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FishingWebGuy

Moldy jerky

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I made a couple pounds of meat sticks about 2 weeks ago (cured, then dried). After they dried, I stored them in an air-tight container on the counter.

Yesterday as I went to grab one I noticed quite a bit of mold growing. I didn't think cured meat was going to mold. Certainly before electricity the meat was cured and hung, right? Did the meat back then not mold or did they just scrape the mold off? or would they not mold if stored in open air?

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Did you wipe off the excess grease before storing and let the meat cool before storing? I keep my jerky in the fridge for upwards of a month after drying and have never had it show mold. I have not had any experience with sticks, so sorry don't know more here.

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Fredd, no to both. I did wrap the sticks in paper towels though to absorb the grease but didn't actually wipe it off. So after storing in the fridge for a month you can store them on the counter and they don't grow mold? Or just while they are in the fridge they don't grow mold?

I want to try an learn how to keep them without refrigeration or freezing -- if that's possible.

Maybe they needed to dry longer?

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Just because you made jerky does not mean it's shelf stable. Ph and moisture are the keys for that. what you should have done was place it inthe fridge. when you go to the meat shop, some are out and others are keep refridgerated. sorry about my spelling!!

Always remember just because it's cured does not mean it's a shelf stable product. I do have a smoker and make these things, but I'm also food inspector.

Mike

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Two things cause mold: moisture and air. My guess would be that your jerky was not dry enough to store in anything less than a vacuum packed container.

Also, mold grows quicker when it's stored in a moist place. So, you may want to rethink storing moist jerky in the refrigerator unless it's vacuumed sealed or thoroughly dried.

Here's a tidbit from the AMA that you also want to think about:

E.Coli can survive drying times of up to 10 hours and temperatures of up to 145 degrees F. It is recommended that venison being dried for jerky should be precooked to an internal temperature of at least 165 degrees F.

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Cured is a loose term. That Yard'O Beef sitting in the isle unrefrigerated at Wallmart is different then home made jerky.

I'd refrigerate the motherload of jerky.

Without refrigeration you'd be better off leaving it to the air in a cool dry place.

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ok, thanks for the info everyone. So how do I make it non shelf perishable? 100 years ago how did they smoke food and store it without refridgeration?

Maybe the drying time needs to be longer? Maybe next time I'll try cold smoking them?

Any thoughts?

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Here's how I make mine in a dehydrator FWG.

Once it's been dehydrated I put it on a paper towel, lay a paper towel on top and continue stacking until all the jerkey is on the towels. I then put them in the microwave with something heavey on top overnight. I take it off the towels in the morning and put it individual ziploc bags. I put some in an ice cream bucket and put in the freezer (I make 10+ lbs at a time). I keep about 2 lbs out and in the fridge. I will take one bag out at a time and take it to work or whatnot. I've had it last in that ziploc bag in my cube for 2 or 3 weeks with no mold.

The only times I have had mold problems is if I didn't take the time to get all the grease off the meat after dehydrated.

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