Dehydrating beef jerky in a food dehydrator set at 145 degrees normally takes between eight and 10 hours. Factors that can increase drying time include thickness of the meat and humidity in the room. Overloading the dehydrator can also add to the drying time.
Dehydrators may vary a bit in total time required, but eight to 10 hours is standard. One method to check the jerky is the bending test. If the jerky bends but does not break, it is properly dehydrated. Beef jerky can also be dehydrated in a conventional oven. Jerky will keep for up to two weeks in a sealed container kept at room temperature; for long term storage, freezing is recommended.