Jerky is dried meat and a popular snack item globally. Different kinds of jerkies are available. For example, you have beef jerky, pork jerky, chicken jerky, turkey jerky, etc. This dehydrated meat snack contains salt seasoning to remove moisture. However, jerky has a short shelf life. So, if you open a packet of beef jerky, it has to be consumed soon. Therefore, is there an option to store beef jerky for extended periods? Can you freeze beef jerky to retain its nutritional value?
Can You Freeze Beef Jerky?
Yes, it is possible to freeze beef jerky and maintain its freshness. In addition, since beef jerky does not have any moisture, bacterial contamination is low. Therefore, freezing beef jerky is an excellent option. However, over-freezing beef jerky can cause textural and flavor changes.
Does Beef Jerky Freeze Well?
Store-bought jerky undergoes several manufacturing processes where preservatives are added to extend its shelf life. It contains minimal moisture. Hence, freezing store-bought beef jerky should not be an issue.
Homemade beef jerky does not contain preservatives. Therefore, please remove all moisture before preserving it inside the freezer. The presence of water in traces can also lead to freezer burn.
How Do You Freeze Beef Jerky?
Freezing beef jerky does not require any preparations or skills. You do not need many ingredients, except for an airtight container or freezer bag.
There is no problem freezing unopened beef jerky bought from the store. You can keep the packet directly inside the freezer.
However, if you have opened the packet for consumption or wish to freeze homemade beef jerky, please follow the method described here.
- An airtight container or resealable freezer bag is crucial for freezing beef jerky. Bacteria and enzymes are the primary reasons why beef jerky rots. Therefore, keeping the container airtight deprives the bacteria of the air required for its survival. So, placing the beef jerky (homemade or store-bought) in an airtight container is essential. Besides, homemade beef jerky has to be adequately dried before freezing.
- Please check the freezer bags for leakages and improper seals before freezing. Removing excess air from them is also critical before sealing them tightly. Similarly, we advise verifying the airtight container for damages to its lid that could affect the sealing process.
- Stick a label indicating the contents and the freezing date. Finally, place the container or the freezing bags inside the coldest part of the freezer for storage.
How Long Does Frozen Beef Jerky Remain Fresh?
Frozen beef jerky can last for twelve months if frozen appropriately. You can store it beyond 12 months, but its quality can deteriorate every month. However, we recommend consuming the beef jerky within eight months of freezing to enjoy its optimal taste.
How To Defrost Frozen Beef Jerky?
The ideal place to defrost the frozen beef jerky is the fridge. You can remove as many pieces of beef jerky as you need for immediate consumption and place them inside the refrigerator overnight. The thawing process should be complete by the following morning.
We never recommend defrosting beef jerky at room temperature because it encourages bacterial contamination. In addition, if the jerky has a little moisture, it becomes an ideal ground for bacteria to grow.
So, placing the beef jerky inside the fridge ensures a cool temperature that discourages bacterial contamination.
Thin strips of frozen beef jerky do not require defrosting as you can taste them directly from the freezer. But, the strips could be unbearably cold. Hence, placing them inside the refrigerator can help bring it to a comfortable level fit for consumption.
If you find the frozen beef jerky a bit moist, you can use a paper towel to pat them dry.
Can You Refreeze Beef Jerky?
Beef jerky thawed inside the fridge can be refrozen without any problem. However, the beef jerky is available in thin strips or chopped pieces. You can remove the required pieces for consumption and place the rest inside the freezer. They are dried pieces of meat that do not stick to each other. So, there would not be any need for refreezing under such circumstances.
How Long Does Beef Jerky Remain Fresh In The Fridge?
Unopened beef jerky can last until its expiry date. However, opened beef jerky can remain fresh in the fridge for one to two weeks. Freezing is the best option if you need extended storage.
Can You Freeze Beef Jerky In Mason Jars?
Yes, beef jerky remains fresh in mason jars, provided you close the lid tight to prevent air exposure.
Can You Freeze Beef Jerky Sticks?
Yes, it is possible to freeze beef jerky sticks. Furthermore, it is convenient to defrost them because beef jerky sticks do not need much time for thawing.
Can You Freeze Dry Beef Jerky?
Beef jerky has to be completely dry before freezing. Otherwise, there can be a risk of bacterial contamination.
Can You Freeze Beef Before Making Jerky?
We recommend partially freezing beef before making jerky to make it easy to slice it.
Can You Freeze Fresh Beef Jerky?
Yes, you can freeze fresh beef jerky. Please cool the beef jerky to room temperature and dry it thoroughly before freezing it in the described method.
Can You Freeze Beef Jerky After Smoking?
You can freeze smoked jerky because it will be dry. The method of freezing beef jerky after smoking is the same as described here.
Can You Vacuum Seal Beef Jerky Before Freezing It?
Removing air from the freezer bags is essential before freezing beef jerky. Vacuum sealing is the best way to remove air, especially from freezer bags containing dry food items.
Can You Freeze Deer Jerky?
Yes, freezing deer jerky is possible in the same way you freeze beef jerky.
Does Freezing Jerky Ruin It?
Generally, frozen beef jerky remains consumable for 12 months after freezing. If you store it for periods exceeding 12 months, it can display textural and flavor changes. Freezing beef jerky extends its shelf life and does not ruin it.
Beef jerky is among the easiest meats to freeze because it is dry and does not allow bacterial contamination. Hence, it reduces the preparation time considerably. Secondly, frozen beef jerky lasts comfortably for a year. So, is freezing beef jerky the best way of preserving it for extended periods? Yes, it is.