Shelf stable snack sticks & jerky.

  • Has anyone made shelf stable snack sticks or jerky? I would like to learn how to.

  • Walton's Employee

    @Deborah-Carpenter Hi Deborah, yeah we have made shelf stable jerky a few times, the issue is that to know you have a shelf stable product you need a way to test water activity. Water Activity meters are fairly expensive pieces of commercial equipment though. We do not carry them but I believe that they start in the 1,000 of dollars.

    Would this be for you or would the goal be to sell these?

  • I have been making jerky for years with no problems with spoilage. I just recently started making snack sticks, they are delicious but I can’t get the shelf life to last more than a week to 10 days refrigerated. Waltons has a great tutorial on how to make snack sticks, just make sure you follow the steps in order.

  • Walton's Employee

    @Deborah-Carpenter Sorry, once I read @papaG response I realized I didn’t cover snack sticks. Snack Sticks will be harder as they are going to have a higher moisture content than jerky. So, you could lower the pH of the meat which will increase shelf life, something like Encapsulated Citric Acid will work for that, it is not going to make it shelf stable but it will add shelf life.

    The other way to do it is to try to bind up the water in the meat with sugar or something to make it unavailable for microbial growth. The issue will be the same though, you will need a Water Activity Meter and potentially a pH meter to tell if you have succeeded in making a shelf stable product.

  • @papag hi thanks for your reply. I will have to look at Walton snack stick stick tutorial. I have made snack sticks but sometimes when I make them when I get the ph or water activity tests back I find that one or the other is outside of the acceptable ranges for shelf stable so I wondered how much citric acid or water to use so i could get consistant results.

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  • @rodneycaudill ok ok, y’all are convincing me. I will look more at the vacuum chamber. Thanks for y’alls input!

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  • R

    I bought a chamber vacmaster vp 120 from waltons over a year ago, and it works great. just don’t get nothing inside the bag where it seals the bag.

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  • @Jonathon
    We’ll that was the first thing that came to mind the first batch i ever made. had a cold beer in hand and was sampling one and closed my eyes to savor the moment and the smoke aroma smelled just like i had a lit cigar in my mouth thus the term [meat cigars]

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