Can You Freeze Beef Jerky?

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By Lewis Brindley

Reading Time: 3 minutes

Beef jerky is a very old-school way of ensuring that you can keep a snack ready to eat in your home for a long time indeed. To be sure that you keep the beef jerky that you’ve made or bought in peak freshness and tastiness, is freezing the way to go?

Can You Freeze Beef Jerky?

Yes, you can freeze beef jerky for up to 12 months. Line an airtight container with foil or baking paper and then put the jerky into the container. Seal the container tight and then pop it into the freezer.

Does Beef Jerky Freeze Well? Yes

Can You Refreeze Beef Jerky? Yes

How to Freeze Beef Jerky

If you have an unoepend packet of jerky that you want to freeze then you can probably place this directly into the freezer – assuming you want to thaw it all in future.

If, however, you only want to defrost a few pieces at a time or have an opened packet already then these are the steps you’ll need to take:

  1. Prepare Containers: Find a suitable container that will seal completely air-tight before lining the container with a layer of foil. The reason that we would recommend foil is that it’s non-permeable, meaning that any frost or condensation forming will not penetrate the jerky.
  2. Add the Jerky: After lining the airtight container with foil, add the jerky directly to the container. Try to be a little bit of a neat freak here – ensuring that you can store the maximum amount of jerky in one container.
  3. Seal: Once the jerky is in the container, place the lid on top and seal it completely shut, double-checking all the way around the container. If there’s a gap in the seal, then the moist environment of your freezer will likely increase the condensation.
  4. Freeze: Once sealed, transfer the jerky to your freezer, where it will freeze very well for up to twelve months.

3 Tips for Freezing Beef Jerky

Now you know how to freeze it, we’ve got our 3 top tips which we strongly recommend following when freezing beef jerky to have the best results:

Keep It Tightly Sealed
Keeping the container sealed is vital to prevent freezer burn, but it’s needed for another reason, too – you must ensure that the smell of beef jerky doesn’t permeate through your freezer, leading to several of your food items taking on a beefy smell. You probably don’t fancy beef-infused vanilla ice cream!

Vanilla Ice Cream Scoops

Freeze In Smaller Batches
There’s an upper limit on the amount of jerky someone can eat in a day. Thawing a huge volume of jerky will lead to spoilage of excess, leading to throwing your jerky out. Therefore, thaw in small batches, and eat without wastage. 

Thaw Fully and Slowly
Jerky is already chewy and tough. The one thing that is certainly not needed is for the time that it spends in the freezer to lead to it being thicker, chewier, and tougher. To allow the jerky to be as close to ideally textured as possible, we recommend ensuring that it’s completely and totally thawed.

How Long Can You Freeze Beef Jerky?

You can freeze beef jerky for around 12 months.

Beyond that time, freezer burn will likely set in, and ice crystals will form throughout the jerky you’re working with. This will likely lead to a massive decrease in the pleasantness of the texture, leading to degradation. 

How Long Does Beef Jerky Last in the Fridge?

When kept in a dark cupboard or pantry, beef jerky will last around 1 week. If you keep it in the fridge, then jerky will last up to 2 weeks.

How Do You Defrost Beef Jerky?

The best way to defrost beef jerky is to place it in your fridge overnight, or even for a total 24 hours.

As beef jerky is exceptionally dehydrated, allowing it to get too moist during a rapid thaw would lead to a degradation of quality, which is less than ideal. Therefore, a slow fridge thaw is best.

Can You Refreeze Beef Jerky?

Yes, you can refreeze beef jerky. The main thing that is likely to damage beef jerky over time is the fact that freezer burn could set in, which would damage the texture of the food.

This will not occur from the repeated freezing of beef jerky, only from the long-term freezing of it. Therefore, refreezing beef jerky will not harm it.

Does Beef Jerky Freeze Well?

Yes, beef jerky does freeze well.

There will be no degradation in the overall quality of the beef jerky over the course of 12 months of freezing. After that, freezer burn may begin to set in, however.

If you’ve still got questions about freezing beef jerky or jerky in general, then these may help:

Can You Freeze Biltong?

Yes, biltong can be frozen for up to 12 months. Wrap pieces of biltong in cling film before popping them into a freezer bag and then into the freezer.

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