying process.
  • At this point remove the tray from the oven (carefully) and rotate your meat on the rack. This ensures even drying as some spots in your oven may not be as hot as others. You’ll want to do this every half hour.
  • After 10-14 hours in the oven, your dried meat should be finished. An easy way to tell is by taking a piece of the meat out of the oven and bending it. If the meat breaks with no issues then your meat is done. Keep it in the oven if it flexes but doesn’t snap, this is indicative of residual moisture within the meat.
  • Take the meat out of the oven and let it sit on the wire rack for at least 24 hours in a low humidity area to promote evaporation of any remaining moisture.
    dried steak on rack
  • Store in an airtight container and enjoy!