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Thread: Storing Beef Jerky long term -

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
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    Louisiana
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    Default Storing Beef Jerky long term -

    I've been experimenting with a new Jerky maker and I've discovered that homemade jerky is pretty damn good. Anyway, I'd like to know if any of you out there know of a way to store beef jerky for extended amounts of time?

    Most things that I've read online regarding storage only mentions that its shelf life is about 2 to 3 weeks in an airtight container (ex. mason jar). There's got to be a way to stockpile this longer eh? IMO, This would be a great resource of meat and protein if SHTF. We all plan to have a garden of some sort, but meat may be harder to come by. Having a container full of jerky could last you for months.

    Any thoughts?
    Thx,
    Chopper.
    Today we did what we had to do.They counted on America to be passive.They counted wrong. Reagan 1986

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
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    Oceanside CA
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    Default

    I too was wondering about storing Jerky so i Googled it.
    Heres what I found.

    Jerky Storage Tips and Guidelines

    Jerky is renowned for its longevity and durability. After all, the flavorful, low calorie dried meat is the ideal hunting and fishing snack because it keeps for a long time and can be transported without special storage considerations. Maximizing that longevity is a quick and easy process that can be achieved by following a few simple jerky storage guidelines:

    1) When storing commercially vacuum-packed jerky, do so in a cool, dry area. An environment that is free from excessive heat, light and moisture will prevent the healthy snack from aging before its time.

    2) For homemade jerky, refrigerate those quantities which will not be consumed within two weeks. If you do not plan to consume the jerky for an even more extended period of time, freezing is the best option.

    3) Keep the jerky in smaller, individual serving size packages when freezing. Doing so will allow the jerky to retain all of its terrific flavor and texture. You can freeze jerky for up to six months.

    4) Store jerky in plastic bags with locking, re-sealable tops. For further protection, wrap the plastic bag in aluminum foil.

    5) Air tight jars are ideal when storing jerky at room temperature. Be careful not to place jerky that is still warm in the jars before it is given an opportunity to adequately cool. Failing to do this can lead to the buildup of sweat on the inside of the container and could foster the growth of mold down the line. Keep in mind that when cooking jerky at home, allow for a freshness duration of no more than two months, especially if the jerky is prepared from wild game meat. Of course, commercially-packed air dried foods can last for much longer, sometimes as much as one or two years. Refer to the manufacturer’s label for specific information about the jerky you purchase.

    Hope it helps!

    Call Me Snake

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
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    Louisiana
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    Default

    Thanks Snake. I think I read the same article. Unfortunately thier only way to elongate the time stored is to refriderate it. Post SHTF, you can't count on electricity of any kind. I was wondering if anybody in the forum tried sealed containers with O2 removers. Kinda like rice and wheat storage. Some way...any way to get a few months to a year would be great. Thx.
    Today we did what we had to do.They counted on America to be passive.They counted wrong. Reagan 1986

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    Location
    Detroit, Michigan
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    Talking

    Have been making my own jerky for several months now, usually about 70-80 pieces at a time on this cool little dehydrator (link) from Cabelas.

    Jerky should be cured at a minimum of 155 degrees to retard any bacterial growth, but much higher temps do not necessarily yield a better product. 155-160 degrees seems to be the ideal temp for me, with each batch taking about six hours to dry.

    Storage is easy for me since I use my FoodSaver vacuum sealer. Make sure to lay your jerky out on paper towels and pat it dry as it cools to room temperature to help soak up any residual fat or condensation that might remain. I use a couple of different methods for storage - for short term, I use the square FoodSaver marinating dish, which allows me to suck the air back out between servings.

    For longer term storage, I divide jerky into 20-piece portions and place into Ziplock freezer bags. Then, as an added measure, each Ziplock bag is vacuum sealed within another heavy-duty Foodsaver bag. These are then placed into a 5-gallon bucket for long term storage. Been doing it this way for months with no problems, and it seems to keep quite well. Even will all the extra packaging, I can pack several THOUSAND pieces into a bucket. That's a LOT of jerky !

    Why 20 pieces to a package ? I figure if SHTF I will have plenty of jerky for the family in reasonable portions which could also be bartered or traded if need be. Twenty pieces seemed about right for me and momma - your mileage may vary.

    Hope this is helpful.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Location
    Mississippi
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    Good question about Long Term storage of Jerky.

    I am also curious if anyone has used O2 tablets in any jerky storage.
    anyone have any input for O2 being used ?

    OUR experience----
    our 1st batch of jerky molded after a few weeks in closed canisters!! what a bummer!
    all was vacuum sealed

    Father n law did the process using oven. We do not have a dehydrator.

    the 2 things done mentioned that we did NOT do are:
    1) the jerky was put in the fridge immediately after cooling for about 14 days before the vacuum sealed process.
    2) No patting of the jerky while cooling down.

    Thanks for any input or suggestions in advance!

  6. #6
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    I freeze mine in the freezer in a ziplock bag, I try to get all of the air out of the bag first. Since its homemade there are not perservatives so it can go rancid quicker at regular temps. You may want to try a vacume sealer, o2 eater a try.
    Freezer works well for me, I have saved it up to 6 months. It also thaws fast, its so thin that 3-5 minutes out of the freezer does the trick enough to be ok to eat- when its in you mouth it on thaws the rest of the way instantly, but I slice mine ultra thin.
    ΜΟΛΩΝ ΛΑΒΕ

  7. #7

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    Smoking will prolong but that is slightly different.

  8. #8
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    Mar 2009
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    Arkansas
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    Thanks CitizenPatriot for your idea, I'll try it out.
    My family has been doing the jerky thing since I was a little tyke, and my dad used to just throw it in a crock, cover it with salt, more jerky, more salt, more jerky, etc....
    It lasted a long time, at least until it was eaten up...maybe a year at the longest.

  9. #9
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    You have to make sure you use meat that doesn't have any marbling in it...Round Steak or London Broil works great. The fat in the meat is what makes it go rancid. Unfortunately I've never found a way to store it longer than a month without the refrigeration.

  10. #10
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    Dec 2009
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    South Arkansas
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    I use ground round and jerky cure/seasoning and a jerky gun.Cabelas has all this as does Atwoods Farm & Ranch(OK,AR,TX,MS)It's easier to eat if you have tooth or mouth problems.I vacuum seal,haven't had any go bad yet,just make sure to do the pat excess oil during cooling,I also put a weight on it to help w/excess oil as it dries.If you use wild meat,it needs to frozen for a few weeks before jerky it-not sure why,I've heard that for years.Mine doesn't last very long,only do couple pounds at a time,but a cousin had some vacuum sealed unrefrigerated almost a year and was still good.

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