I am new to jerky making and I am wondering if the community can recommend a preservative I can add in/on to my jerky that will allow me to keep my jerky for several weeks unrefridgerated. I am looking to make both slabs and snack sticks.
Hip Granny One of the main things you are going to need to be able to do is to test the water activity of your jerky to see if it is shelf stable. Sadly, water activity meters are very expensive and not something most people have access too.
We recently played around with a new recipe where we use extra sugar to bind the water in the jerky and make it unavailable for microbial growth. It has worked well but our main goal with that was to keep the jerky tender and the shelf stability was more of a side effect. We will have a video coming out on that soon!
Anyone else have any ideas?
Hey Hip Granny, with a call sign like that…you gotta be a pretty hip granny!
I’ve had great success with slightly over drying my jerky and then letting it sit for a day or so and then I vacuum seal it it small quantities (maybe 10 or so pieces). I’ve had it stored that way out in the garage for over a year and it still tastes great and didn’t give anyone the craps so i think it’s good. I’m sure some will argue with me that I can’t do it like this but they can argue all they want, I have proof it works. I’ve never tried the snack stix this way, they’re usually have much more moisture content and I just don’t think it’ll work, but the jerky works great. My advice is try a small batch, let it sit as long a you dare…then open it, give it a good sniff test and then maybe a small bite or two and see what you think. Good luck.