Jerky is created by taking lean, trim strips of meat and drying them to prevent spoilage. This drying usually includes salt to prevent the growth of bacteria before the meat has finished its dehydration process. Once the meat is dehydrated, it can last for a long time, but how soon will it expire?
Beef jerky is designed to be a long-lasting, shelf-stable product. Because of this, unopened jerky or jerky in an airtight container can last for up to two months in the pantry. It can last even longer when frozen.
Once you open the bag, things change. If the bag is not resealable, it’s best to transfer the jerky to a resealable bag or an airtight container. The goal is to prevent your jerky from having access to fresh air. For store-bought jerky, it’s always best to consult the label, But for quality jerky brands, such as Jawbox Jerky, it’s best to consume the jerky within three days of opening the package.
For homemade jerky, it’s all about how you store it. If you vacuum-seal it or use an oxygen absorber, you can keep the jerky in the pantry for several weeks. However, if you store it in an airtight container after you prepare it, it will only last for about seven days in the pantry, so putting it in the refrigerator right away is better.
Beef jerky is designed to last for a long time as long as it is stored properly. If stored in an airtight container, it can last for up to two weeks in the pantry. Once opened, however, the jerky needs to still be stored in an airtight container, and it’s best to consult the packaging label to see how long the jerky lasts.