Dehydrated Jerky Recipe

Dehydrating food is convenient, easy, and tasty.


Like so many others, in the spring of 2020, I made the abrupt shift to working from home. This shift provided an opportunity to replace commuting with gardening. I decided to expand our garden, put my green thumb to the test, and occupy my newly acquired free time. I experienced many failures, but also grew some plentiful produce.

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Dehydrating your homegrown tomatoes is a great way to preserve your harvest. Photo by Adobe Stock/ Dar1930

At the end of gardening season, I was looking for an easy way to preserve my abundant harvest. My husband, Andrew, has a Weston 10-Tray Digital Dehydrator that he uses to make delicious jerky, so I decided to dehydrate several dozen cherry tomatoes. I washed the tomatoes, sliced them in half, and then tossed them in some olive oil, garlic, and fresh oregano. After arranging them on the dehydrator trays, I set the digital shut-off timer at 9 hours and the temperature at 135 degrees Fahrenheit, and the electric dehydrator did the rest. This process was easy, and we’ve enjoyed having dried tomatoes to use in omelets, pesto, and salads.

The Weston Dehydrator has shelf-type trays that slide in and out. A fan is mounted in the back that blows the air from the back toward the front in a horizontal direction. This provides more even drying, so the trays don’t need to be rotated. I found the slide-out trays to be handy when checking the dryness of the produce. We love the large size, because we can really load up all 10 trays and create big batches of shelf-stable food that we store in vacuum storage bags.



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My husband is a big fan of jerky and has found several great recipes in Jerky: The Complete Guide to Making It by Mary T. Bell. I’m still experimenting with different foods and recipes, but we’ve already found many uses for our dehydrator. In addition to jerky and dried tomatoes, we’ve made tempeh, yogurt, and various dried fruits and vegetables, all without the additives and preservatives you find in factory-made products.






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