Venison Jerky Storage Tips
Venison jerky is a delicious way to enjoy deer meat, but it must be stored properly to maintain its quality and flavor. Storing jerky in a refrigerator or freezer helps extend its shelf life from a few weeks to six months without losing flavor.
Drying venison strips in an oven or food dehydrator involves arranging them on racks and allowing them to dry at a temperature of 160 degrees Fahrenheit. Check the jerky after three hours for doneness; it should bend without breaking.
How to store venison jerky to maintain its quality and flavor
Venison is a popular choice for meat lovers because of its low fat content and abundance of minerals and vitamins. It also offers a variety of flavor options, from rich and earthy to minty, spicy and autumnal.
To keep venison jerky fresh, store it away from sunlight and heat. This can be done by storing the meat in a cool, dark area with low humidity.
When storing homemade venison jerky, it’s best to use an airtight container with tight fitting lids for long-term storage. The airtight seal helps prevent oxidation and preserves the meat’s taste, texture and appearance.
You can also marinate the venison in a mixture of liquid ingredients such as soy sauce, Worcestershire sauce, ketchup and salt. Add the sliced venison to the marinade and refrigerate for at least eight hours.
If you have a food dehydrator or oven, place the sliced venison strips on a jerky-drying rack and dry them at 160 degrees F. Depending on the temperature of your oven and how thick the venison slices are, you may need to check the jerky every three hours to ensure it is drying properly.
When making venison jerky, it’s important to slice the venison into thin, one-quarter of an inch slices. Slices that are too thick will take longer to dry and might not hold their shape.
What’s the best way to store venison jerky for freshness?
Ideally, you want to store your venison jerky in an airtight container away from heat and light. A paper bag works well for short-term storage (up to a week) or a vacuum sealer will help extend the shelf life even further, as long as you don’t break it open.
The problem with a paper bag, however, is that it allows moisture and oxygen to get inside the bag which causes jerky to go bad more quickly. A vacuum bag with an oxygen absorber will preserve jerky for a much longer period of time and keep the meat moist without spoiling it.
If you’re looking for a way to store jerky for more than a month, a good option is to freeze it. This will prevent mold from growing and it will also help to kill parasites that can make you sick.
Deer jerky should be stored in dark places like your pantry, as sunlight can affect the meat’s flavor and quality. When storing a batch of jerky, it’s important to check for spoilage signs such as an increase in color or mold growth.
Storing venison jerky in the freezer
Venison jerky will last a long time in the freezer. This is because cold air slows the movement of molecules, which prevents the growth of microorganisms that spoil food.
Commercially packaged jerky is usually vacuum-sealed or nitrogen-flushed (like a bag of snack chips). As long as you don’t open the package, it should stay in top quality for about 12 months.
However, some producers add preservatives to their jerky, so it’s important to read the label to make sure it’s safe for long-term storage. If you’re not sure, a best-by date or the use-by dates on the back of the package should give you a good idea.
If you’re making your own jerky, the shelf life of homemade venison jerky depends on how lean you choose the meat and how well you handle it during the cooking process. The fats in jerky go rancid fairly quickly, so only use very lean cuts of meat to make a homemade jerky that you plan to store for a long time.
Before storing your venison jerky, freeze it for 30 days to kill potential parasites and bacteria that can cause illness. You can then heat it to 165 degrees F before you dry it, which will also help to keep bacteria and parasites at bay.
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