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How Long Does Beef Jerky Last? [Shelf Life Guide]

Yep, we Americans are all big-time hoggers of Beef. And beef jerky is no exception.

I mean they not only give us something tasty to chew on but also gives our mouth a good exercise. Now, that’s a win-win for us.

So, beef jerkies come cut in strips that are dried and marinated or smoked with the perfect blend of spices (that is, of course, tolerable for the American lot) that is available in almost all of the states across the country.

And the best part is that they come pre-cooked, so for all the lazy people out there, it is the perfect snack to chew on.

Not to mention all the proteins noted by Refinery29 that come with it.

However, let’s say you consumed a beef jerky that went bad. What happens then?

Well, to say the least, you would end up having a food poisoning situation, which can be a nasty experience.

But you needn’t bother about that now. The following headers here will give you the pointers to watch out for if beef jerky is your go-to food.

So, does Beef jerky go bad? Well, let’s find out.

Does Beef Jerky Go Bad? How Long Does Beef Jerky Last?


Yes, like all things that are meat, beef jerky does go bad.

But the point is to know their expiration date and what types of manufacturing process spoil quicker than the other.

The USDA in its guidelines states that a commercially packed beef jerky can be stored for about 1 to 2 years.

Unlike the commercial packages, the homemade beef jerky has a bit of a shorter shelf-life, say about 2 months or so. 

Nevertheless, some conditions can be applied to make them last longer.

Tips like storing them in the freezer as pointed out by the beef jerky hub can avoid the presence of bacteria that rots your meat.

Or through the use of drying agents that keeps the moisture away.

Homemade beef jerky can be made to last longer if you cut out all the fat before drying.

How to Tell If Beef Jerky Is Bad? Beef Jerky Shelf Life!


Right, the first thing you can look out for are those tiny droplets of water in the bags that you use to store them.

This, according to Jerkyholic, is because if it is good then the meat shouldn’t be sweating out any moisture.

Their taste is always a big giveaway about their condition. You will know when it tastes bad, it is spoilt.

The unpleasant taste usually arises when you have kept them out open without refrigerating them.

Especially when it is homemade. Because homemade jerkies are made in-household dehydrator or in a warm oven.


Does Beef Jerky Go Bad? How Long Does Beef Jerky Last?

5 from 1 vote
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Course Shelf Life
Servings 1 Serving


  • Beef jerky
  • Air-tight containers or Ziplock bags
  • Labels and markers


  • Read the guide thoroughly to learn how long it lasts.
  • Label your container with the content and date and keep track of how much you’re using!
  • Make sure to store in an airtight container in a cool, dark place (pantry or fridge).
  • If frozen, thaw in the fridge before use. Always check for signs of spoilage before using.
Did you make this recipe?Mention @EatDelights or tag #eatdelights!

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