Jerky is a popular snack all over the world, loved for its delicious flavor and long shelf life. It has been around since ancient times, when people used to preserve meat by drying it in the sun. Nowadays, jerky is made by cooking and dehydrating meat until it becomes dry and chewy. This process removes most of the moisture from the meat, making it an ideal snack for camping, hiking or any outdoor activity. But what happens when you have too much jerky and want to save some for later? Can you freeze jerky and still preserve its flavor?
What is Jerky?
Before we discuss whether or not we can freeze jerky, let’s take a moment to understand what jerky is. Jerky is meat that has been dried and cured to prolong its shelf life. It is usually made from beef, but can also be made from other meats like pork, turkey, chicken, and even fish. The process of making jerky involves marinating the meat in salt, spices, and other flavorings, and then drying it at low heat for several hours until it is dry and chewy. This process removes most of the moisture from the meat, making it lightweight and easy to store.
Can you freeze Jerky?
Yes! You can freeze jerky to increase its shelf life. Freezing jerky is a popular method of preserving the snack for long-term use, as it can be frozen for up to six months without losing any flavor. Freezing jerky also reduces the risk of spoilage and bacterial growth, making it an ideal way to store jerky.
How to freeze Jerky?
If you’re planning on freezing your jerky, here are a few steps you can follow:
- Once your jerky is ready, allow it to cool to room temperature.
- Place the cooled jerky into separate ziplock bags or airtight containers.
- Remove as much air as possible from the bag or container before sealing it.
- Label the bags or containers with the date of freezing
- Place the bags or containers in the freezer and make sure the temperature is set to zero degrees Fahrenheit or lower.
Freezing jerky is an excellent method to preserve its flavor, but it is essential to follow the right storage techniques to ensure that your jerky stays fresh for as long as possible.
If you’re planning to eat your frozen jerky, it’s essential to know the right way to thaw it. You can thaw frozen jerky by removing it from the freezer and allowing it to thaw at room temperature. This process may take a few hours, depending on the thickness of your jerky.
You can also thaw your jerky in the refrigerator. Place the frozen jerky in a bowl or airtight container and leave it in the fridge for several hours or overnight. This method is slower than thawing at room temperature, but it helps to preserve the jerky’s flavor and texture.
The Best Types of Jerky to Freeze
While you can freeze any kind of jerky, certain types freeze better than others. Beef jerky, for example, is one of the most popular types of jerky and freezes well because it has less fat than other types of meat. Turkey jerky, chicken jerky, and fish jerky also freeze well because they are lean and have less fat.
The Worst Types of Jerky to Freeze
On the other hand, certain types of jerky do not freeze well. Fatty meats, such as pork jerky, do not freeze well because the fat tends to become rancid in the freezer, leading to an off taste. Moreover, jerky that has been exposed to air for long periods is not suitable for freezing because it may have already started to spoil.
How long can you freeze jerky?
You can freeze jerky for up to six months without significant loss of flavor or quality. However, it is essential to follow proper storage techniques, such as using airtight containers and labeling the bags or containers with the date of freezing, to prevent your jerky from spoiling.
Freezing jerky is an excellent method to preserve its flavor and texture while reducing the risk of spoilage and bacterial growth. Follow the proper storage techniques and thawing methods to ensure that your jerky stays fresh for as long as possible. Use beef jerky, turkey jerky, chicken jerky, and fish jerky for the best results, as these types of jerky are lean and have less fat. Remember to label your frozen jerky with the date of freezing and consume it within six months for the best results.
Here are some common questions related to freezing jerky:
- What is the optimal temperature for storing frozen jerky?
- Can frozen jerky go bad?
- Can you refreeze jerky after thawing?
- How long does it take to thaw frozen jerky?
- Can you freeze homemade jerky?
- Erica Daniels. (2021). How to Freeze Jerky: The Ultimate Guide to Freezing Jerky. Retrieved from https://foodsguy.com/freeze-jerky/
- Jenny Harrington. (n.d.). How Long Can You Keep Homemade Beef Jerky in the Freezer? Retrieved from https://www.leaf.tv/articles/how-long-can-you-keep-homemade-beef-jerky-in-the-freezer/
- Povich, K. (2019). Is Beef Jerky a Healthy Snack? Retrieved from https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/beef-jerky