So you’ve purchase a fill of beef jerky, eager to taste what a couple of of her friends have been talking about. And also it didn’t disappoint.

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But while girlfriend really chosen it, you’re not lot of a meat-eater. For this reason you expect it will take part time till you finish the package. Walk jerky walk bad?

Or perhaps you’ve stocked up on jerky ~ above a sale, and also now you’re wondering just how long will all of that meat last. And since a few of the packages were only a month or 2 from the day on the label, you’re thinking about freezing them, but you’re not certain if it’s a good idea.

If you’re only beginning out your journey through jerky, it’s probably ideal if you learn a point or two about its storage, shelf life, and also going bad. Or whether or not freezing it renders sense. If that’s what you’re looking for, this article is for you.

Beef jerky package

How to save Jerky

Jerky is skinny meat that’s to be dried to prolong its shelf life. While beef jerky is the most renowned variety, the meat might be anything native beef come turkey.

The drying procedure usually includes salting the meat to attract out moisture and preserve the product. And lack of water and also a relatively high level of salt mean the meat doesn’t spoil that easily. Nevertheless, save on computer jerky isn’t as straightforward as maintaining the parcel in the pantry until you complete it.

Let’s start with store-bought jerky. The package typically is one of two people vacuum-sealed or nitrogen-flushed (like a bag the snack chips). Either way, there’s very small to no oxygen in the container, so the jerky is quite safe indigenous spoilage. As lengthy as the fill is unopened, you can keep that in a dark and cool place, favor the pantry or a kitchen cabinet.

Beef jerky closeup
Once you open it, things gain a bit much more interesting. Very first of all, if it’s not a resealable bag, you need to transfer the jerky to one, or in an airtight container. No matter where you put the meat, it should be protected from the external world and not have accessibility to fresh air.

Some producer add an ext preservatives to their jerky, and if that’s the case, girlfriend can proceed to keep the bag or container at room temperature because that a week or two. Others, mainly those who use tiny to no preservatives (besides salt, of course), often inform top top the brand that you need to refrigerate their jerky upon opening.

In short, always inspect the label to make sure if you can leave the in the pantry. Of course, the jerky will certainly retain freshness and last a bit longer if girlfriend refrigerate it.

When it involves homemade jerky, just how you keep it depends on how you packaged it. If girlfriend vacuum-sealed the or supplied an oxygen absorber, save on computer the jerky in the pantry is perfect okay. But if you’ve just put it in one airtight container ~ preparing, it will last only about a mainly in the pantry, therefore going for the fridge ideal away is more than likely a better choice.

Jerky package sealed with a clip

Can You freeze Jerky?

Freezing jerky slightly changes the taste of the dehydrated meat, for this reason some specialists don’t introduce it. At the finish of the day, it every a issue of personal preference, so you won’t understand for certain until you test it the end for yourself.

When it concerns store-bought jerky that’s unopened, don’t freeze it uneven you really have to. The usually has actually quite a lengthy shelf life, and even if you open up it near the day on the label or contempt past, it have to be perfect fine.

But if you’ve opened up the package, or it’s homemade jerky that’s no vacuum sealed, freeze is the means to walk to prolong its shelf life.

When freezing jerky, like with freeze pretty much any type of food, you require to protect the meat from the low temperature. To do that, you have the right to use a freezer bag, one airtight container, or double-wrap the meat with aluminum foil.

Going through a resealable freezer bag seems to be the best technique because it’s environment-friendly and takes the least an are in the freezer. Generally, freezer bags room super useful if freezer room comes in ~ a premium in your household.

Thaw the meat in the refrigerator overnight.

Beef jerky in hand

How long Does Jerky Last

Commercially-packaged jerky keeps fresh around 12 months. A package typically comes through a best-by date, and that’s a great starting point. As long as you store the parcel unopened, the meat have to stay in optimal quality for part time previous that date, maybe a month or two. Or longer, if it’s loaded with preservatives.

Once you open the package, its shelf life depends on the variety of preservatives added. But if you’re searching for a safe estimate, 1 to 2 mainly in the pantry and also 3 to 4 mainly in the fridge seem reasonable.

When it comes to homemade jerky, that all depends on even if it is you vacuum-seal the package or not. If so, you deserve to expect the meat to last around 1 to 2 months in the pantry and also even much more in the fridge. If not, 1 come 2 weeks at room temperature and around a month in the fridge space realistic estimates.

Store-bought jerky (unopened)Best-be + 1 month
Store-bought jerky (opened)1 – 2 weeks1 month
Homemade jerky (vacuum-sealed)1 – 2 months4+ months
Homemade jerky (opened)1 – 2 weeks1 month

Please keep in mind the periods over are approximates only.

Beef jerky date on label

How come Tell If Jerky has Gone Bad

If friend didn’t keep jerky properly, and moisture gained inside the bag, sooner or later on there will be some furry things growing or dark specs ~ above the surface. If that’s the case, discard the snack. Very same thing if it has end up being super hard or developed an turn off smell.

Color and/or texture alters indicate the the high quality of the meat is degrading rather fast. But these aren’t necessarily indicators of spoilage. It’s pretty lot up come you to decide if the jerky is great enough come eat or not. And also when in doubt, throw it out.

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Same if you already store the dehydrated meat for means longer 보다 you should have.