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How Long Does Smoked Meat Last for Real

Is there anything better than a portion of smoked meat straight from the grill? No matter who you’re with, eating a huge portion of meat is nearly impossible. Do you want to know how long does smoked meat last? No worries, we are here to guide you through this tasty experience.

The uplifting news is that you can store meat if it has been smoked in the right way. In other words, no worries, humanity has a pretty long history of smoking and saving meat. However, even if your tasty meat is correctly stored, it doesn’t indicate that it lasts forever.

We would like to guide you through this simple process. This way you will be able to avoid food poisoning and its terrible symptoms.

Did you know that correctly smoked meat can last up to four months if properly stored in the refrigerator? You can wrap your meat and store it in the freezer for months.

We are being as precise as possible, but the storing time greatly depends on which cooking method you used in the first place.

Best Methods for Smoking Meat

Now that you’ve learned about the storage time of meat, let us move on to finding out what methods are best for smoking meat.

When you hear the term smoking, what comes to mind is cooking meat on the open fire. Sounds simple, right?

Well, not really.

There are dozens of smoking methods and each one of them has a different outcome. Every one of these methods requires a different smoking time and skillset.

Hot Smoking

This is the most common smoking method nowadays. Well, why is it called hot smoking, you might ask. This is because the smoker’s temperature varies from 220 to 255 Fahrenheit.

However, hot smoking your meat will require at least a few hours. For a huge brisket, it may need 6 to 10 hours.

The main point is your meat cooking slowly. This method won’t let you overcook and dry out the meat. Even better, it will contain all of its juices and sweet flavor.

However, keep in mind that this meat can only be kept in the refrigerator for three days maximum.

Why can you not store it for longer? Well, this cooking method is for flavoring the food, not preserving it for a long time.

Warm Smoking

The warm smoking technique is almost identical to the hot smoking procedure. The key difference between the two is the temperature.

Warm smoking requires the same time, but the internal temperature of your smoker has to be lower than 105 Fahrenheit.

Be advised, the warm smoking method is much riskier. Because of the temperature being so low, bacteria find a way to spread and you stand the risk of food poisoning.

In order to prevent this, cook your meat longer than usual. The perfect time would be from 8 to 12 hours. This way you no longer need to worry about getting sick from a delicious steak or fish.

Cold Smoking

Unlike the previous methods, cold smoking maintains a lower temperature and meat stays raw to be cut on a cutting board for raw meat. You might wonder whether or not this is safe? Well, not really.

If you don’t follow the steps correctly, you might as well throw your meat into the garbage.

•   Set your smoker’s temperature to 60 Fahrenheit.

•   Let the meat smoke for at least 10 hours.

•   Gently take it out and let it rest for a few minutes.

•   Turn the temperature of your smoker to 105 Fahrenheit.

•   Put your meat back into the smoker and wait for another 6 hours.

•   As you already know, hot smoking is a cooking technique to add lots of flavors to your meat while it cooks at a medium temperature.

•   Hot-smoke meat can last the longest thanks to a unique cooking method that requires a lot of time and patience.

The hot-smoking method is a perfect tool to give your meat a sweet, juicy flavor. The cold-smoking method will give you the same results, but will preserve the meat longer.

In both methods, the most important factor is storing meat. If you fail to do this correctly, both cold and hot-smoking techniques will be wasted. It won’t preserve itself, but rather lose its juices and create a perfect surrounding for bacteria to spread.

Just how long can we store meat that’s cooked by the above methods? Three days in the refrigerator and four months if you put it in the freezer.

Frequently Asked Questions

How long does smoked meat last generally?

If stored properly, up to 4 weeks.

Which smoker is the perfect fit for these cooking methods?

Any smoker will do, as long as heat and liquids aren’t leaking.

Which is tastier; cold-smoked, or hot-smoked meat?

Basically, they have the same taste, but hot-smoked meat is a little bit more crispy.

What if I put leftovers in the freezer and heat it up again?

This is a big no! As we already mentioned, bacteria will spread quickly and you’ll be at risk of being poisoned.

When cold-smoking the meat, what are the chances of being poisoned?

It’s not risky as long as you follow the correct steps and take your time.

How long does the vacuum-sealed smoked meat last in the fridge?

If cooked correctly, it will go for 4 days in the refrigerator and up to 4 months in the freezer.

How long does vacuum-sealed smoked meat last without the refrigerator?

24 to 48 hours, no more.

How long does cold smoked meat last?

With a refrigerator, more than a week. Without it, only 24 hours.

How long does smoked meat last without a refrigerator?

It’s a bad idea to leave your meat exposed to room temperature. It won’t last for more than a few hours.

Final Thoughts

Now that you have learned everything about smoking meat and storing it, feel free to use the recipes provided in this article.

If you can keep up with the steps and do everything perfectly, you’ll experience the sweet taste of smoked meat.

Perfecting the smoking skills isn’t that difficult, because the only two factors you need to keep track of are the internal temperature of your smoker and proper storage.

For safety purposes, try not to leave your meat outside of the refrigerator.