How To Store Homemade Beef Jerky? (complete guide for best storage)

Depending on your preferences, homemade beef jerky can be preserved for a shorter or longer period of time, but in any case, the preparation of the jerky must be done correctly.


If you follow the procedures below, you will be able to preserve the flavor and freshness of your valuable jerky for as long as possible.


And this leads us to the question: how to store homemade beef jerky? After doing the research, here’s what I discovered…


Best Method: Refrigeration is the key to the successful storage of homemade beef jerky. After the seal has been broken, the beef jerky must be stored in a cool environment in order to keep its consistency, flavor, and freshness. To maintain the quality of your jerky for up to a week longer, store it in a zip lock bag, remove all of the air from the bag, and then place the bag in the refrigerator.


After conducting more investigation, I discovered new information that is important for you to be aware of; thus, I ask you to kindly continue reading…



What Is Jerky Made of Beef?

Good question… time for a history lesson! Jerky is a form of preserved meat that is made from lean beef that has been sliced into strips, then dried (dehydrated) to keep it from going rancid…


In most cases, salt is added during this drying process in order to inhibit the formation of bacteria before the meat has completed the process of dehydrating.


The Quechua term charqui, from which our english word “jerky” is derived, refers to that has been dried and salted. To make “jerky,” all that is required is a drying procedure that uses a low temperature and salt to prevent the formation of bacteria in the finished product.


To make modern, factory-made jerky, the meat is frequently marinated, prepared with a seasoned spice rub or liquid, or smoked at a low temperature (typically below 70 °C/160 °F).


Brown sugar and other types of sweeteners are frequently used in commercially produced jerky. Jerky is completely ready to eat, does not require any extra preparation, and may be kept without refrigeration for months at a time.


In the finished cured product, there needs to be the right amount of protein in relation to the amount of moisture for it to have the longest possible shelf life.


Instead of the more conventional method of slicing entire muscles, many goods that are offered under the jerky umbrella are made using highly processed beef that has been diced and molded.


These products could have a higher fat content, but their moisture level, much like that of the whole-muscle product, has to fulfill a ratio of 0.75 to 1 between protein and moisture in the United States.


It is possible for chemical preservatives to prevent oxidative spoiling, but the moisture-to-protein ratio, which results in low water activity, is what prevents microbiological deterioration.


In contrast to biltong, which very rarely has any added sugars, certain types of jerky include a significant amount of sugar and, as a result, have an extremely sweet flavor.



How to Determine whether the Beef Jerky You Bought Is Still Good?

FYI: It is not always simple to determine whether or not beef jerky is still fit for human consumption…


Beef jerky, in contrast to conventional cooked meat, which begins to smell rancid if it is not consumed within a reasonable amount of time, does not always display obvious indications of decomposition.


It is possible that the beef jerky has gone bad if the color of it has changed, if it has become darker, or if it has become tougher. Beef jerky that has gone bad may, in certain instances, have a faint odor to it.


Always be sure to check the expiration date on the packaging, regardless of whether you bought the beef jerky in-store or online.


In most cases, the date of expiration may be seen printed on the bottom seal of the bag. Bear in mind, however, that just because the date that the beef jerky should have been consumed by has passed does not always indicate that it should not be consumed.


The date labeled “best-by” simply denotes the point in time when the jerky is at its peak of freshness. In addition to this, you need to inspect the packaging of the jerky for any rips or tears.


If you do discover any, this may be a sign that the jerky has gone bad because moisture has made its way into the bag.



Why does some jerky require refrigeration after opening?

Jerky manufacturers are now able to produce a form of jerky that has a higher moisture content because to the development of contemporary food packaging, notably vacuum sealing, nitrogen flushing, and oxygen absorber technology.


Because the atmosphere within the container is oxygen-free, any possible problems that may arise as a result of increased water activity may be avoided.


This, however, changes once the container has been opened and the contents have been exposed to the air outside…


Because of the amount of moisture that is present at this time, it has to be chilled in the refrigerator. The good news is that any package that has to be refrigerated will have a clear label on it.


