There are several methods recommended by USDA (US Department of Agriculture) and curing with salt is NOT the best one, so you can totally go without it and have a SAFER result than curing and not do the treatments recommended in the following articles.
Please see here:
And also here:
For the sake of being sure to have understood everything properly, I emailed one of the author of the first article.
Here's my original email:
I read the guide at
many thanks for it.
I am writing you to kindly ask for a clarification, though.
I am trying to realize if marinading and post-processing in the oven
are both necessary step or if by using the oven I may skip the
marinating step. I would love to be able to make safe jerky without
seasoning because of the added salt.
So by using lean meat, that is kept very well refrigerated until
dehydrated; dehydrating it at 155F, and then putting it in the oven at
275F for ten (or more) minutes would be safe enough without any
Thank you VERY much for your kind assistance.
Here's the reply.
Marinating is not required; it is used only to add flavor to the meat.
What you have suggested, without marination, would be fine to do.
That is based on research, not on opinions.
One more article, from USDA itself.
A quote from it:
What research findings exist on the safety of jerky? "Effects of Preparation Methods on the Microbiological Safety of Home-Dried Meat
Jerky" was published in the Journal of Food Protection, Vol. 67, No.
10, 2004, Pages 2337-2341. The authors are from the University of
Georgia (Brian A. Nummer, Judy A. Harrison, and Elizabeth L. Andress,
Department of Foods and Nutrition, and Mark A. Harrison, Department of
Food Science and Technology) and from Colorado State University
(Patricia Kendall, Department of Food Science and Human Nutrition and
John N. Sofos, Department of Animal Sciences ).
Marinating meat doesn't make raw meat safe. "Marination alone did not
result in significant reduction of the pathogen compared with whole
beef slices that were not marinated," concluded the study.