These yummy dehydrated chicken treats for dogs are one of the easiest ways to show your dog you love them and save money, too! Includes both dehydrator and oven directions!
Many dog jerky treats are made with chemicals or preservatives we wouldn’t eat, so why feed them to our best friend?
This easy chicken jerky dog treat will make you feel better about what you’re offering your fur babies. And it will make your fur babies extremely happy that you’re doing it for them!
► Tip – before you get started, you can freeze your chicken breast or tenders for an hour or so to make slicing easier.
Are these Dehydrated Chicken Jerky Treats Safe for Humans?
Unfortunately, while dogs can eat just about anything, the human body cannot deal with chicken jerky prepared in this manner. Chicken jerky for humans must be thoroughly cooked first, then dried, to ensure that all harmful bacteria have been killed.
Alternatively, you can blast them at 250°F for 10-15 minutes to kill off any issue with bacteria to make them more human-friendly.
What Kind of Chicken Can I Use?
- Livers & gizzards – while they are not the focus of this particular process, they can also be done for dog treats.
- Turkey – while not chicken, turkey can be used in the same fashion!
How to Make Dehydrated Chicken Jerky
Making homemade chicken jerky dog treats is easy with these step by step directions!
Step 1: Freeze Chicken for Two Hours
Freezing the larger chicken pieces beforehand will make slicing much easier. While this isn’t a necessary step, it can make prepping the chicken easier for you.
Step 2: Slice in 1/4″ slices (6 mm)
Chicken pieces can be sliced with the grain, against the grain, or on a bias. You want thin pieces, approximately 1/4″ or less.
It’s suggested that going with the grain will make the jerky a little chewier (but not the same kind of chewy like pig ears, etc.)
3. Trim Visible Fat
Be sure to trim away any visible fat. Fat is great except when dehydrating. Fat can go rancid quickly!
4. Season with dog-friendly seasonings of choice.
This is the point where you can sprinkle a little turmeric and black pepper or ginger on your treats.
5. Place on Dehydrator Trays
While you can place them directly onto plastic wracks, many of the stainless steel trays may cause the chicken to stick. I prefer using mesh liners.
6. Dry at 160°F/71°C for 10-12+ hrs.
It’s helpful to set your dehydrator as high as it will go. You’ll see a lot of recipes that call for 145°F degrees, but dry it at the safer temperature.
And even feeding it to your dog, YOU are handling that meat. So keep it safe to kill the bacteria for you and your pet.
Time will depend on how thick your chicken strips are, how powerful your machine is, the humidity in your home, etc. So begin checking, and keep checking until it is crispy and dry.
Sprinkle one of these supplements on homemade chicken dog treats for your pup! You’ll want to stay away from sodium-heavy seasonings if you’re making a pet treat.
- Turmeric and black pepper
- Sweet potato powder
- Sodium-free beef, vegetable, or chicken bullion
- Peanut butter powder (though you can spread a little peanut butter on this before serving, just not for storage).
One More Tip: You might find that the jerky might be too pointy for your pup.
- Break the sharp points off,
- Make thicker pieces that are less likely to injure, and know that it will take longer to dry.
Do I Need a Dehydrator? What Kind?
A dehydrator is a useful food preservation tool to have for putting away garden produce for use down the line. It’s also great for making homemade dog treats for your pets.
I use a Cosori Dehydrator primarily, but also use an Excalibur Dehydrator, and Nesco Dehydrator in the past. I’ve also shared some great tips for buying your first dehydrator including what to look for in a dehydrator, how to get them a little less expensively, and some great models in every price range.
But to answer the question, no, you can use your oven, too!
Preparation is the same for the oven and dehydrator, so follow the above prep steps.
- Preheat oven to 250°F/121°C
- Freeze chicken for two hours
- Slice chicken breast to about 1/4″ (6mm) or smaller
- Season with dog-friendly spices if desired
- Place on a parchment paper lined baking sheet.
- Dry for 2-3 hours, flipping strips after the first hour to prevent sticking.
When is Dehydrated Chicken Jerky Done?
When the chicken is crisp, leathery, and snaps when broken.
You can choose to stop dehydrating chicken at any point, but remember that it is not done, and will need to be kept in the freezer for storage – and to wash your hands thoroughly after serving to your dog.
How to Store Jerky?
Once cooled, it is important to keep the chicken in an airtight container of your choice. Keep it in the fridge or store it in the freezer for longer-term storage.
How Long Do Chicken Treats Last?
They can safely be stored in the fridge for two weeks. Beyond that, they should be stored in the freezer.
You’ll also see people keeping these on the shelf for longer. Chicken is a much leaner meat than beef, and you may be able to do it a little longer. But to be safe, tuck it away in cold storage if you’re going to keep it longer.
How Much Does 1 Lb of Chicken Breast Make?
Generally, you’ll get about 1/2 weight of what you started with. So 1 lb of chicken breast will make approximately 1/2 lb. of jerky.
More Dehydrated Dog Treat Ideas
Easy Chicken Jerky Treats for Dogs
- Place chicken into the freezer for two hours if you wish
- Cut into 1/4" slices (6mm)
- Place onto mesh-lined dehydrator sheets
- Sprinkle with seasonings if desired
- Dry at 160°F / 70°C for 10-15 hours
- Test for Dryness: should snap easily
- Store in airtight packages in the freezer if storing for more than two weeks.
Additional SupplementsSprinkle one of these supplements on the chicken before drying if desired
- Turmeric and black pepper
- Sweet potato powder
- Preheat oven to 250°F / 121°C.
- Place 2 wire cooling racks on baking sheets, line with parchment paper.
- Cut chicken into ¼-inch slices (6mm)
- Place onto sheets.
- Bake for approximately two hours, use more or less time if needed.
- Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks. Longer term storage should be in the freezer.
Nutritional information is an estimation only. Nutrient information for dehydrated foods is based on fresh. Use 1/4 of the servicing size for the same nutrient information. Thus 1 Cup of fresh fruit has the same sugars as 1/4 dried.
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