How long does smoked meat last?

In this article, we will tell our readers about smoked meat. Its flavor, the woods used, and how to preserve the smoked meat for a long time. The article is a combination of many steps that leads to perfect cooking and preserving meat. We will also talk about how long this smoked meat lasts and how you can prolong this duration.

How Long Does Smoked Meat Last?

Smoked meat

The meat cooked on fire by igniting some woods is called smoked Meat. Bbq is also a category of smoked meat. It is an ancient method of cooking meat and preparing meals. Either it is red meat, white meat, or seafood, people are using this method for a long time, also using the best offset smokers.

Maillard reaction

Smoke adds a rich flavor to the food and makes it delicious. It is due to the Maillard reaction. It is a chemical process due to a reaction between amino acids and reducing sugars, due to which brown meat gets a rich flavor. 

A high temperature is required for this reaction that is more than the boiling point of water. It is used in many recipes

It causes the meat to get a dark brown color due to this amazing chemical reaction that turns the raw meat into delicious, nutrient-rich food.

Why do we use smoke for cooking meat?

Smoke adds a flavor that is distinctive as well as rich. The smoke also adds color to the meat that looks great. It also provides a taste to the food. Smoke allows the slow cooking of the meat that in turn causes a perfectly cooked meat without any raw stuff left. 

Interest in smoked meat and BBQ has increased worldwide. People use it in their pastime activities to spend time with family and friends.

Woods for smoking

There are many kinds of wood used for smoking meat. But keep in mind that there is two Best Wood For Smoking. One is soft, and the other is hard.


It is biologically proven that softwood contains more sap (fluid) or terpenes, which adds an odd taste to the food and becomes a cause of sickness. Moreover, increased polyaromatic hydrocarbons cause harmful effects in the long run. 

They are in greater amounts in softwood. These hydrocarbons cause a low range of toxicity in humans, but it causes huge problems if they are consumed in a greater amount for a long time. Its endpoint is cancer. 

So avoid using woods from the trees like spruce, cedar, etc. 


Use hardwood for this purpose as it is not harmful. Hickory, acacia, mesquite are some of the hardwoods. 

Try to use the combo of these woods. Never use mesquite alone, as it has a powerful flavor and will ruin your cooking. Use small chips of it with some other woods and keep it in a low quantity.


Curing or food preservation is a process of preserving meat for a long time. Keep in mind that meat decomposes rapidly if it is not preserved. 

Curing is a method in which we add some salts to increase the solute concentration of food. It decreases the moisture and causes the meat to stay for a long time.

In this way, we reduce the chances of microbial activity, and thus meats are preserved from harm. 

We use such methods to preserve taste, flavor, texture, and color so that we can eat it later. Smoking is also a method of preserving meat for a long time. Nowadays, refrigeration has taken the place of old preserving methods.

For how long smoked meat lasts?

In this section, we will tell you how long your meat can last after smoking when we adopt the following methods.


As we already mentioned that smoking meat is also a method of preserving it for a longer time. Research has shown that smoked meat can last for almost 4 days if refrigerated after some time by removing it from the smoker. If you wrap the smoked food or meat properly and cover it correctly, you can refrigerate it for a much longer duration. 

Studies have shown that you can keep it for almost three months in a freezer that is long enough to preserve the meat.


The high temperature helps in destroying or killing the bacteria. Those in the wild cannot use electrical appliances to preserve the meat. For them, smoking is the best alternative. 

The longer the duration, the best is the outcome

The more you smoke, the more is the flavor. Greater time for smoking the meat will enhance the quality of meat to stay long as it reduces the bacterial activity. For that purpose, don’t use very heavy smoke or use the smoke indirectly. Don’t use the smoke in a way that may cause the burning of food.

Method to preserve meat for a longer time

If you are at a place where there are no tools to preserve the food, don’t worry. All you need to do is to cool, clean, and dry the meat. 


Bacteria are everywhere on earth. So, they come very fast for food. 

Warm meat helps them in decomposing soon. So, first of all, don’t let bacteria do this. Try to cool the meat with a cool breeze or wash it with water flowing from a river or stream. And if you are in a city, then cooling is not your headache. Now handover this task to the refrigerator.


After cooling, clean the dirty flesh and remove some blood and waste from it. It will also help in preserving food.


Now, moving towards the last step, which is drying it out. For that purpose, first of all, cut the whole flesh into smaller pieces and dry it in the sunlight. If not, then comes the smoking. It is the best way to reduce or clean the moisture. 

It helps lower the activity of bacteria and causes the meat to stay longer for almost 1-2 months.

The drying out of the meat protects it from microbial activity, and meat will not decompose soon. In this way, you can save your time. It will also prevent you from searching for the food again and again. Just search for the one time and keep using it without any problem.

Don’t provide too much smoke

Drying out the meat does not mean that you are cooking it on fire. We have to provide smoke that can increase the taste and make it preserved from microbial activity. 

But don’t let too much smoke enter the meat. It will reduce the taste. The color of meat will look odd and almost black, like a burned one. 

Be selective in choosing woods

Try to use some hardwoods with a good smell and flavor. Remember that the wood you chose will help you in adding flavor to the meat. So it is on the type of wood that how your smoked meat will taste like.

Don’t make the meat too dry!

During smoking your foodstuff, don’t let the meat lose all moisture that it will become hard for you to take even a small chunk. Let us tell you what we have to do to keep it tasty as well. 


Here is a complete procedure to cook or smoke your meat.

Use indirect smoke

Make different zones in the smokers, or don’t place your meat directly over the coal. Smoking involves the indirect cooking of the meat.


Marination of the meat will keep it tasty as well as well cooked. The marination will lock the moisture and keep the meat safe from drying out too quickly. Add some water to fill your smoker. There is a separate pan or tray in some smokers, specially designed for it.

Wrap with aluminum foil

Use aluminum foils to cover meat before smoking. It will give a steamy look to the food and make it more delicious, spicy, and soft. 

These tips will also help in preserving meat for a long time, and they will also keep the taste of the meat. In this way, it will become easy for you to eat meat. This sort of meat will give more taste as compared to the dried ones. 


No matter how long the smoked meat lasts, always try to cook the quantity that you can consume on time. Because healthy food is the one that is fresh and is consumed on time. Thanks.


Is it healthy to eat smoked meat?

Recent researches have shown that eating too much-smoked meat will end up in gastrointestinal cancer. Breast cancer has also been related to higher consumption of smoked meat. So try to avoid consuming grilled or smoked meat in greater amounts. You should eat it but not as a regular source of food.

There are some other meals too that are rich in proteins and fibers etc. Vegetables are considered a great source of health and nutrition. Use legumes for protein intake.

How long does a smoked chicken last?

The shelf life of a chicken is almost 48 hours. However, if you keep it in a refrigerator or a freezer, it can be increased for a long time, almost for a week and up to a month, respectively.

Which is the harder food to cook on a smoker?

Beef is the most challenging food ever that is cooked on a smoker. It takes too much time. To cook it perfectly, one needs excellent skills in smoking food.

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