How Long Does Beef Jerky Last? (The Right Period)

How Long Does Beef Jerky Last

Beef jerky is one of today’s most popular and nutritious snacks. It’s nutrient-dense, portable, and simple to consume, making it an ideal snack for a variety of activities. But, before you go out and get some, you’ll want to know how long beef jerky lasts.

Just because beef jerky does not need to be refrigerated does not necessarily mean it will last forever. Whether you buy beef jerky online or create your own at home, you should be aware of its shelf life.

Read on to learn about the shelf life of beef jerky and some fantastic storage ideas.

How Long Does Beef Jerky Last

We’ll go over how long beef jerky lasts unopened, how long it lasts after being opened, how to determine if beef jerky has gone bad, some storage techniques, and more.

In this post, we’ll go over everything you need to know. So, don’t stop reading.

How Long Does Beef Jerky Last?

Beef jerky is a type of dried meat produced from beef, veal, hog, or fowl. Beef jerky can be stored for an extended period of time before becoming stale. The shelf life of jerky is determined by how it is prepared and stored.

Several factors influence the shelf life of beef jerky. The quality of the ingredients used in the product’s manufacture impacts how long it will endure. Because some products have a shorter shelf life than others, you should think about how long you intend to store your beef jerky.

The general rule is that beef jerky lasts about one to two months after opening. If you are planning to store your beef jerky for any longer than two months, consider purchasing a variety pack instead of individual packages so you will not have to worry about expiration dates or perishable ingredients spoiling before your family members or guests consume them.

Does Beef Jerky Have An Expiration Date?

Yes, beef jerky does have an expiration date. Most often, it’s stamped on the back of the packet or included in a box.

Beef jerky is typically stored at room temperature, though some brands suggest refrigerating after opening to preserve freshness. Some companies use “Best By” dates, which indicate how long a fresh product will stay fresh before it begins to show signs of spoilage and food safety issues like bacteria growth and rancidity.

How Long Does Beef Jerky Last In The Freezer?

Beef jerky can last for up to two years in your freezer. The only thing to remember is that if you’re storing beef jerky in an airtight container, it will last longer than if put into a baggie or plastic container because the air helps keep everything from drying out as quickly.

How Long Does Beef Jerky Last In The Fridge?

The short answer: it depends!

Unopened, properly sealed beef jerky will stay good for up to a year if kept in a cool, dry place. Unopened beef jerky exposed to heat or moisture can take longer to freeze, so check your fridge before you keep it there. If you’re using homemade beef jerky, it can last up to three months in the fridge if stored correctly.

How Long Is Beef Jerky Good For After Opening?

Beef jerky can have a similar life period to Turkey bacon after opening, but everyone is different. Beef jerky is a great snack, but it can’t last forever. After opening, the beef jerky will keep in your pantry for up to two weeks. If you want to keep it longer than that, put it in an airtight container and store it in the fridge. Your beef jerky will last for up to four weeks if you do this.

How Long Does Homemade Beef Jerky Last?

Homemade beef jerky is a great snack to keep in your pantry. It has a shelf life of approximately one to two months, so you can enjoy it while waiting for that next special occasion!

Please keep it in the fridge for longer beef jerky and use it within three months. It will last up to six months if you freeze it.

How Long Does Unopened Beef Jerky Last?

Beef jerky that has been opened will last about a year in the pantry or fridge, but after that time, it will start to lose flavor and dry.

If you want to keep your beef jerky for longer than a year, you should freeze it before opening it so that bacteria can’t get at the meat through cracks in the packaging or other openings. You can also store unopened packages of beef jerky in a cool, dry place—like your freezer—for two years or more without any problems.

Does Homemade Beef Jerky Need To Be Refrigerated?

So, you’re wondering if homemade beef jerky needs to be refrigerated. The answer is… it doesn’t.

Homemade beef jerky will stay fresh in your fridge for at least 2 months, enough time to devour the entire stick.

What Happens If You Eat Bad Meat?

If you’re eating bad meat, you’re probably not doing yourself any favors. Bad meat can lead to vomiting, diarrhea, fever, upset stomach, stomach cramps, and nausea.

The first sign that your meat is bad is when you start to get sick after eating it. You may experience vomiting or diarrhea. You might feel feverish or have a high temperature. If this happens, don’t worry—it’s just your body reacting to the bacteria present in the meat.

Bad meat also can cause stomach cramps and nausea. If these symptoms persist for more than two days without improvement, seek medical attention immediately!

Does Beef Jerky Go Bad?

Yes, beef jerky can go bad. It would be best to store it properly to keep it from worsening and making you sick.

