Jerky Facts

Is Beef Jerky Cooked? Everything You Need to Know

If you've ever wondered if beef jerky is fully cooked, the simple answer is yes. Beef jerky is not a raw product and is typically cooked in an oven, dehydrator, or smoker.

In order to dehydrate beef jerky and remove all the moisture from it, raw meat is sliced, marinated, laid on racks, then slow cooked for hours at a low temperature. No matter what kind of flavors, styles or textures are created from this, the process remains the same. 

As jerky purveyors from a family legacy of over 90+ years, we're here to share the process of creating this high protein snack and to reassure everyone that it is in fact a fully cooked product. 

To shop our full collection of beef jerky products, take a look on our blog! 

What is Jerky?

Jerky is a nutrient-dense, dehydrated meat snack that has been around for centuries. By removing the moisture from the meat, beef jerky is a shelf stable snack and can last a while without spoiling. 

Slabs of raw meat on a rack ready to be cooked.

Additionally, almost any type of meat can be dehydrated into this dried texture including pork jerky, chicken jerky, turkey jerky, bacon jerky and so on. Most products are first marinated in a mixture of seasoning and liquid ingredients and then slowly cooked. 

To learn more about beef jerky, check out our article where you'll find everything you need to know. 

Is Jerky Cooked or Raw? 

Jerky is a fully cooked product and is never raw. During the dehydration process, most of the moisture is taken out of the jerky which allows it to have a long shelf life. There are also multiple ways to dry meat. Some of the common methods include using a smoker, oven, or a dehydrator. 

Here at People's Choice Beef Jerky, we use large industrial size ovens to cook our jerky products. Low and slow is the name of the game when it comes to deliciously tender beef jerky. No matter the vessel of how jerky is cooked (smoker, dehydrator or oven) the process is the same. 

Brian standing in front of our industrial ovens in production.

Cooking ensures that the meat reaches a safe and acceptable temperature where all pathogens and bacteria are killed. Typically, when the internal temperature of the meat hits a minimum of 160°F, the jerky is full cooked and safe to consume. 

Bottom Line

Beef jerky or any dehydrated food product is fully cooked when slow cooked at a low temperature for hours at at time. 

To learn how to make beef jerky in a dehydrator reference our blog post.