Beef jerky is the solution if you’re looking for a delectable, protein-rich snack. Protein content per serving of beef jerky is around 10 grams. Additionally, beef jerky is the ideal portable snack because it doesn’t require refrigeration.
Beef jerky doesn’t need to be refrigerated, but that doesn’t mean it keeps for ever. You should be aware of the beef jerky’s shelf life whether you buy it online or make it at home.
Read this article to find out how long beef jerky lasts and some storage advice.
How Long Does Homemade Dehydrated Beef Jerky Last?
Depending on a few factors like how it is made, what it is made of, and how it is stored, homemade jerky can last anywhere from a week to several years.
The shelf life of homemade jerky can vary greatly depending on how it was made. Always prepare ahead of time and make sure your marinade contains a curing agent, such as sodium nitrite or celery juice powder, to protect your food from bacteria and mold that can make you ill.
Don’t omit the curing agent because it can improve the flavor and texture of your jerky.
The kind of meat you use to make homemade jerky is a second factor to take into account. To extend the shelf life of your jerky, use lean meat. Leaner cuts of meat, such as top round, age much more slowly than fattier cuts like tenderloin and brisket.
Making the proper meat selection will increase the meat’s long-term safety.
How Can You Tell if Beef Jerky has Gone Bad?
Using your senses is the best way to determine if jerky has gone bad. Start by scanning for signs of deterioration like mold, fuzz, or green areas. If you notice any of these symptoms, discard the jerky. You can’t just remove the spoiled meat and eat the rest when meat spoils.
The next thing youll do is smell the jerky. Throw it out if it has a rancid or sour smell like rotten meat. One of the first signs that a meat product has gone bad is the smell.
There isn’t enough cracked black pepper in the world to cover up the stench of rotten meat once you’ve smelled it, and once you do, you’ll never forget it.
Finally, feel the jerky. If it feels wet or sticky, throw it out. Jerky should be hard and dry. Wet spots may be a sign that the meat has bacteria and mold growing on it. Dont take chances with wet, sticky jerky.
The Difference Between Spoiled and Old
Jerky that has been properly dried is non-perishable, which means it will keep for a long time but eventually lose its flavor, texture, color, and aroma.
Commercial jerky package labels include a best-by date. This usually occurs one year after the meat was placed in the package.
The secret to making your homemade jerky last for a very long time is to store the finished product carefully. We’ll examine some long-term and short-term options for jerky storage.
Although we also do it, storing jerky in a ziplock bag isn’t the most efficient method. When kept in a ziplock bag, it is only secure for about a week.
These bags don’t work well because air is trapped inside the bag, despite your best efforts to remove it. They also trap moisture, which is the enemy of jerky.
For this reason, commercial beef jerky packages contain those tiny moisture-absorbing packs.
Vacuum Bag or Containers
A better way to store jerky that you dont plan on eating in one week or less is to use a vacuum sealer. When you use a vacuum-sealed bag, you are removing nearly all of the air from around the jerky, which will ensure that it lasts longer. Jerky in a vacuum bag will last at least one month.
Purchasing vacuum storage containers is one way you can contribute to the reduction of plastic waste brought on by the use and production of plastic vacuum bags. These help preserve food, such as jerky, for about five weeks by removing air through the use of a vacuum pump.
The best way to keep jerky fresh for a very long time is to first place it in a vacuum storage bag or container before freezing it. The most important thing is to ensure that the jerky is dried out and that there is as little air as possible.
In an airtight container, jerky can be kept in the freezer for almost indefinitely. Jerky that we had stored in this manner for two years was still quite tasty.
First things first, the most important aspect of jerky storage is making sure that the moisture is eliminated. Your jerky should contain the least amount of moisture possible if you use the dehydrator, smoker, or oven properly.
Online retailers sell packets of oxygen absorbers that can be used to extend the shelf life of your jerky.
Never put warm jerky in the refrigerator or freezer. In fact, before storing your jerky at all, make sure it reaches room temperature. As the jerky cools, the excess moisture will evaporate.
In order to make our homemade jerky more tender, we occasionally put it in a sealed container while it is still hot. However, we rarely keep homemade jerky for longer than a week before eating it.
Eat or Vacuum Seal Your Jerky
The most important thing to keep in mind when storing jerky is that it all begins with how well you make the jerky and what materials you use to make it.
It’s best to aim to consume your jerky within a week unless you’re going to freeze it. Otherwise, invest in a vacuum sealer and freeze your jerky.
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Storage Food Review: Homemade Beef Jerky – 8 Year Update!
How long can you freeze homemade jerky?
Dehydrate meat until a test piece cracks but does not break when bent after first freezing the meat Jerky can be kept in the freezer for up to six months and for one to two months at room temperature.
Does homemade beef jerky go bad?
Beef jerky is non-perishable. Unlike perishable foods, which have an expiration date, jerky has a “best-by” date, which designates the window of time during which it is at its freshest. It begins to lose flavor, texture, and freshness after the best date has passed, which is typically one year after the date of production.
How long will homemade beef jerky last if vacuum-sealed?
Using a vacuum sealer is a better method for storing jerky that you don’t intend to consume within a week or less. The jerky will last longer if you use a vacuum-sealed bag because you are removing nearly all of the air from its surrounding area. Jerky will keep for at least a month in a vacuum bag.
How long will jerky last vacuum-sealed and frozen?
We advise freezing the vacuum seal bag of beef jerky if you want it to last even longer. Your beef jerky can last up to a year using this technique.