Your dog loves jerky treats, but you have read the recent warnings about jerky treats from China. As a dog owner, this creates a problem. You want to give your dog treats they enjoy but you are rightfully afraid of commercial jerky treats. The answer is to make your own. Making your own chicken jerky gives you complete control over the ingredients in the jerky. You can purchase an inexpensive home dehydrator at any large discount chain for about $40. That is the cost of about 10 bags of commercial jerky treats. It pays for itself very quickly.
If you do not want to purchase a food dehydrator, you can make your own. My Examiner article, Homeschool science project: building a solar food dehydrator, gives you all the information you need to make a dehydrator out of a couple of cardboard boxes and plastic wrap.
Here is the recipe; it makes a lot of jerky, so play with it if you have a small dog. Or perhaps you might want some for yourself.
- 10 pounds lean boneless chicken (dark meat is okay, buy what is on sale)
- ¼ cup kosher salt
- ¼ cup pepper (optional)
Make the jerky
Slice the chicken into ¼ inch thick strips. Trim all fat from the chicken. For fastest slicing, use partially frozen chicken. Toss the chicken with the salt and pepper. Place on racks in a food dehydrator. It is done when the jerky is dry but still soft—similar to leather. Depending on your dryer, it should take a day or so.
Lynda Altman loves animals and is “mom” to three rescued dogs; Izzy, Sophie, and Romeo. She is very concerned about pet health issues. Prior to the birth of her 4th child, Lynda owned an exotic pet business. Get notices when this page is updated by clicking on the subscribe link, by email, or contact Lynda @fusgeyer on Twitter.