Newb question - I want to confirm that cured vacuum packed Jerky can be stored without refrigeration

Discussion in 'Making Jerky' started by gatorengineer64, Mar 22, 2014.

  1. Dumb newb question, but I seem to get conflicting answers googling around.

    If I cure Jerky meat with either Prague 1 or Tender Quick, can it be stored without refrigeration?.  I have a good vacuum bagger (commercial)  and would use that for preservation, in 8 oz to 1lb bags.  I know the old west leather type can be stored, but what about something that has enough moisture in it to bend with the white lines?

    If so how long at room temp?  I assume once i go through the cure process it is the ""same"" as the store bought stuff as far as refrigeration?  

    Thanks in advance.....
    Last edited: Mar 22, 2014
  2. sb59

    sb59 Smoking Fanatic

    I've carried for a day or two without refridge while hunting or fishing, but I don't think average person dries it enough at low enough temps. and home vacuum machines remove enough air for long term storage. I also don't think plastic vacuum bags are air tight enough, that is why MRE's come in foil. I've frozen for long term storage, well over a year, in vac bags with no problems.
    Last edited: Mar 22, 2014
  3. dougmays

    dougmays Limited Mod Group Lead

    I've stored cured and  properly dehydrated meat in a vacuum sealed bags for months. The key is to make sure you've dehydrated it over a long period at lower temps to get the moisture out of the meat. I smoked mine for 2-3 hours then dehydrated for 7-10 usually. it should feel dry and have that "crack" when you bend it
  4. Doug thanks for the response. Do you use tender quick or Prague powder, or is your statement based on uncured?
  5. dougmays

    dougmays Limited Mod Group Lead

    I use Tender Quick. I've never used Prague. But you definitely want a cure if you plan on storing non-refrigerated and  you also want cure so that you can slowly dehydrate at  lower temps with out spoiling the meat
  6. dougmays

    dougmays Limited Mod Group Lead

    By the way i just noticed that your new to the forum! Welcome! By chance do you live in Gainesville and/or went to UF? If so Go Gators!

    Mind stopping by the Roll Call Thread saying hey to everyone :)
  7. Hi Doug University of Florida Grad grew up in North Florida....
  8. dougmays

    dougmays Limited Mod Group Lead

    Awesome! I graduated '06, and also grew up in the area. Just moved back to Gainesville from being in fort Lauderdale for 7 years. You still in the area?
  9. jaxrmrjmr

    jaxrmrjmr Smoking Fanatic

    Try the Prague powder, pink salt, cure #1, etc.....  It all but takes the salt re-calculation out of curing that you have to do with tenderquick.

    When are you going to up this way again?
    Last edited: Apr 8, 2014
  10. Thanks for the advice guys... I am an 86 Gator (old model).
  11. jaxrmrjmr

    jaxrmrjmr Smoking Fanatic

    That's about when they started to learn how to play football, right?

    JK, Tide fan here but I married into a family of Gators.
  12. daveomak

    daveomak Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Gator, evening..... I'm not sure about non refrigerated, vacuum packed storage.... nitrite is supposed to eliminate botulism.... I do not know if it kills the spores.... spores aren't killed until a temp of around 250 F is achieved for x minutes or something like that..... botulism spores flourish in non acidified, oxygen free environment.... vac pack is an oxygen free environment, or close to it...

    Soooo, the question is..... are all the spores killed.... and are all the other bad thinks killed...

    usually, home made jerky is store in an open container.... if it has enough salt and dry enough, it will supposedly last forever.....

    I have no idea what they do to store bought "meat sticks".... probably a series of chemicals..... Dave
  13. daveomak

    daveomak Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    I just briefly scanned for answers...... below is some informative reading..... The links give a full detail of the abstracts.... better to get the information from the scientists than someone's interpretation..... To help anyone out to understand this stuff.....

    200 ug per gram = 200 Ppm ......... mg per Kg = Ppm

    27 deg. C X 1.8 + 32 = 80.6 deg. F


    Samples of (i) a control or of (ii) sodium nitrite-containing or (iii) sorbic acid-containing, mechanically deboned chicken meat frankfurter-type emulsions inoculated with Clostridium botulinum spores, or a combination of ii and iii, were temperature abuse at 27 degrees C. Spore germination and total microbial growth were followed and examined at specified times and until toxic samples were detected. The spores germinated within 3 days in both control and nitrite (20, 40 and 156 micrograms/g) treatments. Sorbic acid (0.2%) alone or in combination with nitrite (20, 40, and 156 micrograms/g) significantly (P less than 0.05) inhibited spore germinations. No significant germination was recorded until toxic samples were detected. A much longer incubation period was necessary for toxin to be formed in nitrite-sorbic acid combination treatments as contrasted with controls or nitrite and sorbic acid used individually. Total growth was not affected by the presence of nitrite, whereas sorbic acid appeared to depress it. Possible mechanisms explaining the effects of nitrite and sorbic acid on spore germination and growth are postulated.



    Comminuted ham was formulated with different levels of sodium nitrite and nitrate, inoculated with Clostridium botulinum, and pasteurized to an internal temperature of 68.5 C. When added to the meat, nitrite concentrations decreased, and cooking had little effect on them. Nitrite concentrations decreased more rapidly during storage at 27 than at 7 C; however they remained rather constant at formulated levels throughout the experiment at both incubation temperatures. The level of nitrite added to the meat greatly influenced growth and toxin production of C. botulinum. The concentration of nitrite necessary to effect complete inhibition was dependent on the inoculum level. With 90 C. botulinum spores/g of meat, botulinum toxin developed in samples formulated with 150 but not with 200 μg of nitrite per g of meat. At a spore level of 5,000/g, toxin was detected in samples with 400 but not with 500 μg of nitrite per g of the product incubated at 27 C. At lower concentrations of nitrite, growth was retarded at both spore levels. No toxin developed in samples incubated at 7 C. Nitrate showed a statistically significant inhibitory effect at a given nitrite level; however, the effect was insufficient to be of practical value. Analyses for 14 volatile nitrosamines from samples made with varying levels of nitrite and nitrate were negative at a detection level of 0.01 μg of nitrite or nitrate per g of meat.


    FSIS (Food Safety Inspection Service)...... explanation of botulism......
  14. chef willie

    chef willie Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    Well, I've always used my dehydrator to make jerky and use cure. I usually dry at lower temps so as not to 'cook' the jerky....just dry it. I've left mine out in baggies on the counter for snacking...the max time about 2 weeks and then I'd start getting nervous about spores, mold, salmonella...whatever, and kill it off quick with a beer. I can make it often enough not to overly worry about killing somebody who eats some or freezing it. For long term storage I would definitely freeze it in vac bags, not zip locks, but you already got that covered......Willie

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