This article is from the Food Preserving FAQ, by Eric Decker firstname.lastname@example.org with numerous contributions by others.
[ The response from Vicky Shaw is on jerky. It is specific to the NW
of the US. That includes the adjacent southern portions of British
Columbia. While it is specific to jerky this information should aid
with dehydration in general in areas that have high humidity and or rain.
Thank you Vicky - ED ]
Here is a cut and paste of info sheet SP 50-819 Revised October 16, 1997
New Venison Jerky Procedure
Home-prepared venison jerky was recently identified as the cause of a
foodborne illness outbreak in Oregon. The small electric dehydrator that
was used hadn't reached a high enough temperature to kill the harmful
bacteria E. coil O157:H7 bacteria can grow in the intestines of deer
and contaminate meat during handling. To kill these !bacteria, jerky
must be heated to 160øF. while it is still moist. Because most home
dehydrators aren't designed to reach this temperature, the jerky must
be heated in another way to guarantee safety. This can be done by
precooking. Precooking in marinade shortens the drying time and makes
a more tender jerky. Although the color and texture will be different
from conventional jerky, precooked jerky is still tasty.
Note: Research is needed to identify other safe jerky-making procedures.
To date, there is no safe procedure for the dry cure method. To precook
1. Freeze game meat before preparing so that it will be easier to dice.
2. Cut partially thawed meat into long slices that are no more than %
inch thick. For tender jerky, cut at a right angle to long muscles ("across
the grain"). Remove all the fat possible to prevent off-flavor.
3. Prepare 1-2 cups of marinade of your choice in a large sauce pan.
4. Bring the marinade to a full rolling boil over medium heal Add a few
meat strips, making sure that they are covered by marinade. Re-heat to a
full boil. Remove the pan from the range. Using tongs, immediately remove
meat from the hot marinade to prevent over-cooking. Repeat steps 4 and 5
until all meat has been precooked. Add more marinade if needed.
6. Place precooked strips in single non-overlapping layers on drying
We did try the method out with beef and it turned out really good. It
surprised me. I thought that it would not have the flavor of an overnight
soak but the cooking seemed to get the flavor into the meat real well.