Monday, 11 November 2019
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{RECIPE} Coconut Spice Beef Jerky Dog Treats

Homemade coconut beef jerky dog treats

Mmmm....jerky! Of all the (many) treats we make, jerky is one of the easiest and healthiest, and our dogs absolutely love it.  There is absolutely no need to marinate (straight-up jerky is our go-to meaty dog treat), but variety is the spice of life!  This coconut beef jerky is one of our "What would Oli do?" creations, combining some of his favourite scents/flavours with the always irresistible base of beef for a doggone delicious jerky treat. 

Oli and Humphrey go wild whenever I'm baking homemade granola, loving the scent of toasting coconut and sweet subtle spices. I think they prefer this beef version over wholegrain oats, though! Haha! The boys love it so much that we've made several batches now, which is a rarity indeed in our experimental household. I love any treat that give old Oli the "crazy eyes" and have also been using this jerky as an extra high-value treat with our stroller (aka the jerky wagon).

Dalmatian dog staring at homemade coconut beef jerky dog treat

Coconut Spice Beef Jerky Dog Treats

You can adjust the volumes and/or amount of any ingredient to better suit your dog or personal preferences. If you don't have a dehydrator, you can place your meat on a wire rack over a lined baking tray and use the oven to replicate the function of a dehydrator noting that it is recommended to pre-heat meats to ~75C then dehydrate at ~60C (refer to the safety link below).

🥄 Treat Ingredients:

Lean beef (or other suitable meat of your preference)

1-2 tsp Ceylon cinnamon
1-2 tsp Ginger 
Sprinkle of ground black pepper 
1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
Optional: Scale to suit preferences. Use as is for a wet-rub, or dilute with water for a more liquid marinade.

Post-Marinating Addition:
1/4 cup fine desiccated coconut
Scale to suit preferences. 

Step-by-step how to make coconut beef jerky dog treats

🥄 Making the Treats: 

Marinating: Slice meat into thin strips or small pieces (see tips below), trimming off any excess fat if required. Place in a glass dish (or Ziploc bag, if you prefer).  Add the marinade ingredients, except for the coconut, and mix to ensure thoroughly coated.  Cover the container and place in the refrigerator to marinate (4 hour recommended minimum and no longer than 24 hours) mixing periodically to ensure all the pieces get a nice bath in the marinade.

Post Marinating:  Remove from refrigerator and drain excess marinade. Add coconut and rub to thoroughly combine. The wetness of the marinated meat will help it stick to the jerky slices. Once dehydrated, it will be dried onto the beef, but some of the coconut may loosen during handling. Not a biggie when using pocket bags, treat jars, etc. that are easy to shake out (our dogs suggest over their bowls...) and clean, but something to be aware of all the same. You can always skip the coconut, if you wish.

Dehydrating: Place pieces onto the dehydrator tray. Dehydrate according to your specific dehydrator's settings/instructions for dehydrating meat. The dehydration time will depend on your machine as well as how thick your particularly jerky pieces are, but I generally find mine take 4-6 hours. Allow to cool thoroughly before storage. Since homemade dog jerky doesn't use preservatives and isn't heavily salted like human jerky, it should be eaten within a few days of making or frozen (my preference) for longer storage. Dehydrated meat stores very well when frozen as it has already been stripped of moisture which mean that it isn't as vulnerable to freezer burn as typical frozen meat.

DIY dehydrated coconut beef jerky dog treats

Tips and Tricks:
  • There are a variety of jerky recipes on the blog, but a great starting point is the comprehensive post on making and storing homemade jerky and and other dehydrated dog treats. It will take you through the basics of dehydrating treats, different types of dehydrated treats, food safety, and storage tips.  
  • Leaner is better when it comes to making jerky.  You don't want fatty marbled meat: harder to dehydrate, less healthful, and a higher risk of going rancid.
  • For chewier pieces, slice the meat with the grain. For more tender jerky, slice against. Thicker strips will be chewier, but take longer to dehydrate thoroughly. If you find it difficult to slice your jerky meat, slicing from frozen may help. 
  • The easiest way to marinate jerky (or just about anything really...) is to toss everything into a Ziploc bag; however, if you're like us and trying to reduce your waste then a dish is a-ok!
  • For safety, start with a quality lean meat, practice safe food handling, and dehydrate with care using meat appropriate dehydrator settings or oven temperatures.  Although jerky is often kept at room temperature, we freeze and keep only small quantities in the treat jar or fridge to be on the safer side. You can read more about jerky safety via the FSIS.
  • Ceylon cinnamon ("real" cinnamon) is usually the recommended form of cinnamon for dogs, if used. In addition to being doggone delicious and fragrant, cinnamon offers some great health benefits to dogs (and people); however, it's not suitable for everyone. Pregnant/nursing dogs in particular should not be given cinnamon.
  • I often give our boys turmeric, in treats or as a straight-up sprinkle on food, and so I sometimes include a little pepper in treats (it improves absorption of the circuminoids in turmeric) even if not using turmeric since we like to mix-and-match a wide variety of treats.

🦴 Hungry for more tasty treats?  You can explore from our treat navigation page, hop straight into our homemade dog treat ideas in the blog archives, search the blog from our sidebar, or use the labels below this post to find other recipes that might be of interest. Remember, treats (bought or homemade) are for spoiling your pup in moderation. We share ideas here from treats that we make ourselves for our pets, but different animals will have different preferences (likes/dislikes) and dietary needs. Some pets may have special dietary requirements and/or food allergies/intolerances. If you are ever in doubt or have questions about what's suitable for your pet, have a chat with your trusted vet.

Dalmatian dog eating homemade coconut beef jerky dog treat

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