Sunday, August 26, 2012

Home Made Chicken Jerky and Sweet Potato Dog Treats

After reading post after post and all the ongoing articles on the dangers of these treats that are manufactured in China, I decided to write a brief post on making these delicious for our pets.

It is exceedingly easy to make these treats at home and it is cheaper.  There are two methods that you can employ; first, a dehydrator (which can be purchased relatively inexpensively); second, conventional oven.  I will explain both methods.

Food Dehydrator:
What you will need:

  • Raw sweet potato/yams
  • Thinly sliced chicken
Wash and dry the meat and sweet potato.  You won't need to worry about spices or flavoring since this is for dog treats.  To save yourself some time and to keep the slices uniform use a mandolin slicer to slice the sweet potatoes 1/4" thick.  Then slice the chicken and cut into manageable pieces. Once the trays for the dehydrator are filled just plug it in and wait.  About 12 hours for many machines but times vary depending on your machine.  

Conventional Oven:
What you will need:

  • Sweet Potato/Yams
  • Ripe bananas
  • Thinly sliced chicken or turkey
  • Cookie sheets
  • Parchment paper 
Preheat oven to 250 degrees.  Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper.  Slice yams and bananas 1/4" thick.  Place the slices in rows on the cookie sheets and bake at 250 degrees for 3-4 hours for "chewy" treats and 5-6 hours for crunchy.  Turn the pieces about halfway through cooking time. 
For the chicken or turkey cut them into thin 1/4 in slices, ( baste in olive oil to prevent sticking to cookie sheets) place the slices evenly on the cookie sheet.  Bake in the oven for 3-4 hours.

The treats will keep for about 2 weeks in the refrigerator so keep this in mind when preparing. They also freeze well for long term storage.