Treats for dogs are very expensive: I cook my own jerky chicken for my dog, it comes out much cheaper
I have 2 dogs at home – a dachshund named Cooper and Harley a mongrel, a male that I picked up on the street. Both pets are very picky in food. They love dog treats, of course, but they're expensive. Therefore, I most often cook delicious treats for them myself. And most of all in my preparation they like dried chicken. This is an inexpensive and lean meat, it is not harmful to animals and they like it very much. Now I will share the recipe with you.
The process of preparing dried chicken is not at all complicated. It consists in the fact that the meat must be dehydrated at a temperature exceeding 40 degrees Celsius. With this heating, the chemical composition of the meat changes. During drying, a unique complex of proteins and healthy fats is formed, and the latter are evenly distributed throughout the product.
When I first started making jerky, I used a regular plastic food dryer. The very one, at the base of which there is a fan and a heater, on top there is a round dryer, which is covered with a lid. At first, this seemed like a very good option to me. But then I realized that I needed to buy something stronger.
So I bought a stainless steel dehydrator with metal racks, and the heat regulation ranges from 70 to 35 degrees, and you can put 10-12 kg of meat in it at a time. Such kitchen devices cost pretty well – 16-17 thousand. But over the course of the year, you'll save a lot more than just buying treats. I've had this dehydrator for about 3 years now. So I guess it was a great investment.
The only thing you will need is a good sharp knife and a cutting board.
Step 1: Lean Skinless Chicken
I usually buy two or three chicken carcasses. Then I simmer them all day long. And, by the way, it turns out a wonderful basis for the soup, which I subsequently cook for myself. After that, bones, skin and fat are removed very easily. By the time I'm done with this step, the only "waste" is a few handfuls of bones! I leave cartilage for my dogs to “nibble”, and I mix the skin with other meat trimmings and give it to stray dogs in our yard. After removing the skin and trimming the fat, I simply cut the chicken meat into strips.
Step 2: cutting the meat into strips
If you want the strips to be the same thickness (approximately 1 – 1. 5 centimeters), then you need to do the following.
Cut the chicken carefully. Make an incision on the “inside” of the carcass breast. It almost comes off, there is only a small part that needs to be cut. Then cut off the breast, making longitudinal cuts about a centimeter thick or a little more. Depending on the size of the fillet, I cut it into 2 or 3 strips.
Step 3: Lay the strips on a baking sheet
It is important to put strips of meat on a baking sheet so that they do not touch each other. Why? For drinning meat, a flow of air is very important. In addition, if the strips are in contact, they will stick to each other. My dehydrator contains 10 bastards, so it is quite easy to lay out the strips for a regular batch so that they do not come into contact.
Step 4: The temperature and drying time
Different models of dehydrators have different drying time. I always begin to slug chicken meat from a temperature of 70 degrees. So it is prepared for about an hour and a half. And the total drying time is approximately 8 hours. After an hour and a half, when the stripes become “opaque”, that is, the meat mainly “prepared”, I reduce the temperature to 50 degrees and cook another hour. At this time, the edges of the stripes will look dry, but in the center they will not dry yet). And for the rest of the time, I reduce the temperature to 35 degrees.
I repeat that not all dehydrators work the same way, drying time can vary greatly depending on the model. If you dry the chicken, it is very important to start the process of cooking at high temperature, and then gradually reduce it.
Step 5: Ready.
Strips of dried chicken will look like ordinary dried meat! I always break the thickest piece in the middle and check whether the meat has dried out evenly.
After cooking, I keep dried meat in a plastic bag or in boxing for storing products in the refrigerator. I do not use any preservatives. It just seems to me that if you keep it cold, then this portion can be stretched for a longer time.
Pay attention to the fact that after a package with dried meat will spent in the refrigerator for several hours, condensation may form on its inside. How do I cope with this? I just tear off 3 or 4 pieces from a paper towel and put them in a bag dog food storage container with dried meat. I leave them there until condensate evaporates from the package, and then remove it. I never had to replace wet paper towels with dry.
The benefits of jerky
A dried chicken, in this way, can be kept in the refrigerator for more than two weeks. But my pets usually absorb all this before! Therefore, when you feed your dogs with dried meat, do not overdo it. It’s better not to overeat. In addition, make sure they have a lot of water. This product causes thirst.
It is very profitable to use homemade jerky when training dogs. This is an almost indispensable product. After all, humanity has eaten in this way cooked meat since ancient times, and scientists are sure that it was precisely such goodies that primitive people “fed” wolves from which the first dogs came from. This kind of product is useful for people and animals, and has excellent nutritional value.