How To Make Beef Jerky Last For Years

If you’ve ever been hiking or camping, you will see beef jerky for sale at gas stations or convenience stores. But what exactly is beef jerky? It is a cured meat, usually dried you get from lean cuts of beef. They immerse the meat in a mixture of spices and then dry, often using a dehydrator or oven. The resulting product is a fibrous, and a somewhat sturdy strip of meat that packs a lot of flavors.

However, even though the snack is tasty and last longer, it also has an expiry date like many other foods. But you can make it last longer.

How To Make Beef Jerky Last For YearsHow Long Does It Last?

The span that this snack lasts is a frequently asked question, and the answer may surprise you. According to the USDA, you can store beef jerky indefinitely. That’s right; beef jerky will never go bad if properly stored.

Also Read: How Much Beef Jerky Is Too Much?

How Long Does This Snack Last After Opening

How long does beef jerky last after opening? It is a question that many people ask, especially those who are fans of this delicious snack. The answer, unfortunately, is not always straightforward. Beef Jerky is dry meat that they preserve, and as such, it has a very long shelf life. However, opening the packet: you expose the beef jerky to air, and the clock starts ticking. How long the beef jerky will last depends on a number of factors, including preparation, packaging, and storage.

Preparing the snack using traditional methods makes it last for months or even years after opening, only if they store it properly. They make this type of Beef Jerky by marinating strips of beef in a mixture of spices and then smoking or drying them. The marinade and spices help protect the meat from spoilage, and the smoking or drying process removes moisture, which further inhibits the growth of bacteria. When you store it in a container that is impermeable and then put it in a cool and dry place, traditional beef jerky can last many months without deteriorating.

Beef jerky that they mass-produce using modern methods generally has a shorter lasting time. They make this type of Beef Jerky by cooking the meat in a high-temperature oven, which can cause it to dry out and become tough. It is then packaged in a vacuum-sealed bag or other airtight container and stored at a cool temperature. While this method of preparation extends the shelf life of the healthy snack, it does not make it indefinite. Once the package is opened and it is exposed to air, it will start to dry out and lose its flavor. Mass-produced beef jerky can last for several months after opening if it is stored properly, but it will not last as long as traditional beef jerky.

The shelf life of this snack also depends on the type of meat that is used. Beef that has been grass-fed and processed without the use of antibiotics or hormones will generally have a shorter shelf life than beef that has been grain-fed and processed with the use of antibiotics or hormones. Grass-fed beef is leaner and has less fat, which makes it more susceptible to spoilage. Grain-fed beef is fattier and has more marbling, which helps to protect it from spoilage.

When it comes to storage, the key is to keep it in an airtight container in a cool, dry place. The fridge is generally too humid for the snack, so it is best to store it in the pantry or cupboard. If you live in a warm climate, you may want to store the beef jerky in the fridge to prevent it from drying out.

ALSO READ: How To Get More Flavor In Beef Jerky

How To Make Beef Jerky Last For YearsTips On How To Make Beef Jerky Last For Years

So you’ve finally found the perfect recipe for the snack. Now you just need to know how to store it so that it lasts for years. The following tips will help you keep your snack fresh and delicious for years:

  • Use an airtight container: You need to store it in an airtight container in order to stay fresh. A mason jar or a vacuum-sealed bag will work well. 
  • Keep it in a cool, dry place: It can spoil if you expose it to too much heat or humidity. Store your jerky in a pantry, cupboard, or other cool, dry area. 
  • Check the expiration date: Most commercial beef jerky products have an expiration date of 1-2 years. If you’re not sure when you made your batch of jerky, it’s best to err on the side of caution and assume that it will only last for a year. 
  • Trim The Fat: If you love this snack you should be concerned about the fat content. Fat spoils fast and it would consequently spoil the snack. Trimming the fat is a great way to reduce it. Here’s how to do it:

1. Start with a well-trimmed piece of beef. This will make trimming the fat much easier.

2. Cut away any visible pieces of fat. trim as close to the meat as possible without cutting into the meat itself.

3. Use a sharp knife to remove any remaining bits of fat. Trim off any excess fat until it is lean, and trim beef jerky.

  • This is a delicious and healthy snack, but it’s important to trim the fat to avoid consuming too much. With a little time and effort, you can enjoy a delicious, lean healthy snack that’s full of flavor and low in fat.
  • Inspect the jerky before eating: Even if you’ve stored it correctly, it’s always good to inspect it before eating. If the meat looks discolored or there is any mold growing on it, toss it out. 

With proper storage, the snack can last for years. Just be sure to use an airtight container and keep it in a cool, dry place. Inspect the meat before eating it, and if there are any signs of spoilage, throw it away.

Also Read: How To Make Beef Jerky On A Traeger


Beef Jerky can last for a really long time; however, it is dependent on how good you store it. If you follow the tips above, your favorite snack will last for years without any issue.

Also Read: How To Eat Shredded Beef Jerky

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