How Long Does Jerky Last? Tips on Extending Shelf Life
Handcrafted jerky typically lasts on the shelf for a few months, but with proper storage and quality ingredients, that shelf life can easily extend to almost a year. Read on to discover exactly how long jerky lasts and some tips on extending the shelf life of your favorite snack.
Typical Shelf Life of Jerky
Jerky is prepared through a drying process that dehydrates the meat. Many cultures actually used this technique to preserve perishable meat before the invention of refrigerators. Flash-forward to today, and this beloved snack continues to boast a long shelf life.
Artisan (or small-batch) jerky such as ours can stay fresh for around one year. However, eating your jerky within two months of purchase is best, as it allows you to experience the most flavor and the best texture. If your jerky changes color, especially by turning darker, or if the texture becomes unusually harder, your snack has most likely spoiled.
Tip #1: Use the Best Storage
Storing your jerky properly ensures that it stays fresh and safe to eat for many months. Find a dark, dry environment to stash your meat, preferably on a high surface; this prevents any moisture from ruining your jerky due to leaks and flooding.
Limiting sunlight exposure is essential, as this can make meat spoil extremely quickly. Lastly, always keep your jerky sealed in a tight bag or container, especially after opening the original packaging. If you don’t plan on eating the meat anytime soon, don’t open the original bag.
Tip #2: Freeze for Longer Periods
If you plan to keep large amounts of jerky fresh for six or more months, consider freezing it to ensure it’s fresh and safe to eat later. Keeping the meat frozen in a sealed bag will prevent bacteria from forming, making your jerky unperishable. However, this method does lessen the flavor and texture quality of your jerky, os it’s impractical for short-term storage.
Tip #3: Buy Quality Jerky
Mass-produced, commercial jerky typically lasts longer than handcrafted products. Small-batch items are best enjoyed within two months of purchase. However, artisan jerky made from quality ingredients retains its flavor and texture over a longer period than big brands. For instance, we use fresh spices and ethically sourced animals to produce a snack that will taste delicious the day it arrives at your front door—or a month after that!
Ultimately, storing your handcrafted jerky in a protected environment will extend its shelf life and ensure that it stays fresh for many months. You can buy jerky online here at Lee’s Market Jerky and discover the many benefits of buying artisan products!