My favorite meat jerky’s are beef jerky and bison jerky. Salmon jerky is very tasty too, but I haven’t quite mastered that recipe. It is really hard to mess up beef jerky unless you entirely forget you put it in the dehydrator. I recommend finding a local butcher that you can custom order meat cuts from.
If you are local to the Phoenix area check out The Meat Shop! I cannot say enough good things about this place, definitely my favorite. It is an old fashioned butcher shop with locally raised meats from Arizona. Grass fed, free range, all natural, etc. PSA: try their buckboard bacon…thank me later. Calling ahead to place an order is the best way to ensure they will have what you want.
If you are using ground meat you will need to roll it out. Imagine rolling out dough into a pie crust. The thicker the “dough” the longer you will need to spend dehydrating it. This is true for any type of meat cut. The thicker the cut the longer and/or the higher the temperature will need to be to dehydrate it. Add all the spices, herbs, etc. to your ground meat and mix in a KitchenAid mixer prior to rolling it out. This will help evenly distribute flavor. If you have a butcher, ask them for a beef round steak and they can custom slice it thinly for you! This will save a TON of time during the prep work. It is also a lot easier to clean the dehydrator sheets with this method, it doesn’t stick as much. If you are working with ground meat, after dehydrating it you will tear it into strips just like beef jerky! Wa Laaa!
If dehydrating food is new to you, check our Dehydrating Food blogpost to learn what it is and why people love it! I also recommend the dehydrator that I use and tell you how you can get your own.