How to Dehydrate Chicken Safely


For Shredded, Chunks or Jerky—2 Methods for all Poultry


Before Beginning

  • To make chicken jerky or dried chicken pieces or shreds, you must cook the chicken thoroughly BEFORE dehydrating to have a safe food product.
  • Remove the skin and trim all the fat. Fat spoils quickly, and the lower the fat content the longer your jerky will last without getting rancid.
  • Use Chicken Breasts for the leanest meat. Thighs and legs are too fatty for dehydrated chicken. Thigh meat has nearly twice as much fat as breast meat.
  • Make sure all work surfaces and equipment are cleaned and sterilized thoroughly.

Method #1

  1. Trim all the fat/skin from chicken breasts.
  2. Cook the chicken as you wish until the internal temperature reaches 165°F/75°. Pressure cooking yields the best results.
  3. Cut the chicken into 1/4-inch-thick strips or cubes. Remove any fat from the chicken and discard.
  4. Marinate or season the chicken as you wish. Refrigerate the chicken for two hours to overnight.
  5. Blot the chicken with a paper towel until the chicken is completely dry. Place the chicken on trays. Do not allow the pieces of chicken to touch each other.
  6. Preheat your dehydrator at a temperature of 160°F/70°C (30 minutes should do it). Load up the trays when the dehydrator is preheated.
  7. Monitor the chicken every 30 minutes. Turn and flip the chicken strips or cubes occasionally. Dehydrated chicken should be dry, not flaky or brittle.
  8. Allow the chicken to cool completely. Store and package the chicken in an airtight container.
  9. Consume your unrefrigerated dehydrated chicken within two weeks of the drying process to make sure the chicken is free of bacteria.
  10. Refrigerate or freeze the dehydrated chicken to extend the storage life.


Method #2

  1. Trim all the fat/skin from chicken breasts.
  2. You can put the chicken in the freezer for 15-30 minutes before cutting to help firm up the chicken and make it easier to cut the pieces into consistent size.
  3. Cut the chicken into strips about 1/4-inch-thick or thinner. Cut chicken chunks down into 1/4 inch square pieces (can be done before OR after cooking).
  4. Marinate or season the chicken as you wish. Refrigerate the chicken for two hours to overnight.
  5. Cook the chicken as you wish until the internal temperature reaches 165°F/75°C. Pressure cooking yields the best results.
  6. Blot the chicken with a paper towel until the chicken is completely dry. Place the chicken on trays. Do not allow the pieces of chicken to touch each other.
  7. Preheat your dehydrator at a temperature of 160°F/70°C (30 minutes should do it). Load up the trays when the dehydrator is preheated.
  8. Monitor the chicken every 30 minutes. Turn and flip the chicken strips or cubes occasionally. Dehydrated chicken should be dry, not flaky or brittle.
  9. Allow the chicken to cool completely. Store and package the chicken in an airtight container.
  10. Consume your unrefrigerated dehydrated chicken within two weeks of the drying process to make sure the chicken is free of bacteria.
  11. Refrigerate or freeze the dehydrated chicken to extend the storage life.


Notes on Cooking Chicken

  • Many have found that the canned chicken in the grocery store successfully rehydrates exactly like it was initially. Taste and texture on rehydration is perfect for chicken. Just remember to buy the low-fat canned chicken. Simply drain liquid from can. If there is any fat adhering to the chicken, rinse away under hot water. Pull chunks apart into smaller pieces and spread out on dehydrator tray.
  • Pressure canned chicken is also a good candidate for dehydration.
  • An appliance, such as an Instant Pot Pressure cooker, also yields good results for preparing dehydrated chicken.
  • Steamed chicken is the next best bet for cooking chicken. It has excellent flavor and less fat than canned chicken. The fat drips off the bird during steaming and the meat does not dry out as much, leaving tender breasts.
  • Least optimal: boiling or oven-cooking chicken. These two options give poor results when preparing chicken for dehydrating as they do not rehydrate as well.

To Rehydrate Chicken for Meals

  • Empty meat into a pot or heat-proof bowl and add enough boiling water so that it just skims the surface of the food. Allow the chicken to soak for a good 20-30 minutes, adding a bit of water here and there so that the meat is always absorbing water.
  • If your meal has plenty of liquid and is going to cook for 30 minutes or longer, you can add your chicken into the pot without rehydrating. Simply throw your chicken into your pot with the other ingredients.

©2017 21st Century Simple Living www.21stcenturysimpleliving.com

2 thoughts on “How to Dehydrate Chicken Safely

  1. Katie says:

    I feel “dumb” because I posted a comment on trying to get articles printed, and I have figured out how to print this article without the links bleeding through. please disregard my previous comment…Before sending the comment, I THOUGHT I had tried everything..:-( sorry!!!!!

    1. Admin says:

      I did not receive any other comments Katie. Glad you figured it out though 🙂

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