There are a few different ways that beef jerky can go bad. The first way is by being left out in the open. Left out for too long, it may become infected with bacteria, making you sick if you eat it. If it’s not going to be eaten immediately, keep your beef jerky in a container or zip-lock bag until you’re ready to eat it.

How to Tell If Beef Jerky Is Bad?

If you see these signs, you can decide the beef jerky is bad: 

If you see mold on your beef jerky, it’s probably bad. Mold is a sign that your beef jerky has gone bad. It’s an indication of spoilage and can be dangerous to your health. 

If you see rancidity in your beef jerky, it isn’t good. Rancidity is a sign that your beef jerky has gone bad. It’s an indication of spoilage and can cause stomach upset in some people.

If you want to know the lifespan of different types of food and other things, you can check our other guides below:

How Can You Tell If Jerky Is Still Fresh?

If you’re looking for how long your jerky will stay fresh, there are a few things you can do to check.

First, look at the package. If it’s see-through, it’s probably expired. If it’s opaque and has the date printed, then you’ve got some time left in there.

Second, smell the jerky! You’ll want to sniff it before you eat it in case there’s an off-putting odor that might indicate spoilage. Your jerky is probably fine if you can’t smell any strong odors (like rancid oil or decomposing meat).

Third, taste the jerky! The best way to determine whether or not your jerky is still fresh is to chew on one piece before eating all of them together—if they don’t taste good together. They won’t taste good together when eaten separately from each other either!

Can You Freeze Beef Jerky?

Yes, you can freeze beef jerky. But here’s some important information about how to do it effectively:

Make sure you only freeze the beef jerky at room temperature. If it’s frozen at a higher temperature, the fat will solidify and won’t melt back into the meat when you take it out of the freezer.

What Is The Best Way To Store Your Beef Jerky?

You can store beef jerky in a variety of ways, but the best way to keep your beef jerky fresh and delicious is by following the steps below:

Beef jerky can last a long time if it’s stored properly. Keep beef jerky in an airtight container in a cool, dry place like a pantry for long-term storage. Remember that containers won’t keep the beef jerky as fresh as other methods, so make sure to use them within one year of purchase.

Kitchen cabinets are also good options for long-term storage—just make sure not to store too much together, or it could start smelling! Also, label each container clearly, so you know when it’s time for another batch!

Ziplock bags are great for short-term storage (up to one week), but if you want to store beef jerky longer than that, consider using vacuum-sealed jars or brown paper bags instead. Vacuum sealing will keep your beef jerky fresher longer because it protects against air exposure and moisture loss.

How To Store Homemade Beef Jerky?

To maintain the quality, you can store homemade beef jerky in refrigerate or freeze it. Store homemade beef jerky in an airtight container in a cool, dry place.

If you are going to store it for more than 1 month, wrap the jerky in plastic and then put it in an airtight container.

Beef Jerky

Frequently Asked Questions

Can Beef Jerky Last 10 Years?

Beef jerky can last up to a year before it goes bad. The reason is that making it entails the dehydration of the meat, which greatly slows the decomposition process. 

How Long Is Dehydrated Jerky Good For?

You can expect jerky to be good for two weeks if you store it in an air-tight container at room temperature. The moisture in the container will help prevent spoilage.

How Long Will Vacuum Sealed Beef Jerky Last?

The shelf life of vacuum-sealed beef jerky varies, but it will be at least one to two months. The shelf life of vacuum-sealed beef jerky depends on the quality, but it can be as long as up to four or five months.

How Long Will Jerky Last In A Ziplock Bag?

Many factors contribute to the shelf life of jerky, but if you store it in a ziplock bag, it will stay fresh for about 1 to 2 weeks before the flavor becomes too strong. 

How Long Does Jerky Last In Mason Jar?

Jerky can be kept in a mason jar for 1 to 3 months. It would be best if you kept an air-tight jar and packed it in the refrigerator for longer shelf life.

Final Verdict:

Now it’s time to conclude. For the best results, storing your jerky in a cool, dry place is best. Freeing beef jerky is not advised, but you can refrigerate it. If you decide to refrigerate your beef jerky, it’s best to do so in an airtight bag or container. Beef jerky has one of the longest shelf lives out of all the foods on the market. Because of this long shelf life, beef jerky remains a popular choice for long-distance travelers.


  • Troy Miller

    Hi! My name is Troy, and I'm the founder of Grill Taster. I have a lot of experience in grilling because I've been testing out products for over a decade. With almost ten years as a professional griller and help to thousands of aspiring BBQ masters, you can trust me to help you find the best grills and accessories on the market so that you don't have to waste time or money on junk. With my family enjoying some summertime fun just outside Carolina, we're all looking forward to your comments and questions!

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