While it may seem easy and inexpensive to purchase commercial dog treats, there are benefits to making them at home. Oven-dried chicken jerky allows you to control what is in your dog treats -- simply meat, with no preservatives or fillers. And these healthy alternatives are surprisingly easy to make.
Grease the cookie sheet with baking spray and set it aside while you preheat the oven to 200 degrees.
Open the package of chicken breasts and pat the tops dry with a paper towel. Pull each chicken breast out and pat the bottom dry before placing them on a plastic cutting board.
Slice the chicken into long, thin strips -- no wider than a quarter-inch -- with the sharp knife, cutting with the grain of the meat to produce chewier jerky. Remove any fat and discard it.
Place the chicken strips on the greased cookie sheet, making sure none of them touch and there is space for air to circulate between each piece.
Place the tray in the oven and bake the strips. Check them at two hours, although it may take three to six hours to complete the drying process. Check the strips every hour -- the strips should bend but not break. If some strips dry quickly, pull them off the tray with a spatula and set them aside to cool.
Pull the cookie tray out of the oven with potholders, and place it on a wire rack to cool completely before breaking the jerky into smaller, bite-sized pieces (depending on the size of your dog) and storing them in an airtight container.
Items You Will Need
- Cookie sheet
- Baking spray
- Boneless chicken breasts
- Paper towel
- Plastic cutting board
- Sharp knife
- Pot holders
- Wire cooling rack
- Sprinkle spices such as garlic, rosemary or sage on the chicken strips before slicing for additional flavor.
- The oven may be propped open with a wooden spoon or small block of wood to increase air circulation.
- Many ovens do not have a setting lower than 200 degrees, although some recipes call for 180-degree settings.
- Some chicken jerky strips may require six to eight hours of drying, depending on the size and moisture content of the chicken.
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