How to Dehydrate Ground Beef

by Jeremy Hoefs

Dehydrate ground beef to make jerky or other snacks.

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Drying meat into long slices of jerky dates back to ancient Egypt. Today you can dry your own meat using a dehydrator -- a small electrical appliance for drying foods indoors. Using ground beef allows you to make jerky or other foods that you can munch on for snacks or while hiking. To dehydrate ground beef, you must first cook the meat to a minimum internal temperature to prevent harmful bacteria.

Select lean ground beef with 15 percent fat or less. Too much fat can lead to excessive oil and moisture that will negatively affect the dehydrating process.

Combine 2 lbs. of ground beef with 1 cup of bread crumbs in a large mixing bowl. The bread crumbs provide texture and flavor to the ground beef.

Warm a skillet to medium heat.

Cook the ground beef mixture, breaking the meat into small pieces until the temperature of the meat reaches 160 degrees Fahrenheit.

Remove the ground beef from the skillet and place it on paper towels to remove any excess moisture or liquid.

Spread the ground beef on the dehydrator trays so it dries evenly.

Turn on the dehydrator to 145 degrees and cook for two hours.

Reduce the temperature to 125 degrees and cook for another six hours.


  • One pound of ground beef typically yields about 4 ounces of dehydrated meat.

Photo Credits

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About the Author

Based in Nebraska, Jeremy Hoefs began writing fitness, nutrition, outdoor and hunting articles in 2006. His articles have been published in "Star City Sports," "Hunting Fitness Magazine" and RutWear field journals, as well as on the Western Whitetail website. Hoefs graduated with a Bachelor of Science in exercise science from Nebraska Wesleyan University.