Does Beef Jerky Go Bad? A Complete Guide

Does Beef Jerky Go Bad

Does Beef Jerky Go Bad? Many people are shocked to hear that beef jerky has a lengthy shelf life. Because beef jerky is manufactured from beef, one would expect it to have a short shelf life. Meat does not have a lengthy shelf life in general, therefore beef must be stored in the refrigerator. Beef jerky is distinct in that it does not require refrigeration.

Does beef jerky spoil? Yes, beef jerky spoils. However, unlike beef and other meats, beef jerky has an extremely extended shelf life even when not refrigerated. A box of beef jerky can be stored on a shelf or in your cupboard for up to two years before it expires.

Does Beef Jerky Go Bad
Does Beef Jerky Go Bad

Certain additives in beef jerky affect shelf life, Does Beef Jerky Go Bad however most beef jerky will last longer than a year.

How Long Will Beef Jerky Keep?

Meat can be preserved in the freezer for up to 12 months. However, beef jerky is not kept in the refrigerator or freezer. It is displayed on shelves in many types of stores. Does Beef Jerky Go Bad So, how long will this beef keep?

Surprisingly, beef jerky can be stored for up to two years without being refrigerated or frozen. That’s correct! Technology is certainly impressive when it can extend the shelf-life of meat, which generally has a short shelf-life, to two years without refrigeration.

Which type of beef jerky has the longest shelf life?

There are numerous varieties of beef jerky available at grocery stores, liquor stores, and gas stations around the United States. Does Beef Jerky Go Bad However, some last longer than others.

Although the above expiration date applies to all forms of beef jerky, it is useful to know how long each type lasts because you will come across dozens of grocery stores and liquor stores around the country. Just keep in mind that different components have varied impacts on meat and beef jerky.

Original: The most frequent taste for beef jerky is original, and because it has no additional flavorings or sugar, it will last for two years.

Teriyaki: Teriyaki is the second most popular beef jerky taste. It doesn’t have a lot of sugar, but enough to effect the expiration date. This flavor will last approximately 1.5 years.

Garlic: Garlic has a delicious flavor that is also proven to be stable in dried meals. Does Beef Jerky Go Bad Garlic beef jerky can be stored for up to two years.

BBQ: While many forms of BBQ have a strong smoky flavor, it also contains brown sugar and honey as ingredients. The shelf life of chili and beef jerky is affected by these sweet ingredients. This sort of jerky has a shelf life of 1.5 years.

Spicy: Jalapenos, serranos, and smoked chilies have a lot of heat. They have the ability to easily extend the shelf life of any food. Spicy beef jerky can be stored for up to two years.

However, whatever of the sort of jerky you purchase, always check the expiration date to ensure that you do not purchase one that is about to expire. Does Beef Jerky Go Bad Each beef jerky will survive 1.5-2 years on average. You don’t want to consume beef jerky that’s been sitting in a petrol station for more than a year!

How Can Beef Jerky Last So Long If It’s Meat?

Beef jerky lasts so long for two reasons. The elimination of moisture is the first reason beef jerky lasts so long. Beef is notorious for being exceedingly wet and occasionally sticky. Does Beef Jerky Go Bad Because the wetness helps the meat break down faster, it must be devoured promptly.

However, beef jerky is created by marinating a piece of meat in various flavors, allowing it to sit and rest, and then dehydrating it completely of all moisture. This is why the beef is served in tiny slices. There’s no way the beef jerky could last two years without refrigeration if the dehydrator didn’t remove all of the moisture.

The absence of oxygen in the container is the second reason beef jerky may last so long. That doesn’t mean the beef jerky is completely hidden. When you go to the grocery store, you will notice beef jerky packages that appear to have some air in them.

Does Beef Jerky Go Bad

However, before a package of beef jerky is packed and ready for delivery, a hose is inserted into the packaging and a blast of nitrogen is released. The nitrogen blast drives the air out of the bag, which is then immediately sealed. The nitrogen aids in the preservation of beef jerky. Because of the importance of nitrogen inside a food container, you should carefully inspect the plastic for rips or breaks before purchasing beef jerky.

Signs That Your Beef Jerky Is Bad

Moisture: If you see moisture or dampness inside the beef jerky package, do not purchase that bag. Beef jerky should be entirely dry. That beef jerky box might be dangerous if something went wrong during the cooking process.

No flavor: When beef jerky reaches its two-year expiration date, it loses its flavor. Even if the beef jerky has no flavor, you can still consume it. However, it will not taste as wonderful. However, if you’re hungry and simply have outdated beef jerky, you should be alright.

How to Keep Beef Jerky

If you have a box of beef jerky, keep all of the individually wrapped jerky packages together in the back of the cupboard. They, like other foods, should not be exposed to light or air for an extended period of time. Before storing the jerky, inspect each individually wrapped piece to ensure there are no holes in the plastic wrapper.

If there is, you must consume the beef jerky or discard it. A ripped piece of beef jerky, on the other hand, is unfit for storing.

When you open a package of beef jerky, eat it within 1-2 weeks. When you open a package of jerky, make sure to close it again and tightly seal it. You don’t want air and microorganisms to damage your jerky’s texture and flavor!


  • Beef jerky is created by dehydrating strips of meat until no liquid remains.
  • If sealed, beef jerky can last up to two years on the shelf or in the cupboard.
  • You must consume beef jerky within two weeks of opening it.
  • Beef jerky should never be soggy or wet.
  • The nitrogen poured into the bag before the packing is sealed is one of the reasons beef jerky lasts so long. The nitrogen aids in the preservation of the beef jerky flesh.
  • Because of the components, different kinds of beef jerky have varying expiration dates.
  • Beef jerky should be stored in the pantry or covered until ready to eat.

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