How Long Does Smoked Meat Last? (A Detailed Guide)

March 30, 2023 5 min read

How Long Does Smoked Meat Last? (A Detailed Guide)

Nothing is better than the aroma of smoked meat oozing in the air in the summer as you sip on refreshing drinks and enjoy this meat in your backyard. Freshly smoked meat can take you to food heaven, as it is a juicy and tender meat. However, many people also store smoked meat to make it last. 

The key is knowing how long it will last so you don't have a food-related illness or bad stomach. So, if you are wondering how long does smoked meat last, you are in the right place. 

Here is a detailed answer to your question. 

How Long Does Smoked Meat Last? (Answered)

Meat smoking Inside Meat smoker

The smoked meat will typically last for four days. However, there is a catch to this. It will only last for four days if you refrigerate the meat two hours after you are done smoking it. 

On the other hand, it can last for three months in the freezer. However, this will only happen if you store the smoked meat right. The time it lasts will also depend on how you have smoked the meat. 

Smoking Techniques For Meat 

Here are all the different types of smoking techniques that will affect how long your meat will last:

  1. The Cold Technique 

People think that there is only a hot technique for smoking, but even cold smoking is a thing for meat. The technique requires you to cure the meat using salt so that it can dehydrate, which means no bacteria will grow in the meat. After that, you can hang the meat for one to twelve hours in a place where the flow of air is good. 

Doing this helps to create a sticky layer on the meat to ensure that the smoky flavor clings to it. Afterward, you can use a temperature below 90F to cold-smoke your meat. Keep in mind that depending on the meat and cut you use, this technique can take a few days. 

  1. Hot Technique 

Perhaps the most popular technique of smoking meat is the hot one. Such a technique is known as hot because it requires the internal smoker temperature to be between 220 and 250F. Keep in mind that such high temperatures do not mean that your meat will smoke quickly.

If you want to know about which grill smoker will be the best for your somking meat, please read- The Ultimate Guide to Finding the Best Pellet Grill for Your Outdoor Cooking Needs

Even at such a temperature, it can take a few hours to the entire night for the meat to smoke. For example, a beef brisket can take an entire night to smoke properly. This is why the time it takes depends on the meat and other factors. 

If you have used this technique to smoke your meat, then it will only last in the fridge for four days. So, keep this in mind before you use such a technique. 

  1. Roasting Technique 

There is a roasting technique that you can also opt for, which includes smoking and traditional roasting for a great flavor. Keep in mind that this doesn't extend the life of the meat in any way. Instead, the purpose of using such a technique is to add another layer of flavor to the meat. 

So, if you like the flavor of roasting, then you can add it to your smoked meat. Once you do, it will provide you with the additional depth you need to indulge in delicious meat. 

  1. Warm Technique 

You might be wondering why there is a warm technique when there is already a hot smoking technique. Well, the warm smoking technique requires you to utilize a temperature between 77 and 104F in the smoker. Because of this, it is ideal for you to use this technique to smoke delicate meats that don’t require a high temperature. 

For example, you can use this technique to smoke sausages, bacon, fish, and much more. We recommend that you don’t use poultry or pork with this technique. If you do, it can lead to food poisoning because the meat will not cook properly. 

Also Read: Top 10 Best Meat To Smoke For Beginners

How Long Does Smoked Meat Last With The Cold Technique?

It is important to know whether the technique will affect the longevity of the smoked meat. Keep in mind that the cold technique will ensure that the meat lasts longer than hot smoking. That is because the entire process of curing the meat, airing it out, and then smoking it will ensure that there is no bacterial growth. 

Because of this, such meat can easily last for a few months. However, if you don't follow a proper technique, then this will not happen, and your meat will go bad in no time. This is why it is crucial to perfect the cold technique if you want the meat to last for a few months. 

The key to making the most use of it is to opt for foods that are not at high risk for food-related illness. For example, you can begin by smoking bacon, cheese, tofu, or even eggs with this technique. Once you get the hang of it, then you can move on to other types of meat that you like to consume. 

Also Read: How Long To Smoke A Brisket At 200?

How Long Does Smoked Meat Last With The Hot Technique?

Now that you know about the cold technique, you might be wondering how long your meat will last if you use the hot technique. Well, when you use this technique, the meat will cook slowly. The length of time the smoked meat will last will depend on the guidelines you follow. 

That is because making smoked meat last for a long time is all about how well you can control bacterial growth. Here are some tips you can follow to inhibit such growth for the best results:

  • Use a vacuum sealer to make sure your meat lasts without coming into contact with air and bacteria
  • Don’t use a dirt chopping board, knife, or other cutlery that can contaminate the meat
  • Store the meat by wrapping it in foil to guarantee that nothing can get inside
  • Keep the fridge in the meat for two hours after you are done smoking it
  • Read the guidelines by Food Safety and Inspection services to ensure that the meat reaches a safe temperature for smoking and storage

All of these guidelines will guarantee that the smoked meat last will for four days in the fridge and three months in the freezer. Meat that has been smoked using the hot technique will not last for more than four days in the refrigerator. On the other hand, if you don’t follow these guidelines, then the meat will go bad even more quickly than you anticipated. 

Also Read: When To Wrap Brisket: All The Tips You Must Know

Final Thoughts 

That was everything you needed to know about how long does smoked meat last. The answer will depend on the storage method and the technique you have used to smoke your meat. So, make sure that you thoroughly read these guidelines so that you can smoke and store your meat in the best way possible. 

Once you do, you will enjoy delicious smoked meat that you can enjoy with other sides, sandwiches, and much more. There are endless ways you can use smoked meat that will boost your meals in no time. So, make sure that you are using the right techniques to get the ideal results.

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