Dehydrator vs. Smoker

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Dehydrator vs. Smoker

Postby 21ducks » Thu Oct 26, 2006 12:56 pm


Just wondering which is better to use, a dehydrator or a smoker. I really like the taste of Beef, Elk, and Deer jerky, but have never tried duck, so I am wondering which method is preferred for taste.

If I can get them to taste like beef jerky, my wife willz even eat it. She is not really into it yet.

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Postby Fooniespucker » Thu Oct 26, 2006 2:47 pm

Man I've gone down this road before. Dehydrators are O.K. but they are not very versatile, and you can't play with taste as much as you can a good smoker.

For instance, I love to hunt Mule Deer, like everyone else after I take out the back straps and some good cuts off the hams, everything else become sausage or jerky.

If you use a dehydrator you can only define the taste by means of your brine. All the strips have to be sliced like a thick cut of bacon maybe a 1/4 inch. The dehydrator is great for banana chips, apple chips, etc.
So dehydrators are very limited to size, as well if you like your jerky with a carmelized exterior and a rich smokey flavor (mesquite, cherry, etc) than a smoker would be your ticket.

Smoker Advantages:
Alter taste by which chips you use
Alter type of smoking wet/dry
Size, smoke whole chickens or whole Salmon Filets
Make your own sausage and plenty of it
Dual-use as a BBQ

If you do end up going with a smoker, stay away from the electric smokers they sell at OSH etc. The heating element almost always rust up and end up shorting out after a year or two. And they are too small

I use a BBQ, which has a smoker unit attached to the side. You'll see em at OSH they look like a 2 chambered deal with a small drum leading to a larger drum that has a flue on it. These work real well since you can control the heat by manipulating the airflow. Just remember low and slow is the way to go. 8 hours for Salmon Filets and 6-8 hours for jerky and sausage.

Make sure to let the meat cool down, I double tupperware it and place it in the fridge for a couple of hours. I found out that single tupperware leaves the fridge smelling like the smoker, which I like..but my wife isn't too crazy about.

I posted a good brine recipe, for jerky just add alot different pepper spices for hot jerky. or add ginger and some extra fresh garlic for teriyaki.
I also like to take jerky strips and coat them in brown sugar for sweet jerky.

Best of Luck
Let'em work
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Joined: Wed Oct 25, 2006 6:50 pm
Location: Fremont, CA

Postby DMK » Thu Oct 26, 2006 6:56 pm

Have both and done both.
The smoker is prefered 10 to 1.
We have the Big chief smoker.
We can do two deboned goose breast in it.
Guys at work keep asking for more.
Time for them to pay up.
Going to do some venison sunday.
We also have converted frig for larger jobs.

Hanlontown, Iowa
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Joined: Wed Oct 11, 2006 6:21 pm

Postby doogie494 » Thu Oct 26, 2006 7:23 pm

ive never used a dehydrater so i can't comment on that. as far as the smoker i have one and i do a lot of business on it. people can't get enough.
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Joined: Wed Aug 09, 2006 3:33 pm
Location: Pittsford, VT

Postby ducks1411 » Thu Oct 26, 2006 8:37 pm

Smoker by far!
Active member of P.E.T.A.--People Eating Tasty Animals.
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Location: Minnesota

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