The Drying Rack is a pretty useful structure early on even though it only produces a limited range of food. Once built, you can attach a single piece of uncooked meat to the drying rack which will dry over the next couple of days (time depends on the size of the meat). Once dried, you'll have either regular, small, or monster Jerky.
Aside from monster jerky which hurts your health and sanity, regular and small jerky will give you a good amount of sanity and health to go along with fixing up your hunger. Small jerky provides 12.5 Hunger, 10 Sanity, and 8 Health while regular jerky provides 25 Hunger, 15 Sanity, and 20 Health. In addtion, Jerky takes 20 days to rot making it great for long trips.
The only downsides to this is that there are much better items for each of your stats that can be made with the Crock Pot (though they are MUCH harder to make) and it takes quite a while for the meat to dry. It can sometimes be impractical to make large quantities for long trips.