How to Dehydrate Turkey
Using Pre-Cooked, Pre-Sliced Deli Turkey Breast!

How to Dehydrate Turkey
Using Pre-Cooked,
Pre-Sliced Deli Turkey Breast!



I'm so glad you're here to learn how to dehydrate turkey - safely.

Pre-cooked deli-sliced turkey - dehydrated on a Nesco food dehydrator

Dehydrating Turkey is So EASY to Do!

Dehydrating turkey that is pre-cooked and pre-sliced makes it an easy task.

In the image above, I used a 9 oz. plastic tub of sliced Turkey I'd bought from Target Stores and managed to fit five slices of turkey, per tray. I also recommend Walmart and Publix brands for their sliced turkey, too!

TOP Frequently Asked Questions:

Dehydrate turkey jerky? (Love the rhyming, LOL)

Here is a tasty recipe for homemade turkey jerky that you can easily dehydrate:

Ingredients:

  • 2 lbs turkey breast cutlets, sliced into 1⁄4 strips
  • 1⁄2 cup soy sauce
  • 1⁄4 cup brown sugar
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 tbsp smoked paprika
  • 1 tsp onion powder
  • 1⁄2 tsp black pepper

Instructions:

  1. Combine soy sauce, brown sugar, garlic, paprika, onion powder, and black pepper in a bowl. Mix well.
  2. Add turkey strips to the marinade, and mix until evenly coated. Cover and refrigerate for 2-4 hours.
  3. Drain turkey and discard leftover marinade. Arrange strips close together on dehydrator racks.
  4. Dehydrate turkey at 155°F for 5-7 hours until darkened and the texture is stiff but still pliable.
  5. Blot oil then let cool completely before storing. Keeps for up to 2 weeks sealed at room temperature.

You now have healthier, customized turkey jerky packed with protein using your own flavors. Adjust spicing to taste - cayenne and red pepper flakes add heat!

Dehydrated turkey necks for dogs?

Yes, here's how to dehydrate turkey necks to create long-lasting chewy treats for dogs. Turkey necks provide protein, minerals, and glucosamine that support your dog's health. Here are some turkey neck tips:

  • Ensure turkey necks are fresh, raw, and thoroughly cleaned. Slice into chunks if the whole neck is too large (and usually is for the spacing between dehydrator trays).
  • Pat your turkey pieces quite dry before dehydrating. Arrange in a single layer on trays.
  • Dehydrate at 160°F, flipping occasionally, for 8-15 hours until turkey chunks are rock hard and brittle.

Fully dried turkey necks will have shrunk considerably in size. To test, the jerky should not bend but snap when attempting to tear it apart.

Allow the turkey neck treats to cool completely before giving them to your dog. Store any extras in an airtight container like a Mason jar for up to 2 months.

Because dried turkey necks remain a natural shape IF left whole, always keep an eye on your dog while consuming to prevent choking.

For safety, dehydrate turkey parts into very hard, shelf-stable jerky texture. Adding broth or water restores some moisture for easier chewing if your dog struggles with the texture.

These 'before' and 'after' photos (below) are my sliced turkey on the dehydrator. Notice how much they shrink when they are fully dried!

Pre-cooked deli sliced turkey, before and after dehydrating

Cut Evenly Sized-Pieces of Turkey

As with the chicken and roast beef pages, I suggest you use your leftover meats (as in whole chicken and turkey, and cuts of beef).

Just cut the meat into "dehydratable" pieces—make the pieces similar sizes—so they will dry out uniformly!

That's important because you want them to dry at the same rate of time. You don't want to be storing "half-dried" meats - they ALL need to be fully dried evenly.

How to Dehydrate Turkey:
Ideal Temperature for Dehydrating Cooked Turkey

1. Arrange your pre-cooked, pre-sliced turkey slices on your dehydrator trays.

2. Don't overlap the slices.

3. Dehydrate on the HIGHER temperature of 160°F until "done" - about two hours.

Rotate your trays for even drying. Yep, I know that's not in the "owner manual" but I do it anyway.

