I have read the question here but that question doesn't help me, since the options available in that situation, are not applicable in this situation (see "Limiting factors").


I love to make jerky with my dehydrator. The instructions for making jerky with any type of meat specify to dab off excess oil from the meat several times during the drying process.

The problem is that there can be a lot of excess oil on the meat, especially with fattier meats like beef. If I use paper towels to collect the oil, then I will soak at least 5 of them every time I dab off the drying meat.

Limiting factors

  • I must collect the excess oil during the drying process, and several times.

  • The meat must stay in the dehydrator during the drying process with the exception of being removed for a few minutes at a time for this de-oiling process.

  • There is no way to make the meat de-oil itself in the dehydrator. It is in an enclosed environment (as it must be for the dehydrator to work), and the meat is on racks with plenty of space for oil to drip off.

  • There is so much oil!

Possible solutions

  • A dishrag?

For some reason, I thought it was bad to wash things with lots of grease in the washing machine. Is that true?

I'm not sure if one dishrag would be enough for a batch of jerky, since there is so much oil. If I needed to use two or more rags per batch, it wouldn't be worth it to me.

  • Paper bags?

I've heard someone mention this, but they used it to place under their food to catch grease. I'm not sure the material is pliable enough for me to use it to dab the jerky.

1 Answer 1


I probably do it all wrong or completely unprofessionally, but here it is: I use microfiber cloths (silk before microfiber became available), so they don't leave any filaments or lint on the food. Then I rinse my microfiber cloths in an ice cream bucket full of hot, soapy water with Dawn antibacterial dish soap (the kind they use to take oil off of animals), then rinse the cloths with purified water. I dump the used dishwater and rinsewater in my grey water cistern, or I water my lawn with it once it's cooled off. That way I have no contamination of the meat or cheese, but I'm not wasting a pile of resources, either. It has always worked well for me, so I don't see any problems for anyone else using the method.

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