Preserving Jerky



  • I am new to jerky making and I am wondering if the community can recommend a preservative I can add in/on to my jerky that will allow me to keep my jerky for several weeks unrefridgerated. I am looking to make both slabs and snack sticks.


  • Walton's Employee

    @hip-granny One of the main things you are going to need to be able to do is to test the water activity of your jerky to see if it is shelf stable. Sadly, water activity meters are very expensive and not something most people have access too.

    We recently played around with a new recipe where we use extra sugar to bind the water in the jerky and make it unavailable for microbial growth. It has worked well but our main goal with that was to keep the jerky tender and the shelf stability was more of a side effect. We will have a video coming out on that soon!

    Anyone else have any ideas?



  • Hey Hip Granny, with a call sign like that…you gotta be a pretty hip granny!
    I’ve had great success with slightly over drying my jerky and then letting it sit for a day or so and then I vacuum seal it it small quantities (maybe 10 or so pieces). I’ve had it stored that way out in the garage for over a year and it still tastes great and didn’t give anyone the craps so i think it’s good. I’m sure some will argue with me that I can’t do it like this but they can argue all they want, I have proof it works. I’ve never tried the snack stix this way, they’re usually have much more moisture content and I just don’t think it’ll work, but the jerky works great. My advice is try a small batch, let it sit as long a you dare…then open it, give it a good sniff test and then maybe a small bite or two and see what you think. Good luck.

    Tom


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Recent Posts

  • @TinCupTom I agree with both @bobing195-7 and @ed-jordan in regards to the H Summer, great tasting Summer Sausage without being too strong or having any real heat.

    Just so you know, in case you were looking for it and couldn’t find it, the ingredients are listed on the products web page. Just scroll down and click the “Additional Info” tab and it will show up.

    The W Summer (4550300082) might be the most mild of all the ones you listed. That doesn’t make it bad at all just a very mild flavor

    Summer 107 (4550300032) Similar to H, contains mustard seed but I don’t think it is whole.

    Summer Sausage Seasoning (4550300012) Very similar to the 107 in flavor, has whole mustard seed.

    H - Summer (G4550300070) is our best selling Summer Sausage Seasoning, contains whole mustard seed. If you are looking for a peppery seasoning this is the best one to use for a base and add some black pepper. This would be the basic summer seasoning favored by most employees and customer.

    Another option, if you are making 100 lb batches or don’t mind breaking down the seasoning into smaller batches, would be the Ton’s Summer Seasoning (4550806642) It has a very good flavor and is pretty peppery if I remember correctly, I pepper is listed higher in the ingredients list than any of the others… Of all of the basic Summer Sausage seasonings (excluding ones like Jalapeno and Habanero BBQ) this is the second best scoring one amongst employees.

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  • E

    @tincuptom i can only speak to the H summer sausage seasoning, but it has a lot better taste than the backwoods. Not a lot of pepper (you could add more I am sure) but it is a good solid flavor profile. I did not use the ECA for the tang, but plan on doing it this week in a batch. You can’t go wrong with the H seasoning!

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  • B

    I have been in search for a summer sausage seasoning with black pepper but couldn’t find one. I’m new at this so the H Summer Sausage is the only one I have used so I can’t give you any comparisons with the other 3, but you mentioned black pepper so thought I would share my first experience.
    So I used Waltons H Summer Sausage and mixed in about a quarter cup of fine black pepper. I liked the results and several others did as well. It had a light pepper taste and I probably will add a little more in the next batch for a slightly stronger flavor. I used 25 lbs of venison and 4lbs of beef fat to keep it on the leaner side. Good luck, Bob

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  • S

    thanks. As it turned out I did use a pork butt, cost only $1.48/# on sale and pork fat appears to be running about 50 cents more. Pure fat is a lot harder to come by, guessing because there is just less of it – supply and demand. One recipe I was using called out pork fat and I directly substituted the ground pork butt and it tasted fine even at a 25% ratio. The other sausage experimental batch I made with 50% and it is even better. So, 50/50 is the future now. thanks for your input folks!

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  • S

    excellent, thanks.

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  • @Jeff-Allen While the 26 and 33 lb sausage stuffers absolutely will make 19mm snack sticks the reduced size of the piston on the 11 lb model does make it easier. I have made snack sticks with all of the sizes and especially when you are working by yourself the 11 lb is easier to do.

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