The turkey, when fully dry, will feel quite crisp. Store in food vacuum-sealer bags with a 100cc oxygen absorber added before drawing out the air.

How to Dehydrate Turkey Using a Regular Oven

To dehydrate turkey in a regular oven, begin by preheating your oven to the lowest setting. Place your turkey on a wire rack and set it inside the oven. Leave the door open slightly to allow air to circulate. Prop the oven door open by using the handle of a wooden spoon!

Check on the turkey every few hours, and take it out of the oven when it is dehydrated to your desired level.

Keep in mind that it will take longer to dehydrate turkey in a regular oven, so you'll need to be patient. And please remember this: We are NOT dehydrating RAW turkey... we are dehydrating cooked turkey.

Cooked turkey is best dehydrated at 160°F as mentioned above—but please consult your food dehydrator's owner's manual for their specific instructions.

The package from Target filled all four of my Nesco Dehydrator trays, and I couldn't believe that it only took TWO hours to become fully dehydrated!

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
(germ-wise).


Turkey Slices Re-hydrate Really Well!

Pre-cooked turkey after dehydrating and rehydrating!

In the photo above, I purposely draped a slice of the re-hydrated turkey around my finger so you could see that it was indeed moist again, i.e. not sticking out straight and crispy!

IMPORTANT: Rehydrate your dried turkey slices in the refrigerator in CLEAN water. You can also use chicken stock to rehydrate your turkey (chicken and turkey aren't "that much" different in taste, right?) I love stock from Better Than Bouillon. Read about this super stock here.

Don't leave your turkey out on the countertop! Don't waste your time and effort and let the turkey go 'off'!

Pre-cooked, sliced turkey vacuum-packed with an oxygen absorber

In the photo, you can clearly see three packages of pre-cooked turkey, all vacuum-sealed with their oxygen absorber packs and ready to store.

I check on these monthly, to make sure they haven't 'turned'... because there is fat in meat and we don't want to be eating rancid bad turkey!

UPDATE: Turkey is still 'perfectly good' after one month with no refrigeration! :-)

Easy, No-Fuss Thanksgiving (or any day) Turkey!

I can't wait until next November or December for turkey!

Here's an easy, no-fuss turkey recipe.

It's from a place called Tastes Better from Scratch.

Then you'll be back on this page, learning how to dehydrate turkey leftovers! :-)

Turkey Risotto Memories

One of my favorite "turkey" memories is eating mom's Turkey Risotto. She made it every year back in the UK at Christmas time.

After moving to the USA, I got to enjoy my favorite turkey meal twice a year. Yes! Now Thanksgiving is another reason for going the extra mile for a sit-down turkey dinner.

Instead of using rice every time in the risotto recipe, I changed it up and added orzo. Adding orzo also shortened the cooking time of rice by half!

Mom's Tasty Turkey Risotto

Turkey Risotto with broccoliwith added broccoli!

Mom's Turkey Risotto Recipe is simple:

  • a can of diced tomatoes
  • a small can of peas
  • half a white onion
  • handful of mushrooms
  • cup of chicken (or turkey) stock

She added Italian herbs, too. And cooked, sliced-up turkey, of course!

Cook it all down in a large shallow frying pan with a tad of chicken stock. Then add the rice, bring to a boil, and simmer for 30 mins or until the rice is cooked. Again, if you substitute orzo for the rice, you've only got about 15 mins of added cooking time!

Believe it or not, I preferred the Risotto to the 'turkey, mash, and gravy' sit-down dinner.

Mom passed away in 2021, and I miss her dearly. I dedicate this recipe to her and I hope you and your family get to enjoy it as much as we all did!

Don't forget Chicken, Pork, Beef, and Seafood!

I want to say thanks for stopping by to learn how to dehydrate turkey! If you have any questions, feel free to drop me an email here.

If you wish to learn how to dehydrate chicken, simply visit this Chicken page. To learn how to dehydrate pork, visit this Pork page. And let's not forget beef, which you can learn more about beef here.

If you've got a hankering for learning how to dehydrate seafood, read more about seafood here.