Beef jerky makes a great long-lasting snack. But when does beef jerky expire? While beef jerky will lose quality and texture over time, it typically goes bad long after the expiration or best by date. Most beef jerky expires after several years, but will become less soft and may lose some taste as the years go by.
Turning meat into jerky is a way to preserve meat for long periods of time without needing to refrigerate or freeze it, so it can be a great asset to food storage or emergency supplies. Or, you may eat it within just a few days of buying it because you can't resist. Either way, beef jerky can last a long time before it expires depending on factors such as how it's packaged, if it's homemade, and when it's opened. Let's jump into those scenarios to see when beef jerky expires.
When Does Homemade Beef Jerky Expire?
If you're making your beef jerky at home, when beef jerky expires depends on how you package it. If you seal it in an airtight container, homemade beef jerky can last up to 1-2 months on the shelf. This means vacuum sealed bags or other means of ensuring that no bacteria can get in. If you just throw it in a container or plastic zipped bag, you can expect it to last up to a week on the shelf or 2-3 weeks in the fridge. Or, you can make your homemade beef jerky last even longer by putting it in the freezer! (Source: Two Chicks Jerky)
When Does Beef Jerky Expire From the Store?
Here at Top Notch, our beef jerky expires after a couple of years. Our jerky's sell-by date is 1 1/2 years after it's packaged. It will last several months unopened past its sell-by date. Once you open it, our beef jerky's shelf life goes down, depending on how you store it. Let's see how long beef jerky can last after it's been opened:
How Long Does Beef Jerky Last After It's Been Opened?
Without refrigerating, it's best to eat our jerky within 3 days after opening it. Especially if it's in an opened bag and not put into an airtight container, the exposure to air will make it less tender, soft, and chewy as the days go on. Beef jerky will still last several days, but it's best to eat it within 3 days after opening.
If you refrigerate it after opening, our jerky will last longer than 3 days. Putting it in a cool, dry environment will help beef jerky stay fresh and keep its texture without becoming tough and stale as quickly.
Beef Jerky Doesn't Expire for a Long Time!
Other beef jerky brands vary in when beef jerky expires, but because jerky is a shelf-stable food it usually doesn't expire for quite some time! Unopened, beef jerky will last a couple of years, and if you put it in the freezer, you can add another year past beef jerky's sell by or expiration date and it will still be good. In fact, beef jerky will last indefinitely in the freezer, but it will start to lose its texture and other delicious qualities over time (source: People's Choice Beef Jerky)
Order Fresh, Shelf-Stable Top Notch Jerky Online
If you want a snack that will last for years on your shelf or food storage, beef jerky is the way to go. But be careful - even though beef jerky can last up to several years, once you open it it won't last long! Mostly because you'll keep finding yourself going back for more of our tender, fresh, irresistible jerky. It is best the first 3 days after opening, or in the fridge it can last several weeks - but only if you can let it go that long! If you have more questions about our jerky, contact us. If you're ready to try it, order Top Notch Jerky online today!