Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Homemade Turkey Jerky Treats For Dogs

So look what I made..... the ultimate dog treat!  Now you can make it too with this recipe!

There is a product out there that dogs love. I mean they really really love it. But who can afford it at 8 pieces for $10?  And do you know how much salt these people put in this treat!

 I called Blue Wilderness and asked them how much salt they put in their turkey jerky treats. The answer was astonishing. Each 1 ounce piece of their turkey jerky has over 350 mg of salt!  But why?  Dogs do not need that much salt in their diet.  Because salt is a mold inhibitor and all manufacturers use it. Loads of it....unhealthy loads of it!  If only I knew then what I know now.  That was bad news and like all the other foods and treats out there it becomes near impossible to find anything healthy.  

Go to plan B: make my own. I read the ingredients on the bag of Blue Wilderness. I am pretty good at creating my own recipes so I set out on this adventure to make Katie a copycat recipe of Blue Wilderness Turkey Jerky minus the salt.

No more paying $10 a bag for 8 chips. This big pile of healthy turkey jerky ended up costing me about $6 for and I got over 50 pieces from one pack of turkey tenderloins! 

The Verdict:

So I let the jerky continue to bake on very low heat until they got dry and crispy. Cooper was so excited he actually stood in front of the oven door and looked through the glass while they were baking. When I opened the oven door to check on them one last time, he had his head almost in the oven checking with me. I had to push him back! Finally, after a few hours of drying them in the oven on low heat they were done. And they came out perfect. 

What a healthy snack for your dogs....get the salt out of your fur baby's diet. We are killing our dogs with all the salt they put in commercial foods. Treat them to some real turkey jerky you made yourself!   So here is how I made these healthy treats.  I promise they will love them! 

Homemade Turkey Jerky Treats 

2 lbs. turkey tenderloins, fillets or boneless skinless turkey breast
1/2 cup molasses

Preheat oven to 200 degrees.  Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or aluminum foil.  Place a rack over the baking sheet that has also been sprayed with non-stick spray.  I use my cooling rack that I cool cookies on. You want to keep your turkey off the bottom of the pan so air can circulate beneath it.

Remove any visible fat off of the turkey. Using a sharp knife, slice partially frozen meat into very even, long, thin slices, about an 1/8th to ¼ inch thick slices. Slice the meat with the grain and that will make it chewier and less tough. Try to make all slices the same size and thickness.

Arrange your strips on your rack, making sure they are not touching and that air can circulate all around them.  Brush each strip lightly with molasses and place them in the oven. Half way through the cooking time, flip the strips over and brush again lightly with more molasses. I brushed mine a few more times during the cooking process.

These turkey strips will take anywhere from 6 to 8 hours to fully dry depending on your oven and how thinly you cut the turkey strips. Start checking it once every hour after about 4 hours to see if it has dried completely. If the meat bends and seems spongy then it is not dried enough. Always opt for longer cooking times rather than under cooking the jerky strips.

You can also cut a strip open if you’re not sure to examine the inside. You should see no moisture at all, and it should be the same color throughout. If it’s not finished, put it back in for another hour. Once it gets close, check every half hour.  Once completely dry, cool them and cut them with scissors and serve!

NOTE:  Because these jerky treats contain no chemical preservatives, you’ll need to store them in the refrigerator or freezer. If you put them in brown paper bags and put them in the refrigerator they will stay dryer and can be stored for up to 3 weeks.  You can freeze them for 8 months in the freezer.

NOTE:  Baking times will vary due to difference in ovens, temperatures and meat size. Your jerky treats should be firm and dry, not at all soft or spongy. It is safer to go a little extra dry and firm than for the meat to be underdone.
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