Jerky is a great treat for training and very cheap to make at home. Many of the commercial treats available for our dogs contain preservatives and artificial ingredients. The recent scare in 2007 involving jerky treats from China also reminds us that we can’t always guarantee safety with pre-packaged foods.
Whenever you make your own treats, practice good hygiene, particularly when using meat. Make sure you wash your hands thoroughly before and after preparing meat products and clean chopping boards in the dishwasher on a hot cycle or using dilute bleach. It is estimated that meat contains 1,000-10,000 bacteria per gram and while our pets are adapted to eating raw meat, there is a higher risk of salmonella from improperly cooked, prepared and stored meat, particularly when our meat is not as fresh as it was in the olden days.
Chicken breast or meat of your choice.
Wire rack (like one used for cooling biscuits after cooking), baking tray.
- Preheat oven to 120°C.
- Place the wire rack on top of the baking tray. Placing a layer of foil on the tray first makes for an easier clean-up.
- Slice the chicken approximately 3mm thick. This is much easier to do with frozen chicken and a sharp knife.
- Place chicken strips on the wire racks, ensuring pieces do not touch.
- Cook for 2 hours, turn pieces over then cook for another 2 hours.
- Turn off the oven and allow the jerky to cool in the oven. It should be completely dry so that pieces can be snapped off.
- When storing jerky ,ensure it is completely dry before placing in an air-tight container or vacuum sealing. It will last for up to a month so long as it is fully dried.