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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    @jonathon
    Thanks for the response!

    I think a video on processed celery would be incredible. The only place I have been able to find celery powder as a cure was from “The Sausage Maker”, they have a Facebook page. It was expensive, designed only for sausages, and wasn’t packaged well.

    As for the tackiness, good idea with the cornstarch! There are a bunch of big brands with zero additives that were able to achieve the soft texture with no tackiness, so I’m thinking it has to be in the processing. I read an article where someone at KRAVE mentioned a couple details about how they process their jerky. He said they first inject the meat, then cook the whole pieces, then slice, then marinate, then dry. I have messed around with the idea behind this process a lot. Injecting with brine, sous-viding at a variety of temperatures and times, slicing, marinating, and drying. Decent results, but to be honest the high sugar method you introduced to me has seemed to have better results.

    Anyway, I will keep trying to figure this out and will definitely keep you guys posted if I make any headway. In the meantime, if there is anything else you think might be worth testing, please let me know! It would be great to try and perfect this process together.

    Max

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    @jonathon I am definitely going to purchase and follow the steps you’ve post, thank you sir! Additionally, if anyone has recipes, please share. I’ll try them all and post what my family thought of each. Thank you all, this is a very cool and educational blog, glad I found it wish it was years ago! Thanks again.

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