The beef jerky business is one of the most popular businesses today. There is a huge demand for these products and they don’t require a lot of investment to start out either.
However, there are several things that you should make sure of before you get started on your own beef jerky business.
This post will talk about the equipment required to start a beef jerky business.
The following is a list of the essential and equipment required to start a beef jerky business and also a few extras that make production much easier.
Many of the items are self explanatory and can be picked up at your local Officeworks or Target, however, we will go into more detail about specific items unique to the business.
Storage & Distribution
- Storage Tubs
- Postage Satchels
- Address Labels
Selecting a Dehydrator
A dehydrator is one of the most important pieces of equipment you will need for making beef jerky.
There are plenty of different styles of dehydrator on the market, and all of them will work just fine especially when starting out. The biggest factors to consider is:
- How much jerky do you need to make
- How quickly do you want to make it
The biggest factor when choosing a dehydrator is the available surface area, basically how many trays and the size of each tray. The more surface area means the more jerky you will be able to produce in one batch.
Small units are fine to get you started, and the good thing is you can keep buying more units as you grow.
Eventually it will make more sense to purchase one larger unit as it will be easier to manage.
Types of jerky dehydrators
Dehydrators are quite common and arent specifically used just for jerky. They are used for drying a range of products such as fruit and vegetables. The most common style are:
- Round stackable dehydrators
- Horizontal sliding tray setups
- Large commercial units
Personally, I would recommend the horizontal tray setups as the fan is positioned in the rear of the unit and the airflow passes over the top of the trays and circulates better. There is also less requirement to rotate your trays to get even drying compared to the round stackable units.
Where to buy a dehydrator?
Dehydrators are pretty common at most leading department stores, however they will be the round units – like already mentioned, these units will be fine for starting out.
Both stackable and horizontal units can be purchased online from eBay or Amazon and relatively cheap prices
10 Tray Jerky dehydrator online expect to spend around $200
Round stackable Jerky dehydrator can be purchased for $70
Slicing meat using simply a knife is fine if your batches are small, but once you start producing larger amounts, you will want to use a meat slicer or some sort.
A meat slicer not only saves time, but also ensures your slices of meat are of equal thickness, which will intern make the drying process more precise.
There are 2 main types of meat slicer to consider
- Single Blade meat slicer
- Blade Cartridge meat slicer
Single Blade Electric Meat Slicers
You have probably seen the single blade sliders advertised. They are quite cheap (circa $60) and available online and in many department stores. They are fine for starting out and ok to slice small portions of meat.
Hot tip: Slightly freeze the meat first to make it more manageable to slice
- Easily purchased
- Small in size
- Slow slicing
- Pain to clean
- Uneven slices
Electric Meat slicer can be purchased for $50
Commercial Multi Blade Meat Slicers
These are the go-to if you really want to step up production. Often used in restaurants for thinly slicing pork, chicken and beef, they often have multiple sets of blades at different gaps which allow you to slice your meat portions to the perfect thickness (6mm).
These units come in a variety of sizes and in recent years smaller benchtop units have become available at affordable prices.
- Highly efficient
- Even thickness of slices
- Some can be hard to clean
- Some can be quite large
Commerical Meat slicers can be purchased for $250