Does Beef Jerky Expire? And Other Questions, Answered

Beef jerky has been around for hundreds of years. In fact, some say an ancient tribe of Inca Indians made the first jerky in the 1500's. The Native Americans were believed to have made jerky from buffalo. Over the years, beef jerky has become a major food staple for campers, hikers, and others who need a good source of protein that is easy to transport, and convenient to eat, while on the go.

Whether you love beef jerky or have yet to try it, you may have some questions regarding this delicious food. Here are the answers to some common questions that often get asked about beef jerky.

Does Beef Jerky Expire?

Jerky is made from dried meat, which enables it to have a long shelf life. However, even though jerky lasts much longer than meat that doesn't get dried, beef jerky will not last forever. When properly stored in a vacuum-sealed package in a cool, dark spot, beef jerky can last up to 2 years.

Freezing beef jerky might help it to last even longer. You'll know your beef jerky has gone bad when the color and smell start to change and it doesn't taste like it's supposed to.

Does Beef Jerky Need to Be Cooked?

One of the best things about beef jerky is that it is pre-cooked and ready to eat. There is no food prep involved whatsoever, which makes beef jerky is so incredibly convenient. In most cases, you don't even have to refrigerate the package after it's been opened.

Can My Dog Eat Beef Jerky?

Dogs are carnivores, which means they love meat. However, this doesn't mean that you should give Fido just any kind of meat. While there are dog treats that look just like beef jerky for humans, you probably shouldn't give a dog your beef jerky.

The spices used to make the jerky might upset your dog's stomach. Although it's not very common, some dogs have gotten sick and needed vet attention from eating beef jerky. If you really care about your pooch, you'll eat all the beef jerky yourself and buy different jerky treats made just for Fido.

Is Beef Jerky Nutritious?

As with most meat products, some are healthier than others. Beef jerky is made from lean meat and is also high in protein. Beef jerky also contains high amounts of vitamin B-12, along with essential vitamins including zinc, selenium, iron, and niacin. One downside of most beef jerky is that it usually contains high amounts of sodium and artificial preservatives. There are also some brands that contain unnatural chemicals and MSG. Fortunately, there are also companies, like T.O.P. Chops, that use only natural ingredients, which helps to make beef jerky a nutritious snack.

Does Beef Jerky Have Carbs?

Most beef jerky has carbs, because of the added sugar that makes it taste appetizing. While some jerky has more sugar than others, it's hard to find a great-tasting jerky without sugar. 

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