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How long will jerky stay OK to eat?
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Helge Melbye
(st.helge) - F

Locale: Norway
How long will jerky stay OK to eat? on 04/25/2007 15:04:20 MDT Print View

Hi there!

This summer I'll be hiking for about 12 weeks, and need to ship some food ahead for me to pick up. I will still need to carry up to 3 weeks worth of food at the time, so I'm doing my best to find low weight/high in energy foods. Right now I'm adding sunflower-seeeds (up to 700 cal/100grams) to my oatmeal to increase energy content.

But my question is this: if I make jerky (beef and turkey) myself, how long will it stay good? I plan on using a mix of the various recepies found on the net, preferably the ones without sodium nitrite. I have a medical condition that requires me to eat more salt than what is recomended for others, so I figured I would use salt as a sort of cure. After dehydrating I will place the jerky in ZipLock bags, put them in my freezer until it's time to ship the food ahead. I need to ship the food before I leave, so the jerky will need to stay good for 12 or so weeks in room temps. Is this possible?

I'm located in Norway, and even the thought of buying prefabricated jerky scares my wallet half to death; try 90-110 dollars per kilo!!! There really isn't any tradition for making jerky here, only cured hams and legs of lamb -that BTW tastes really good. The only jerky I've found so far is either imported from the US, or made by some really small company that tries to market jerky as an excotic snack. There's also a lot of dried fish to be found, but I prefer the fresh trout I'll hopefully catch!

H.

kevin davidson
(kdesign) - F

Locale: Mythical State of Jefferson
Jerky Longevity on 04/25/2007 15:15:57 MDT Print View

I have made Jerky that lasted through a nearly 6 week backpack. Some of this Jerky was pre- shipped to a horsepacker and then stored in rather indifferent conditions. It looked good, tasted good and no one in my party became sick. I wonder if it might have something to do with the jerky being marinated in garlic, honey and tamari--- these are all reputed to have antimicrobial properties.

The jerky was made from higher quality Round Steak w/ all fat cut off.

As to 12 weeks----further research is required. Make up a batch and turn your friends into lab rats :-) .

There's always Rakfisk!

Edited by kdesign on 04/25/2007 15:25:48 MDT.

Helge Melbye
(st.helge) - F

Locale: Norway
Re: Jerky Longevity on 04/25/2007 15:39:00 MDT Print View

Rakfisk is a sure way to get sick! It smells horrible, the texture is horrible and the taste leaves a lot to be desired! And since the fish is actually fermented (read rotten), if it was ever so slightly contaminated when production started it can get rather poisonous! Maybe that is why it is eaten with a lot of beer and Akevitt (from Aqua Vita, water of life) Akevitt is 40% liquor spiced up with cummin. Tastes awfull as well, but gets the job done!!

Friends as labrats is an interesting idea ;-)

H.

ROBERT TANGEN
(RobertM2S) - M

Locale: Lake Tahoe
Norway Equals Crappy Food? on 04/25/2007 18:07:53 MDT Print View

Since I have some Norwegians among my ancestors, I guess it's not too politically incorrect to ask, "Why do those people like the most horrible food on the planet?" Kim Chi tastes better than lutefisk. (Only Phillipine balut is worse.) And the stuff that does taste good, like butter cookies, slatheres goop on your arteries.

Ken Helwig
(kennyhel77) - MLife

Locale: Scotts Valley CA via San Jose, CA
Re: Norway Equals Crappy Food? on 04/25/2007 21:38:59 MDT Print View

But I like goop on my arteries. It makes me hike more!!!!

Helge Melbye
(st.helge) - F

Locale: Norway
Re: Norway Equals Crappy Food? on 04/26/2007 01:00:09 MDT Print View

Lutefisk is not very good, I'll agree with you there!

But I was treated to a few "Norwegian" dishes while I visited some friends in Minesota a few years ago, and I have to admit that I had never seen some of these dishes before. Or they were so diluted/americanized that the only thing Norwegian about them were the name...

Quite a few of the dishes being pushed as "really Norwegian" are in fact "poor mans food". Who else would take a piece of dried cod, soak it in lye and boil it? That is how lutefisk is made!!!

But as far as grose food is conerned, I think the Icelandics have us beat! They have a dish that calls for whale or shark blubber and a couple of years of "fermentation"...

Butter cookies? I think they are more Danish than Norwegian. But they are gooooood!

H.

Edited some typos...

Edited by st.helge on 04/26/2007 01:10:04 MDT.

Lorraine Pace
(SowthEfrikan) - F
Helge, make biltong on 04/26/2007 17:31:33 MDT Print View

It's cured with salt and vinegar, seasoned with pepper and coriander, and air dried. Search the net for recipes.

George Matthews
(gmatthews) - MLife
Re: How long will jerky stay OK to eat? on 05/05/2007 18:54:06 MDT Print View

>> how long will it stay good?

I recently got a food dehydrator. I'm going to try to make beef jerky the next time I run it. The info I have for jerky said that it will last 2-3 weeks unless you freeze it.

>> 90-110 dollars per kilo!!!

That sounds too high for a couple of pounds of jerky.
If it's correct then I will start a jerky biz and export to Norway : )

Helge Melbye
(st.helge) - F

Locale: Norway
Re: Re: How long will jerky stay OK to eat? on 05/07/2007 11:59:10 MDT Print View

>> 90-110 dollars per kilo!!!

>That sounds too high for a couple of pounds of jerky.
>If it's correct then I will start a jerky biz and export to Norway : )

Jupp, that's the correct price! It's crazy, I know.

I read somewhere that if the jerky is done correct it would keep for years even without a curing agent or freezing. I'm not sure if I really believe that, but 2-3 weeks seem a bit short.

Looking forward to your exported jerky!

H.

Sam .
(samurai) - F

Locale: NEPA
Re: Re: Re: How long will jerky stay OK to eat? on 05/07/2007 19:53:46 MDT Print View

>I recently got a food dehydrator. I'm going to try to make beef jerky the next time I run it. The info I have for jerky said that it will last 2-3 weeks unless you freeze it.

The short bag life quoted is likely because most recipes are for squirted out fatty hamburger, almost jerky imitation recipes.

Make good lean jerky from very lean, well trimmed eye of round or similar cuts of beef and it will keep for months. The beef isn't what's prone to spoilage so much as the fat. Dry it way past what you think is jerky and package it airtight while still warm. You'll be surprised how leathery it'll be in a few days after the remaining moisture equalizes in the package.

Been doing it for years... no worry.

Chad Mason
(porch13) - M

Locale: Arizona
Jerky life on 05/07/2007 20:14:48 MDT Print View

I make a big batch of jerky every 6 months or so and it lasts for months. Store it in a tupperware-type container (not a baggie) and it will keep for months.

George Matthews
(gmatthews) - MLife
Re: Jerky life on 05/08/2007 10:06:55 MDT Print View

I humbly stand corrected. After reading all of the info, I found that it was related to ground beef type jerky made with a jerky gun accessory. I don't want that kind.

I'm going to follow the advice of Sam and Chad and make premium jerky - it just might very well be the best jerky in all of the world - and unquestionably, the lightest jerky on the globe.

Gotta start pushing the biz : )