Hamburger Jerky

Making Hamburger Jerky with a Dehydrator

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I have really wanted to learn how to dehydrate hamburger jerky. I asked my friend, Kendra to help and we decided to just go for it. This was our first experience making any kind of jerky using a dehydrator. Kendra’s kids even helped us mold the jerky! We need the items pictured below plus the hamburger meat that is at least 93% hamburger minimum to be safe. The 85% hamburger at some stores will not be safe to make because it has too much fat.

We have a friend by the name of Kim D.  Well, Kim gave us this recipe a few months ago (her friend’s recipe) and I have been dying to make it!

Hamburger Jerky Ingredients:

You add the hamburger and you are ready to make it!

hamburger jerky

Molded Hamburger Jerky Ready To Dehydrate:

dehydrate jerky
5 from 2 votes
Hamburger Jerky
How to Dehydrate Hamburger Jerky
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 1/3 cup liquid smoke
  • 4 tsp garlic powder
  • 4 tsp onion salt
  • 2 tsp cayenne pepper aso
  • 2 tsp season salt
  • 2 tsp Accent
  • 2 tbsp 2 Tablespoons Maple Flavoring (The flavoring you use to make pancake syrup)
  • 1/2 cup 1/2 Cup Tender Quick (Home Meat Cure Salt) **Salt not only helps pull the moisture out of the meat, but it also acts as a preservative. )
  • 5-8 pounds 5-8 Pounds Hamburger (IT MUST be 93% Lean Ground Beef or leaner to dehydrate safely!!!)
  1. Mix it all together and roll between wax paper or parchment paper. We rolled the meat out to about ¼ inch thick and used a pizza cutter to cut the shapes. Place on clean parchment paper and place in a dehydrator (Kendra and I both have chosen to use the brand Excalibur after months of research).

  2. The Excalibur has a jerky “button”. We set the timer for 8 hours. You will find each dehydrator has a different temperature. Please check the temperature of your oven of choice. My research showed the temperature needs to be 140-170 degrees. My Excalibur dial shows 155 degrees.

  3. *Please note if using game meat you need to add 1 pound of ground beef (93% lean).

  4. If you don’t have a dehydrator you can use your SUN OVEN or your kitchen oven. When using your Sun Oven be sure and follow the instructions enclosed with the Sun Oven. The key thing is DO NOT clamp the glass cover shut. Place the glass lid ON TOP of the screw clamps. If you use your regular oven set the temperature at 165-170 degrees (70-80 degrees C).

  5. You can use a couple of spoons to keep the oven door ajar. Since temperatures, humidity levels and the thickness you make your meat are so different there really isn’t any set time. I say watch, watch, rotate, rotate, and make sure the pieces are not touching each other. The meat will shrink. The time can be 4-12 hours. If you have a convection oven turn on the fan.

Place The Hamburger Jerky In The Refrigerator or Freezer:

hamburger jerky

This is how we store our jerky before placing it in the refrigerator or freezer. My husband went fishing last week and one of his buddies brought some jerky to eat while out on the lake. Well, I guess the jerky was as hit and didn’t last too long. He mentioned he wished he’d brought some of our Hamburger Jerky to share with his two fishing friends. Sounds like I need to make some new batches of hamburger jerky for future fishing and other outings. Seems like most people like jerky and the various spice flavors available can add some fun flexibility to how you make yours. One great advantage to this popular treat is the extra protein you get. Seems like this will prove to be a more healthy treat than what most of us grab between meals. Give this recipe a try this week.  We hope you enjoy making this as much as we did! It is so yummy!

YouTube: You Tube by Food Storage Moms.

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  1. I like to grind my own hamburger from cheap cuts of beef so I can trim all visible fat myself. Manual grinders are fairly cheap and easy or you can get attachments for some mixers.

  2. Hamburger jerky sounds good, but why would you add accent to it? That is monosodium glutamate and not good for you!!! Thanks for all the sharing you do!

    1. Hi Jan, I was so nervous making it the first time, because I had never dehydrated raw meat before. The second time I made the jerky I used less salt. I would bet with the good cuts of meat you would not need to use Accent. This recipe is an old family recipe from a friend. I cut way back on the salt but I also store it in the frig and freezer. Linda

    2. Normal people seem not to have any problems with MSG, Most problems come from new age foodies who imply their thoughts/info net ism’s on others, whom they seem to think no one else has access to intelligent information.
      All that wisdom from one person who got a headache and blamed it on the Chinese restaurant she went to.

      1. Hi JR, I use Accent in a few dishes I can’t think of off hand. I was a bit nervous making jerky to be safe to eat after putting RAW meat in my dehydrator. it brings out the flavor in so many dishes. I still use it. Thanks for making me feel better about having Accent in my recipe! Thanks so much, Linda

  3. 5 stars
    isn’t cutting the salt down bad? Salt is an inhibitor to bacteria, hence the cure properties of salt.

  4. I wouldn’t cut down the salt, which is needed to pull the moisture out. The spores that cause botulism grow in moist anaerobic conditions, and that is a risk I’m not willing to take. If it’s too salty, increase the sugar instead (sugar will also draw moisture out of the meat). Also, why not actually smoke the meat for a couple of hours, instead of using liquid smoke? The difference in taste is significant.

    1. Hi Muriel, I would love to smoke some meat. I do not have a smoker but I would love to get one. I bet the taste is a whole lot better. This was really fun to try out my friend’s recipe. Linda

  5. 5 stars
    Thanks, Linda ~ I haven’t made hamburger jerky before so having your video was great. I do, however, make my own jerky using very lean cuts of beef (you can also use wild game meats such as venison and elk).

    I make mine the truly easy way! I bring the meat home and freeze it partially to aid in slicing the meat. Then, I put the still frozen slices of meat in a zippered bag and cover with teriyaki sauce and refreeze. I have tried just marinating in the fridge, but I have found that the flavoring gets into the meat better when I freeze the meat/marinate, then thaw when ready to load the dehydrator. When I am ready to load the dehydrator, I drain the thawed meat/marinate and pat the meat with paper towels. I dehydrate for 8-12 hours (depending on how thick or thin my meat is).

    When it is cool, I seal in vacuum sealed bags and store in the freezer. Since I live alone, I freeze small bags rather than larger.

  6. Linda, don’t you have to cook the meat or does it cook as it dries?

    I know you can cook ground beef and dehydrate it. I’ve seen this done on TV and YouTube videos. And there is also something referred to as Amish Steaks. And according to one of those Popeil late night infomercials, they have a recipe for making turkey jerky in their dehydrator, but I read somewhere you can only use beef.

    1. Hi Frank, after taking my 12-week course to get my Master Canning and Preserving class I am cautious to dehydrate any meat except very lean hamburger or beef. Pork is unsafe to dehydrate. You can dehydrate some raw meat but keep in mind the temperature in a dehydrator must be set at 160 degrees to be safe. (The USDA recommends 160 degrees for dehydrating meat). The raw meat has marinades with lots of salt and so does my hamburger jerky. Keep in mind it has zero preservatives so we must refrigerate it or freeze it. My book has a recipe for dehydrated turkey (must be cooked first) Duck and Goose are too fatty and unsafe to dehydrate. I hope this helps, Linda

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