Can Beef Jerky Get Moldy?

A problem many jerky lovers are likely to encounter is the dreaded moldy jerky. Unfortunately, this is not an uncommon problem when it comes to dried meat. In fact, this article will highlight what causes jerky to get smelly as well as how you can remedy the problem. The primary reason why your beef jerky has a tendency to get smelly is because of moisture.

When you buy beef jercy, chances are that it was packaged in moist packaging materials such as paper or plastic bags. These materials trap moisture which eventually leads to musty odors after the beef has been stored for some time. To put it simply, if you store your jerky in moist environments, then the smelly issue will become more pronounced over time.

In this guide, you will learn:

Why Jerky Gets Smelly – Let’s first discuss why the meat could start to smell bad. When stored in moist environments, the meat will absorb the moisture and start to produce an odor. This is a result of microbial fermentation and is most common in dry red meat like jerky.

The good news is that you can remedy this problem by following the steps below:

– Remove the jerky from the moist environment. Place it in an air-tight container and store it in a cool, dry place.

– Change the bag if possible. If the jerky is still in the bag, remove the air from the bag and replace it with an air-tight container.

– Divide the meat into portions and freeze them. You can also dehydrate the jerky. This will remove the moisture from the jerky while keeping the taste and nutritional value intact.

– Change the jerky seasoning. Just like your dry spices and herbs, jerky seasoning can also lose its potency over time. To keep the jerky tasting good, replace the seasoning with a fresh batch every six months.

Why Jerky Gets Smelly.

As discussed above, when beef jerky is stored in moist environments, it will start to emit musty odors over time. The primary reason for this is microbial growth. Microbes are microscopic organisms that can be found in almost all areas of the Earth.

They are responsible for most of the decomposition processes in nature. They can also be found in your body as certain bacteria are essential to our health. As a result, they can also be found in the food we consume.

When beef jerky is stored in moist environments, the microbes on the jerky will start to grow. They will then produce compounds called volatile metabolites that cause the meat to emit an unpleasant odor.

Can Beef Jerky Get Moldy – A Comprehensive Guide to Remedying Your Problem

Tips to Avoid Smelly Beef Jerky.

– Don’t store your beef jerky in moist environments. This means that you need to store it in an air-tight container or freezer so that the beef jerky does not get too moist.

– Don’t leave beef jerky in the bag after eating. Instead, seal the bag and place it in an air-tight container.

– Change the jerky seasoning as per the instructions provided.

– Remove the meat from the dry spices once you are done with them.

– Don’t over-spice your jerky. Remember, too much spice will only cause the jerky to get smelly.

– Don’t leave the meat in the marinade for too long. This will cause the flavors to seep into the meat and increase the chances of it getting smelly.

– Don’t store the beef jerky for longer than necessary. This means that you need to consume your beef jerky within a few months after purchasing it.

– Don’t buy beef jerky that is too old. This means that you need to purchase the beef jerky after a few months have passed since it was packaged.


The good news is that you can easily remedy the problem by following the above tips. This problem is most common among people who buy beef jerky in bulk and store it in moist places. By following these simple steps, you can easily remedy the problem and enjoy beef jerky all throughout the year.

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