I have been reading these great forums for a while now and have started my preps. I initially focused on water filters, first aid and lots of general items. I did start my food supply too but still ave a long way to go.
I have a lot of venison in my freezer, we let friends hunt on our property. We are not real fans of it, I can eat eat but my wife does not like the taste. We did get a dehydrator several months ago and have been learning how to get the best results. We like making jerky from the venison and now I want to store it for longer term. I have read all the pages of the prep update tread and seem to remember that someone packed jerky in paper towels and then sealed them.
I am planing to make a lot of jerky this week and storage long term, what is the best way?
I use glass jars (spaghetti sauce jars or canning jars) and seal them by removing air with my Pump-N-Seal. Keeping in dark, cool, dry place seems to work best for me for most storage. Not thrilled with using plastic bags, even zip-lock freezer with air pulled out, for long-term.
Last edited by *Andi; 08-12-2012 at 10:20 PM.
Reason: Moderator: Approved post
Something to consider is that most Jerky recipes today are for eating now, not long-term storage. So make sure that there are no ingredients/marinades that may effect long-term storage.
Second, you need to address two things with Jerky, moisture and O2. Packing the end product in salt can address the moisture issue, though you may need to soak it a bit to make it palatable years down the road because it will be extremely dry. Good for preservation but a tad rough on the teeth Or you could package it in Mylar with O2 as well as Food grade Moisture Absorbers.
Thank you for the information everybody, so if I use the mylar bags and O2 absorbers it can be good for longer? I was thinking of this as my first LTS meats besides the spam I already have.
I read the PDF on pemmican very interesting I have to look into it.
You need to add the Moisture absorber as well, it can mold very easily. Another thought on your meat preps is to pressure can it. I know you were asking about jerky, but actually canning it will give a far greater shelf-life and you could use it up in stronger flavored recipes so that you family can handle the venison (think Chili, spaghetti sauce, etc.)
You cannot buy skillsets and mindsets in a sealed can
If your goal is more about having meat in long-term storage than it is about specifically making and storing jerky, I highly recommend a pressure canner. You could can that venison for a longer shelf life than the jerky. And once you get started canning meat, you'll enjoy it. I regularly will get the meat in the grocery store that is marked down for quick sale because it expires the next day, then take it home and can it. Or when some meat is a loss leader at the grocery store (loss leaders are items on the front of the sale flyers that the store loses money on, but uses to get people into the store), I'll stock up on that and can it. We have a lot of meat in our basement.
A pressure canner seemed a bit confusing when I first got it, but I just followed the directions that came with it, step by step. By the second use, it was easy, and by the third use the steps were all second nature. Now I can't imagine not having the canner. There is great satisfaction to having all that meat stored up (and we do cycle through it on a regular basis, too).
Most folks on this site will recommend getting the Ball Blue Book Guide for canning, but I really like The Complete Guide to Home Canning and Preserving by the USDA. All you need to can meat is the instruction guide that comes with the canner, and a book that gives you weights and times for individual food items.
Welcome to the world of long-term food storage.
p.s. - I should be clear that I'm talking about a pressure canner.
All meat needs to be canned in a pressure canner, not a water-bath canner.