Archive for January 20, 2011

Make your own chicken jerky

I was recently reminded of an FDA consumer update warning that commercial chicken jerky treats may cause illness in some dogs.  This warning is not new, but the FDA has continued to caution against feeding our dogs any commercial jerky treats manufactured in China.

One of Wally and Lu’s favorite treats is chicken jerky, but I’m not taking any chances with their health. A friend told us about making your own jerky treats at home.  It is SO easy and you don’t even need a dehydrator!

The following recipes and photos were found on gourmet-dog-treat-recipes.com:

Chicken Jerky Dog Treats Ingredients:

  • chicken breasts (or turkey)
  • Dog friendly seasonings – such as garlic (see note below), parsley, mint, rosemary, sage
  • olive or canola oil

Preparation:

  • Preheat oven to 180 degrees
  • Line a baking sheet with tin foil and spray with non-stick oil. I prefer to use nonstick foil.
  • Slice chicken breast very thin – with the grain
  • Pat dry and then lightly coat with oil – only necessary if you want to season the jerky.
  • Lightly season if desired.
  • Place chicken slices on the baking sheet in single layer spaced evenly apart
  • Bake in oven for 6 to 8 hours – turning every two 2 hours.
  • Keep in mind that baking times will vary depending on your oven and the moisture content of the chicken. Your finished product should be dry and leathery.
  • Let jerky cool completely. Store in sealed bags in refrigerator. I prefer to use the vacuum seal bags.

Here is a “before” picture of the slices on my dehydrator.

Preparing Chicken Jerky Dog Treats

Here is an “after” picture. This jerky is actually made from a wild turkey that my father got during hunting season.

Chicken Jerky Dog Treats in Dehydrator

Chicken Jerky Dog Treats II

Here is another variation for making dehydrated meat treats:

Ingredients:

  • 1 pound raw ground chicken
  • 1 TB olive oil
  • 1/4 tsp garlic powder (see note below)
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried parsley

Combine ingredients and puree in food processor.

Spoon into baking pan lined with aluminum foil and sprayed with nonstick oil).

Spread the mixture evenly in the pan.

Bake in oven at 180 degrees for 2 hours.

Remove from oven and cut into desired sizes using a pizza cutter or knife.

Place back in oven and continue to bake for another 1 to 2 hours or until dry and leathery.

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NOTE: Garlic is a controversial ingredient for dogs. Large amounts of garlic can cause anemia in dogs, however, many experts agree that small amounts of garlic are actually beneficial to dogs. Garlic should not be given to dogs that are already anemic. Otherwise, for seasoning purposes do not exceed 1/4 teaspoon per pound of meat. If you are concerned – simply omit the garlic from recipes.

Another method of making jerky is described on Pure Taste blog.  The recipe is for beef jerky for humans, but the drying method is brilliant!

Insert toothpicks into one end of each slice of meat and hang between oven racks. Place a foil-covered pan on the bottom rack to catch the drips of fat.  There won’t be many, but some.

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Here’s how our chicken jerky turned out!

LuLu says “Yum Yum!”

(Wally ate his so fast that I didn’t even have a chance to get a picture!)

Now go make some jerky!

Your dogs will thank you!

 

* When making jerky in the dehydrator using pork, chicken, or turkey, be sure to dry it at the highest temperature setting. After drying, it should be heated in your oven to a minimum temperature of 160°F (60°C) for at least 30 minutes as a precaution against risk of salmonella.

** Store your jerky in a cool, dry and as dark place. The darker and cooler the storage area, the longer dried foods will last with good quality and nutritive value.  The ideal storage temperature for dehydrated food is 60°F (15°C) to below freezing. The ideal storage place is your freezer or refrigerator.

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