How to store homemade beef jerky?

In the brief guide, we are going to answer the question ‘How to store homemade beef jerky’ with a detailed analysis of what are the methods to keep in mind when preparing it.

How to store homemade beef jerky?

Mold growth will be limited if oxygen exposure is kept to a minimum. If you’ve opened a pack of jerky and want to keep it fresh and avoid mold, store it in an airtight container. It doesn’t need to be flawless, but the less air there is, the better.

What are the best ways to keep homemade jerky fresh?

Method 1

The jerky’s packaging

Allow the jerky to air dry at room temperature

Allow for several hours of cooling time after making your own jerky to ensure it is completely dry. If the jerky has grease on it, blot it with paper towels. 

When you remove the moisture and fat from the jerky, it lasts longer in the freezer. If you’re storing store-bought jerky, you can skip the chilling step and just store it at room temperature.

Place the jerky in an airtight container to keep it fresh.

Place the jerky in an airtight bag or a glass container to keep it fresh. Choose a container that’s about the same size as the amount of jerky you’ll be storing.

If there is too much oxygen in the air, the jerky will spoil faster. Glass storage containers are also excellent at preventing odors from contaminating your jerky.

To extend the shelf life of your jerky, include oxygen absorbers in the bag or jar. 

Food-grade oxygen absorbers are available at some grocery stores and online. To lengthen the jerky’s shelf life, put one or two of them in each bag or container. Then push the air out of the bag and seal it, or cover your storage container with the lid. 

The oxygen absorber absorbs the oxygen, preventing bacteria growth on the jerky.

 For the longest-lasting jerky, vacuum seal the box. Although oxygen absorbers can remove a significant amount of oxygen from a bag, a vacuum sealing machine can remove nearly all of it. 

Place the jerky in the bags that came with your machine and close the lid. 

Turn it on so that the machine suckers all of the oxygen out of the room and shrinks the bag around the jerky. 

Consider vacuum-sealing containers with varying amounts of jerky so you can grab some for snacks and save the rest for later. If you’re going to mail jerky, vacuum seal it beforehand. This assures that when the recipient receives it, it will be in good shape.

Label your jerky container or bag. 

Write down what kind of jerky is inside the container, as well as the date it was packaged. When you’re ready to utilize the jerky, look at the date on the packaging. 

Remember to rotate the containers and utilize the oldest jerky before opening the fresher jerky if you produce jerky all year.

Method 2

Storing or Chilling the Jerky

The jerky can be stored at room temperature for up to two months

You should be able to properly store the jerky in your pantry or cabinet for up to 2 months if you eliminate all of the moisture when making it. If moisture appears in the bag after a few days, dry the jerky again to extend its shelf life.

If you keep store bought jerky at room temperature and don’t open the package, it should last up to a year. Regardless of how you preserve your jerky, use it within one week of opening. When you open the container, oxygen enters, which might encourage germs to grow.

Refrigerate the jerky for up to two weeks. 

If you’re worried that your pantry will get too hot and the jerky may spoil, put the bag or container of jerky in the refrigerator. Remember that after you open the bag or container of jerky, you should eat it within one week of opening it since oxygen has entered the bag or container.

If you don’t like cold jerky, remove it from the fridge and lay it out on the counter for 30 minutes to bring it to room temperature.

You can freeze the jerky for up to 6 months

Place your jerky bag or container in the freezer for longer-term storage. Although this extends the storage life, it may alter the jerky’s flavor. Before freezing a large batch of jerky, try freezing a tiny amount to see if any changes occur. 

Take the jerky out of the freezer and put it in the fridge the night before you want to eat it to thaw it out. As the jerky thaws, place a paper towel in the bag to absorb moisture.


In the brief guide, we discussed answering the question ‘How to store homemade beef jerky’ with a detailed analysis of what are the methods to keep in mind when preparing it.


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Hi, I am Charlotte, I love cooking and in my previous life, I was a chef. I bring some of my experience to the recipes on this hub and answer your food questions.