How To Store Homemade Jerky

If you’ve made your own batch of delicious jerky, the last thing you want is for it to spoil before you can fully enjoy it. Proper storage is key to ensuring that your homemade jerky stays fresh and tasty for as long as possible.

The first step in storing homemade jerky is finding a cool and dry environment. Moisture and heat are the enemies of dried meats, so be sure to keep your jerky away from direct sunlight or sources of moisture like sinks or dishwashers. A pantry or cabinet away from the stove or oven is an ideal spot for storing your jerky.

If you live in a humid area, consider using a dehumidifier to help reduce the moisture level in the air around your stored jerky.

Cool and Dry Environment

Maintaining a cool and dry environment is crucial for preserving the quality of homemade jerky. Humidity control is important to prevent moisture from accumulating, which can cause spoilage or mold growth. Ideally, the humidity level should be kept below 50%.

You can use a hygrometer to monitor the humidity in your storage area. When it comes to storing homemade jerky, choosing the right storage containers is also essential. Food-grade plastic bags or airtight containers are good options because they keep out air and light.

Make sure to remove as much air as possible before sealing the bag or container to prevent oxidation that can cause rancidity. Keeping your jerky in a cool and dry place with proper humidity control and appropriate storage containers will help extend its shelf life and maintain its flavor.

Vacuum Sealing

To keep your flavorful jerky fresh and free from spoilage, you’ll want to invest in a vacuum sealer. This handy device is designed to remove all the air from the packaging, which prevents moisture buildup and bacteria growth.

Here are some benefits of using a vacuum sealer for your homemade jerky:

  • Longer Shelf Life: Vacuum-sealed jerky can last up to two years or more if stored in a cool, dry place.
  • Enhanced Flavor: By removing excess air, the vacuum sealing process helps preserve the flavor and aroma of your jerky.
  • Space-Saving: Vacuum-packed bags take up less space than traditional bags or containers, making storage more efficient.
  • Portability: Sealed packages are easy to transport and carry with you during outdoor activities like hiking, camping, or road trips.
  • Protection: The air-tight seal provided by vacuum sealing helps prevent freezer burn and other types of damage that can affect food quality.

While vacuum sealing is an excellent option for preserving homemade jerky, there are also some alternatives worth considering. For example, using airtight containers or zip-lock bags can work well if you plan on consuming your jerky within a few weeks. However, if you’re looking for long-term storage options or want to maintain the freshness and quality of your jerky for extended periods, investing in a vacuum sealer is definitely worth it.

Ziplock Bags

If you’re looking for a quick and easy way to keep your delicious meat snack fresh, ziplock bags are a great option. These bags are affordable, widely available, and come in different sizes depending on the amount of jerky you need to store. They’re also convenient since you can easily see through them, making it easier to know when it’s time to restock.

However, if you want a more eco-friendly option or an alternative packaging that doesn’t involve plastic, reusable containers might be the way to go. Glass jars with tight-fitting lids work well since they prevent air from entering and spoiling the jerky. You can also use metal tins or BPA-free plastic containers specifically designed for food storage.

Just make sure that whatever container you choose is thoroughly cleaned and dried before using it to store your homemade jerky.

Freezing Method

You’ll be thrilled to know that freezing your homemade jerky is a great way to keep it fresh for longer periods. The process of freezing helps prevent the growth of bacteria and slows down oxidation, which can cause the meat to spoil quickly.

When you freeze your jerky, you can look forward to enjoying it for up to six months or even longer in some cases. However, when storing your jerky in the freezer, it’s important to use proper thawing techniques to preserve its flavor and texture.

Avoid leaving the package on the kitchen counter at room temperature as this can cause condensation that may affect its quality. Instead, transfer the frozen jerky from the freezer to the refrigerator and let it thaw overnight before consuming. Alternatively, you can put them inside a ziplock bag and run cold water over them until they defrost completely.

With these simple precautions in mind, you can enjoy delicious homemade jerky anytime!

Shelf Life and Expiration

Did you know that the shelf life and expiration date of your homemade jerky can vary depending on factors such as the type of meat, seasoning, and packaging used? It’s important to properly store your jerky to ensure it stays fresh for as long as possible.

One way to extend its shelf life is by keeping it in an airtight container or vacuum-sealed bag. This helps prevent moisture from getting in and causing spoilage. Another way to prolong the freshness of your homemade jerky is by storing it in a cool, dry place away from direct sunlight.

The ideal temperature range for storing jerky is between 50-70°F. If you notice any signs of spoiled jerky such as mold, foul odor or slimy texture, discard it immediately. Properly stored homemade jerky can last up to several months without going bad, so be sure to follow these tips for maximum enjoyment!

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I store homemade jerky in a pantry or cupboard instead of a cool and dry environment?

Storing homemade jerky in a pantry or cupboard is possible, but be mindful of humidity concerns. Excess moisture can spoil the meat and encourage bacterial growth. Consider using desiccant packets or airtight containers to maintain freshness.

Can I reuse vacuum-sealed bags for jerky storage?

Yes, you can reuse vacuum-sealed bags for jerky storage, as long as they are in good condition. Keep in mind that the location where you store your jerky should be cool and dry to ensure maximum freshness.

How long can I leave jerky in a ziplock bag before it spoils?

You can leave jerky in a ziplock bag for up to two weeks before it spoils. However, if you want to extend its shelf life, consider other storage options like vacuum-sealed bags or airtight containers.

Can I store jerky in the refrigerator instead of the freezer?

Storing jerky in the refrigerator has its pros and cons. While it can extend the shelf life for a short period, it can also cause the meat to lose its texture. The best ways to package homemade jerky for storage are vacuum-sealing or using airtight containers.

Does the type of meat used affect the shelf life of homemade jerky?

The type of meat used can impact the shelf life of homemade jerky. Meat quality affects how quickly it spoils, so using fresher meats will increase its lifespan. Additionally, storage conditions influence how long it lasts.


Congratulations on successfully making your own homemade jerky! Now that you’ve put in all that effort, it’s important to store it properly to ensure its longevity. Remember, the goal is to keep your jerky fresh and safe for consumption.

Firstly, make sure you store your jerky in a cool and dry environment. This will prevent any moisture from building up and causing spoilage.

Secondly, consider using vacuum sealing or ziplock bags to further protect your jerky from air exposure.

Lastly, if you plan on storing your jerky for an extended period of time, freezing may be the best option.

By following these simple storage techniques, you can enjoy your homemade jerky for weeks or even months! Just remember to keep track of the expiration date and use caution when consuming any expired products.

With proper storage, you can savor every bite of your delicious homemade creation without worrying about spoilage or contamination. Happy snacking!

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