Jerky of the Month Club – How to Preserve Your Jerky

April 20, 2024 0 Comments

Jerky of the Month Club – How to Preserve Your Jerky

Jerky can be stored for long periods of time without spoiling when refrigerated or vacuum sealed. Proper storage also helps to limit exposure to air and moisture which accelerates spoilage.

This makes jerky an ideal snack for hikers, backpackers and travelers and for people who want a reliable food option for emergency preparedness kits. Jerky also makes a great gift for any occasion.


For jerky to last long enough that it can be safely eaten, all the moisture must be removed. This process is often done in a dehydrator where temperatures and humidity can be controlled. This results in a finished product that can be stored at room temperature for months, even years.

jerky of the month club is traditionally made from lean strips of meat, usually beef or pork. This eliminates fat and reduces the number of disease-causing bacteria on the surface and inside the meat. It also means the jerky doesn’t need preservatives which can cause food-borne illness.

A properly prepared jerky with all the moisture eliminated can keep fresh for months at room temperature without spoiling, or even being affected by the presence of mold. Refrigeration, vacuum sealing or freezing are all good ways to extend this shelf life and ensure that your jerky stays as fresh and tasty as the day you opened it.


Jerky is non-perishable and will last for years without spoiling, but it will lose its freshness, flavor, and texture after a while. Commercial jerky packages include a best-by date that indicates the peak period of freshness. After that time, it can still be eaten safely, but will not taste as good.

If you do want to keep jerky for longer, it’s a good idea to freeze it. Freezing foods keeps them safe for long periods of time by slowing the movement of molecules and causing microorganisms to go into a dormant state.

When making homemade jerky, it’s important to follow strict food safety precautions when handling raw meat to prevent bacteria growth. The bacteria that commonly cause foodborne illnesses, like Salmonella and E. Coli, can be killed by boiling, steaming, or roasting the meat to a high temperature before dehydrating it. Once the meat has been treated to eliminate disease-causing organisms, freezing it is a safe way to preserve it for a longer period of time.

Vacuum Sealing

The simplest way to preserve homemade jerky is to vacuum seal it in an airtight bag. This method significantly slows down the degradation process by creating an almost airless environment. When vacuum sealed, jerky can last up to 6 months in the pantry or a year in the fridge.

Store bought jerky can also be preserved using this method, although most store-bought jerky bags will indicate that it should be eaten within 3-5 days after opening. If the jerky starts to develop mold or has a foul odor, it is likely spoiled and should not be consumed.

An oxygen absorber packet is often included in jerky packages to help prevent microorganisms from growing inside the package. Many people get these confused with desiccants, which buffer moisture levels, but oxygen absorbers remove oxygen from a package. When packaged in the proper container, oxygen absorption can exceed 90%. This prevents bacteria and other microorganisms from forming and killing the jerky.

Room Temperature

Jerky has a shelf life of up to 6 months, and since it is dehydrated it doesn’t spoil or get infested with bacteria like normal meats do. Keeping your jerky in a dark pantry with no fluctuating temperatures and no exposure to direct sunlight will extend its lifespan even further.

The key factor in determining the shelf life of jerky is moisture, and the less of it the better. Moisture promotes mold growth and aids in microbial action that ultimately leads to food spoilage.

The best way to ensure a long jerky shelf life is to keep it away from air, and most jerky packages will come with a resealable bag. If your package doesn’t, use a zip lock bag and suck out as much air as possible to remove all of the oxygen inside. This will prolong the shelf life of your jerky by up to a year! Keeping your jerky in a dry place will also make it last longer, and storing it in a fridge can even double that time.

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