Beef jerky is a healthy and handy snack that you can munch on at any point in time. It is rich in protein and has a long shelf life, making it a great buy in stores. And we simply can’t overlook the fact that beef jerky is a tasty protein source that stays fresh and edible for a long period of time. Unfortunately, if you don’t know how to store beef jerky, you may not enjoy its full benefits.
Furthermore, despite the variety of beef jerky flavors and textures available, one thing remains unchanged—nobody wants stale jerky that’s lost its flavor and freshness. So, knowing how to store beef jerky and how long it lasts is very important, especially if you intend to buy it in bulk.
Does Beef Jerky Spoil?
If not properly stored, beef jerky may go rancid. However, beef jerky does not have a short shelf life like some dairy products and other perishable food items.
Why Does Beef Jerky Last So Long?
Its processing! Beef jerky lasts as long as it does due to the dehydration process, and store-bought jerky lasts even longer because it is protected from both moisture (via drying) and oxygen (via packing in an airtight container).
What Factors Affect the Shelf Life of Beef Jerky?
There are two key factors that may impact the shelf life of beef jerky: moisture and oxygen.
Water is good, just not for beef jerky. Beef jerky thrives mainly on the dehydration that occurs during its drying process. So, while the absence of moisture promotes a long shelf life, exposing your beef jerky to moisture may significantly shorten its shelf life.
Beef jerky packaged in a sealed container can last for about a year because it is not exposed to the atmosphere and so does not receive oxygen. However, once the can is opened, the journey to spoilage begins because of the exposure to oxygen and atmospheric moisture.
How to Store Beef Jerky for a Longer Shelf Life
Storing beef jerky to make it last longer isn’t rocket science. Here’s how to do it.
As a rule of thumb in beef jerky storage and preservation, the drier the better. Exposing your jerky to moisture increases the risk of mold growth and aids microbial action on it, which eventually causes it to go bad. Your jerky is sure to last longer when stored in a dry place rather than a moist environment.
Avoid Direct Sunlight.
Yes, we said to avoid moisture and also said the drier the better. However, this is not to say you should spread your beef jerky in direct sunlight. On the contrary, exposing your jerky to direct sunlight may actually speed up its degradation process, causing it to spoil quicker.
Love the Dark Pantry
Keeping your beef jerky in your dark pantry is not just you being carefree; it’s actually good for your jerky as long as you’re keeping it in a moisture-free zone. Unopened beef jerky is best stored in a dark storeroom at a steady normal room temperature. A dark place without temperature fluctuations or the direct impact of sunlight will hinder microbial growth and action—just what you want to keep your jerky fresh.
Maintain a Steady Temperature
Subjecting your beef jerky to an environment in which it freezes and thaws repeatedly is an invitation to halve its shelf life. Instead, keep it cool, not cold or hot. Avoid both extremes.
Freeze Only When Absolutely Necessary.
We’ve all done it—held onto the notion that whatever food item you’ve opened and would like to preserve belongs in the freezer or refrigerator. But, it’s not a right notion. It is, in fact, a particularly wrong one when it comes to beef jerky. You’re not advised to freeze your beef jerky as freezing may affect its taste, texture, and nutrition.
Buy Quality Beef Jerky from Credible Companies.
Don’t risk buying beef jerky from someone whose processing technique you know nothing about. Rather, buy from a reputable beef jerky company like Holy Jerky that has supplied numerous individuals and has been a reliable brand for many years.
Frequently Asked Questions
Is Beef Jerky Good for Survival?
Yes. If you’re considering packing some beef jerky into your survival kit, you’re on the right path. Beef jerky is a healthy, protein-rich snack that can last indefinitely if stored properly. What more do you want from a survival snack?
Does Homemade Beef Jerky Last as Long as Store-Bought Beef Jerky?
Generally, no. Store-bought beef jerky usually lasts longer than its homemade counterparts because of their detailed processing and packaging techniques.
How Long Does Homemade Beef Jerky Last?
Depending on how it is stored, homemade beef jerky may last anywhere from 1 to 2 months.
How Long Does Beef Jerky Last After it is Opened?
An opened beef jerky packet, if properly sealed and stored, may last up to a week. However, most brands recommend that the beef jerky be consumed within three days of opening the pack.
Beef jerky is a great go-to snack that is both nutritional and tasty. And knowing how to store beef jerky goes a long way in determining how you’ll enjoy it. To enjoy your beef jerky for longer:
Buy from the best
Do not expose it to moisture.
Avoid direct sunlight.
Freeze only if necessary.
Keep it in an airtight container, preferably in its original packaging.