Although it might be the most important step in making homemade jerky, the storing process is one that is often neglected and misunderstood. The following information are excellent guidelines in helping you to properly store jerky after the cooking process to ensure a quality snack for the longest time possible.
Before you store your jerky, always make sure that it has completely cooled. If you do not do this it will sweat and mold will set in.
The following are ways you may preserve your jerky:
* Shrink wrap – a material made up of plastic film. When heat is applied to this material it shrinks tightly over whatever it was covering.
* Skin Pack – a type of carded packaging where a product is placed on a piece of paperboard, and a thin sheet of transparent plastic is placed over the product and paperboard.
* Plastic wrap – a thin plastic film typically used for sealing food items in containers to keep them fresh. Plastic wrap, typically sold on rolls in boxes with a cutting edge, clings to many smooth surfaces and can thus remain tight over the opening of a container with no adhesive or other device.
* Vacuum packing – a method of storing food and presenting it for sale. Appropriate types of food are stored in an airless environment, usually in an airtight pack or bottle to prevent the growth of microorganisms. The vacuum environment removes atmospheric oxygen, protecting the food from spoiling. Vacuum packaging products using plastic bags, canisters, bottles, or mason jars are available for home use.
* Vacuum pouches are used in conjunction with vacuum packaging equipment to reduce the atmosphere in a package to protect and preserve the freshness of food products, such as meat and poultry, seafood, produce and cheese. Vacuum pouches are also used to keep other non-food products (e.g. medical and pharmaceutical items) sterile and to prevent oxidation.
The benefits of vacuum packaging in vacuum pouches include:
* Increased shelf-life of food products:
* Prevention of product degradation and protection from oxidation:
* Protection against contact and contamination:
* Various types of vacuum pouches include:
* Side-seal Vacuum Pouches
* Zipper/Resealable Vacuum Pouches
* Metalized Vacuum Pouches
* Stand-up Vacuum Pouches
* (Boil-in-Bags) Vacuum Pouches
* Safe Handling Vacuum Pouches
If you know you are not going to eat your jerky for several months up to a year or plus, you will want to package it very tightly and place in the freezer.
Commercially packaged jerky can be kept 12 months out of freezer.
Home-dried jerky can be stored 1 to 2 months out of freezer.
Unsalted jerky should be refrigerated and used within two weeks.
Roll it up in its plastic wrap, put it in an airtight container and store in the refrigerator or freezer.
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