Parksider is right on with how the dehydrators typically work.
For temp and length of time in the oven, 170 to 200 degrees is as low as most ovens go, so as low of a temp in there as you can reach. Then, you want to hit an internal temp of 160 on snack sticks which will probably be several hours in the oven, really just depends on what size of snack sticks you’re making. Really small sticks may be 2-3 hours, or larger sticks could be 4-6 hours. Just throw in a thermometer probe, and when it hits 160, take them out and start cooling.
Pepper snack sticks
I’m doing pepper sticks this weekend. 30# of deer, 7# pork trim and 3# of cheese. While looking up the ratio for seasoning to cure I seen about adding sure gel, and carrot fiber. I’ve made many kinds of bologna over the years from homemade to out of a package full of seasoning. I’ve never used sure gel or carrot fiber. Is this required to make sticks, and if I dont use them do I still mix water into the meat?
Sure Gel and carrot fiber are used to help with water retention and getting the consistency in the end product. You will still need water if you don’t use them to help with mixing and stuffing. When using water without Sure Gel or Carrot Fiber I just add until it feels right and everything looks like all of your seasoning is mixed. . If you add too much it will increase the cooking time. I recently used carrot fiber on sticks and summer sausage (with ECA) and it is amazing. No taste and just the right amount to stuff nicely and, good taste and mouth feel.
TylerW. what steffenwiest says is 100% accurate. My recommendation to you would be to use one of those if you are going to stick with 30 lb of deer and 7 lb of pork trimming as you are going to be a little light on fat. I’d say 7 lb of trimming would cover you for 18 lb of deer but 30 is starting to get pretty lean. If you had time I would actually recommend using Cold Phosphate as that would increase the water holding capacity of the meat and I have had really good results using that, and carrot fiber together.
TylerW. One last thing! If you don’t mind spending a few more dollars on a binder then Super Bind is excellent as it gives you potato starch, which gels at the same temp as meat starts to expel water and carrot fiber which holds 26 times its weight in water.
Also, I really am enjoying seeing people answering each other’s questions and helping each other out!