I am getting mixed advice on preparing venison jerky at home. Some people/sites advise to cook venison to internal 160 degrees in oven prior to dehydrating to kill any potential bacteria that may be present. Please advise who does/does not cook prior to dehyrating

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    If you were paranoid, before you started doing the thin slicing, you could sear all of the outer surfaces, then trim them off (to be used for something else), then thinly slice it. It'd help to mitigate surface contamination, but wouldn't necessarily deal with every possible type of contamination. – Joe Aug 6 '15 at 20:40

Jerky does not need to be pre-cooked, in fact the process of making jerky probably predates the invention of cooking.

The process of salting and drying (and additionally adding sugar, acid, and/or smoke) inherently kills or inhibits growth of bacteria and mold. As long as your meat is cut thin, evenly salted, and well dried you do not need to pre-cook it.

Since the meat is thin, cooking it beforehand will just result in overcooked, stringy meat. If you are using the oven method or a food dehydrator with a heating element the meat will end up cooked.

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    thank you for replying...used both convection oven & dehydrator...1/2 & 1/2...both turned out great other than I think I overcooked it slightly but flavour was great.... – Snshyne Aug 7 '15 at 16:36

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