Today, we are going to learn how to dehydrate chicken. It's much simpler to use pre-cooked, pre-sliced chicken breast, either sliced fresh at the Deli counter, or from meats sold in tubs. However, I do cover how to dehydrate left-over chicken too!
I used my favorite sandwich meat in a tub: yeah, I
sometimes don't have time to stand in line at the deli! And here's one great reason to use pre-sliced: they're always uniformly sliced!
Shown on the dehydrator trays (at the top of the page) are slices of pre-cooked sliced Chicken Breast by Hillshire Farms.
The package filled four of my Nesco Dehydrator trays (see below), with five slices on each tray, and it only took TWO hours to become fully dehydrated!
When dehydrating chicken, don't forget to use cooked meats left over from your Sunday roast chicken dinner. Make sure you evenly slice the pieces and make them of a uniform size; that way they will dehydrate uniformly—i.e. at the same rate of time.
REMEMBER to turn the heat UP to 160°F
never dehydrate meat on a lower setting,
that's not safe (germ-wise).
REMEMBER to turn
the heat UP to 160°F
never dehydrate meat
on a lower setting,
that's not safe
What's the ideal temperature for dehydrating cooked chicken?
Pre-cooked chicken is best dehydrated at 160°F as mentioned above—but please consult your food dehydrator's owner's manual for their specific instructions.
Can you use a regular oven to dehydrate chicken?
You can use a regular oven to dehydrate chicken, but it will take longer than using a convection oven. Read more below.
To dehydrate chicken in a regular oven, start by preheating the oven to the lowest setting. Then, place the chicken on a wire rack and set it inside the oven. Leave the door open slightly to allow air to circulate. Check on the chicken every few hours, and remove it from the oven when it is dehydrated to your desired level.
Keep in mind that it will take longer to dehydrate chicken in a regular oven, so you'll need to be patient. And please remember this: We are NOT dehydrating RAW chicken. We only dehydrate cooked chicken.
As you can see in the photo above, you can see just how crispy the chicken was after dehydrating! I then purposely draped a slice of the rehydrated chicken around my finger so you could see that it was indeed moist again.
I also made a small amount of chicken stock (from my favorite Better Than Bouillon) and wow, what a difference that made to the taste of the re-hydrated chicken! Make a note of that! :-)
IMPORTANT: Re-hydrate in the refrigerator in CLEAN water or chicken stock. Don't leave it out on the countertop! Don't let the chicken go 'off'!
Cooked chicken breast can be rehydrated after it has been dehydrated. Rehydrating chicken breast is a quick and easy way to add moist, flavorful chicken to your dishes.
To rehydrate chicken breast, simply soak it in water for about 30 minutes. Then, use the chicken as you would normally use it. The rehydration process will add moisture and flavor to the chicken, making it more tender and juicy. So, if you're looking for a quick and easy way to add flavor to your dishes, you must rehydrate the chicken breast in stock.
"I do a lot of dehydrating for long hiking trips, and have found that the canned chicken (that looks like canned tuna) in the supermarket (yes sounds gross) is the only chicken I've been able to dehydrate that re-hydrates exactly like it was prior. Taste and texture on re-hydration is perfect for chicken, just remember to buy the low fat canned chicken."
Hi Sarah! That's really great to know! I actually have used the 'canned chicken' in soups and chicken salad! :-) And yes, the low-fat stops rancidity when storing "long term". Thanks so much for posting!
I also have this reminder on all the 'meat' pages: We only dehydrate cooked meats. It is not safe to dehydrate raw meat at low temperatures. If you want to make beef jerky, please check out our Podcast called Dehydrating Meat + Beef Jerky Recipe!
This morning I had Robert S. write in to ask if it's OK to dehydrate cooked pork.
I also thanked him for bringing it to my attention that I hadn't listed PORK (the other white meat!) alongside the chicken, turkey, and beef! I have now, and here is how to dehydrate pork.
Susan Gast began Easy Food Dehydrating in December 2010. Read Susan's story of what sparked her interest in all things related to "food dehydrating."
Susan is featured on Mother Earth News blog, and on Solo Build It (SBI) who host this site along with her sister site, Finally-Keto. Read her first SBI interview, and her second SBI interview. Susan also runs an additional SBI website: SusanGast.com - Non-Fiction Author - and showcases many of the books she's created and marketed over the years.
Since 1980, Susan's involvement in publishing - in one form or another - led her to create a "review site" of products related to the publishing industry. Visit ePubTechReviews today.
Do you want to send Susan a quick message? Visit her contact page here. She'd love to hear from you!