Jerky is one of the ultimate naturally-preserved foods. The salt in jerky will prevent it from spoiling for considerable lengths of time even if it is exposed to open air. However, the longer jerky is permitted to sit in the open air, the quicker it stales. While stale jerky is still edible, if it becomes rock hard it will be difficult to chew. If jerky is exposed to moisture, spoils more quickly than that which is kept dry, and spoiled jerky is unsafe. As such, even though the salt in jerky preserves it for a few days or a week, there are both temporary solutions and long-term solutions for keeping jerky moist and safe for an extended period of time. There are three long-term methods of storing jerky and keeping it fresh as well as a few other means of keeping jerky fresh temporarily for an additional week or two.
Temporary Solutions for Storing Jerky
- Plastic Bags – The tighter the seal and the less air in the bag, the longer your jerky will stay fresh. Plastic bags with a sealing seam keep perishables fresh longest and rolling the bags up tightly before sealing them is the best means of removing the air. Another method of removing the air is sealing all but a small portion of the seam, sucking the air out, and sealing the remainder of the seam before air leaks back into the bag.
- Plastic Wrap – If tightly wrapped in plastic wrap, jerky will remain fresh for several weeks. Jerky wrapped in plastic wrap and preserved in a seam lock plastic bag will last even longer.
- Paper Bags – A means of transporting jerky, paper bags do less than nothing to preserve it. The wood micro-particles in a paper bag absorb the moisture in jerky and dry it out as quickly as evaporation.
Long-Term Solutions for Preserving Jerky
- Dry Canning – Though the process takes time, dry canning jerky in mason jars keeps jerky fresh for up to a year. The flavor of dry canned jerky is preserved better than jerky stored using any other method because neither air nor moisture is removed during the process. However, that fact that both of those remain limits the amount of time dry canning will keep jerky fresh and edible. If you have the time, though, dry canning is the preservation method of choice.
- Vacuum Seal Bags – This is the most convenient and one of the safest methods of preserving jerky. By removing the air from the bag, the vacuum seal process allows you to save the jerky longer than almost any other process with the exception of lyophilization. Vacuum seal bags are lightweight and the space required to transport jerky in vacuum seal bags is minimal.
- Freeze Drying – This is an extremely long term solution. Lyophilisation removes both the air and moisture from the jerky which means the jerked meat will last almost indefinitely. However, freeze-dried jerky requires re-humidification once the jerky is un-packaged. For people who want to take long trips with perishable foods and reduce the weight of the food by eliminating the water content, freeze drying is an option.
Crockett Creek Jerky – The Best Jerky Around
Crockett Creek carefully prepares and packages jerky to ensure it stays fresh for as long as possible. That’s why we sell our jerky in resealable zipper bags so that you can keep the air out even after opening the jerky. This helps your jerky stay fresh and chewy for much longer. However, we know that once you have a bite of jerky, it won’t be long until you finish the rest of the bag. When you run out of bags of Crockett Creek Jerky, you can always order more on our website and we will ship it directly to your home. We package and ship our jerky in the best way so that it will be fresh and tender when it arrives.