Jerky storage short and long term

Discussion in 'Making Jerky' started by farwest, Feb 19, 2016.

  1. farwest

    farwest Newbie

    I am new to making jerky and have a few questions about proper storage. I use the amount of tender quick per/lbs as stated by manufacturer. I smoke my muscle meat at low temps than finish around 150-160, 5-6 hours. What is the proper or safe way to store it for short term (up to a week) and long term up to lets say 2 months? What is the safe temp the cured meat must reach to be considered safe? 
  2. tropics

    tropics Smoking Guru SMF Premier Member ★ Lifetime Premier ★

    Short zip lock bag fridge

    Long term Vac seal and freeze IMHO

  3. farwest

    farwest Newbie

    Thank You!
  4. chef jimmyj

    chef jimmyj Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator Group Lead OTBS Member

    The Salt, Cure and Smoke to 160°, gives a couple weeks in the refer, but if you want to do Room Temp long term storage, you need to get it Dry requiring some jaw work to get through it. Lots or recipes get it cooked and chewy with a mostly chewy texture but still too much moisture to inhibit bacteria and mold at room temp...JJ
    Last edited: Feb 22, 2016
  5. farwest

    farwest Newbie

    sounds good, Thanks
  6. dirtsailor2003

    dirtsailor2003 Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    I concur with everything said above. One thing though, if you are using poultry (whole muscle or ground) to make jerky you need to take it to an IT of 165°

  7. It might seem as though jerky should be stored like other dried food items. The shelf life of jerky is generous, but just like any other food item, jerky that is stored improperly will go bad. The best way to store jerky is to treat it like a fresh food item.
  8. dward51

    dward51 Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    The biggest problem I've seen with room temp storage is mold formation on the exterior of the casings. The meat going rancid has never been the issue, but even cured meat can mold (cure was used). And mold spores are just in the air naturally. Mold can be prevented with a spritzing of a mixture of potassium sorbate in water before storage. Spritz and let dry with minimum handling after application (you don't want to break the barrier your just created). Procedure is spritz, turn, spritz other side, air dry on a rack and then vacuum pack (if going to ship).

    I can't give a definitive answer on how long it will extend the room temp shelf life, but it does extend it. This is a trick I learned from NEPAS when he was sending sticks over to the sandbox via UPS. I only do this if I'm making a very large batch of sticks as the generally are consumed before mold would be an issue otherwise.

    Potassium Sorbate is available at several sausage making supply vendors (Butcher & Packer, Ask the Meatman, etc...). If you have a wine making supply store near you they will also have it as it's used in wine making to prevent the yeast from fermenting and carbonating the wine. It is a naturally occurring organic acid so don't freak out about adding some additional chemicals to your sticks. It is also flavorless if applied at normal levels (1 to 2% solution in distilled water).

    Sticks will also mold in the fridge eventually. The trick is to just have what you expect to use in a reasonable time period at room temp or in the fridge, and vacuum pack and freeze the rest. If shipping anywhere more than 2 days shipping time away, I would treat with a mold inhibitor (potassium sorbate).

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