Common sense tips for storing Jerky

Jerky was created for long term storage. By removing the moisture from meat, you create the ultimate portable food that, in theory, requires no special treatment to maintain its taste and nutritional benefits. That said, it was not meant to last forever and moisture and other contaminants can render jerky inedible if proper conditions are not met. Taking jerky our for the day trip is fine, but to maximize the long term storage of jerky, you will want to adhere to the following jerky storage guidelines:

  • Keep your jerky in a cool, dry place to reduce the possibility of moisture ruining your jerky.
  • Constant temperature is your friend, temperature fluctuations may induce chemical changes in your jerky that may contribute off flavors and hasten its demise.
  • If you do not intend to eat your jerky within a few weeks, a refrigerator is the best place for it. Keep the jerky in a sealed plastic bag away to keep it from getting moist. If you are looking for long term storage, keep the jerky in your freezer where it may keep for a year or more.
  • Be sure to use air tight containers for storing jerky. Plastic bags work, so do jars with air tight lids. Be sure that your jerky is fully cooled before storing as residual steam can condense and provide the moisture microorganisms need to spoil your jerky.
  • Try to keep the least possible amount of air in the storage container. Gasses, moisture, and contaminants in air can contribute off flavors to jerky over time and may accelerate spoilage.
  • Date and label your packages, especially if you make a lot of jerky. This will help you know which jerky has been around the longest and should be eaten first.

Check your jerky periodically for mold, especially if you are storing your jerky outside of a freezer. You never know what can happen and it is better to be safe than sorry.