If the container of jerky does not have any instructions regarding the need for refrigeration, then the jerky does not need to be kept at a cold temperature and can instead be kept at room temperature.


Keeping Beef Jerky in Mason Jars as a Storage Medium (how to do it)

The use of mason jars is an effective method for preserving a wide range of foods, including pickles, jams, jellies, and grains. However, it is not the best condition for making beef jerky.


It is not easy to get rid of all of the oxygen that is contained in a mason jar. It is possible for the jerky to lose its flavor and freshness as a result of the air that is present in the area around it.

Serving beef jerky out of mason jars is an original and entertaining way to do it. When it comes to keeping beef jerky, plastic bags and other containers that can remove more oxygen from the air are your best bet.


Freeze Your Beef Jerky… (how to do it correctly)

It is highly recommended that you freeze your beef jerky if you are not intending to consume it straight away. If beef jerky is frozen correctly, its shelf life can be prolonged to between seven and twelve months.


FYI: Vacuum-sealed products can be stored in the freezer without any further preparation….


To prevent freezer burn, any opened bags or bags that have become filled with air should be placed inside of an airtight container. For your convenience in the future, make sure to date and label your jerky.


How to Get the Most Out of Your Beef Jerky’s Shelf Life?

We’ve all been there: rummaging through the cupboard when we’re starving in search of a snack that would satiate our desire for something salty, flavorful, and tasty.


You are astounded when you find a bag of jerky that has been partly consumed and has been hidden in the back, and you get ecstatic almost immediately.


The feeling of happiness, on the other hand, doesn’t last long as you discover that the possible food you have is as hard as a rock and is developing creatures that are hairy.

When it comes to preserving beef jerky, there are a few easy tactics that can help you get the most out of your jerky – and prevent you from the same disappointment the next time you’re looking for a snack. While nothing in life lasts forever, these tips will help you get the most out of your jerky.


Related Question:

1. How long does beef jerky that you make at home keep in the refrigerator?


On the other hand, if you make homemade beef jerky and then store it in an airtight container once it has been created, it should last for one to two months. The shelf life of beef jerky is approximately one week when kept in a Ziplock bag and placed in a pantry. In addition, you may anticipate a shelf life of one to two weeks for your beef jerky if you keep it in the refrigerator.


2. Can you freeze beef jerky that you’ve produced at home?


If you want to keep beef jerky for longer than a year, you may put it in the freezer. This is a good alternative. Be sure to only freeze beef jerky that has been allowed to reach room temperature and store it in an airtight container that has been insulated. When you are ready to thaw and eat the beef jerky, this will ensure that it has retained the maximum amount of taste and freshness possible.


3. How can I prevent the beef jerky from going rancid?


Mold development will be inhibited to the greatest extent possible if oxygen exposure is kept to a minimum. If you’ve already opened a bag of jerky and want to minimize mold growth while still keeping it as fresh as possible, we suggest storing it in an airtight bag. It is not necessary for it to be faultless, but the air in it should be reduced as much as possible.


4. Why doesn’t beef jerky need to be refrigerated?


The key is to let yourself become somewhat dehydrated. The meat loses its moisture while it is cooked and then dried out in the process. Because of this, beef jerky is not only lightweight but also nutrition-packed and stable over time. When a product is said to be shelf-stable, it indicates that it does not need to be refrigerated and that it may be securely maintained at room temperature in a container that has been sealed.



Final Thoughts

So, what did we learn today in class?


The secret to storing homemade beef jerky well is to keep it refrigerated. The beef jerky must be maintained in a cold area after the seal has been broken in order to maintain its consistency, taste, and freshness.


Store your jerky in a zip lock bag, remove all of the air from the bag, and set it in the refrigerator for up to a week to retain its quality…


In addition, because to advancements in modern food packaging, such as vacuum sealing, nitrogen flushing, and oxygen absorber technology, jerky makers may now produce a type of jerky with a greater moisture content.


Because the container’s environment is devoid of oxygen, any issues that may occur as a result of increased water activity may be avoided. Enjoy the rest of your day, always stay safe, and treat others with kindness & respect!

How To Store Homemade Beef Jerky? (complete guide for best storage)