Can Beef Jerky Be Undercooked? (Pink in the Middle? Explained!)

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Beef jerky is a kind of snack food that is produced by drying out small chunks of lean beef meat until there is almost no trace of liquid left. Regrettably, this indicates that it is not getting prepared in the conventional manner, and as a result, a great number of individuals do not comprehend how precisely it is with it. For instance, a lot of people are curious about the following:

Can beef jerky be undercooked? Yes, beef jerky can be undercooked when you don’t dehydrate it for long enough. But telling what undercooked means explicitly is much more complicated with jerky than with traditionally cooked meat. 

But how do you discern uncooked jerky from the truly done? And is there a genuine issue with eating uncooked jerky? Keep reading, and you’ll grasp all you need to know about this odd subject!

Is undercooked jerky safe?

Eating raw jerky isn’t a good idea for the same reason that eating raw meat isn’t safe; raw jerky may contain harmful bacteria, the most common of which are Salmonella and E. coli. Eating raw jerky isn’t a safe thing to do because raw jerky may contain harmful bacteria.

How do you know if jerky is undercooked?

That is, but there is a little issue: it might be difficult to determine if your jerky has been cooked all the way through or whether it still needs more time. You may check the doneness of the jerky by taking a little piece of it and bending it over on itself to see if any moisture comes out. If it does, the jerky is not yet ready to be eaten.

Unfortunately, because to the nature of how jerky is prepared, it might be difficult to know for certain whether or not your jerky is finished and whether or not it is completely safe to consume. On the other hand, we do have one more surprise in store for you.

If you want to be absolutely certain that your jerky has been properly cooked and does not contain any germs, the best thing to do is to heat the beef to a temperature of 71 degrees Celsius (160 degrees Fahrenheit) for a period before you begin the process of really dehydrating it.

Can beef jerky be pink in the middle?

When the jerky has been dehydrated, the vast majority of the moisture should have been extracted from the meat, resulting in an appearance that is often rather black. But, the color of your jerky is determined by a number of things, one of which is the cure that you used, so pink jerky is a possibility in the middle.

Beef Jerky Is Still Moist

Should beef jerky be pink inside?

But should that be the case? If the pink that is present in your beef jerky is not the pale pink that is present in raw meat, you do not need to be concerned since the pink that is there is most likely the product of the curing process that was performed on the meat.

What happens if you eat undercooked jerky?

As was noted before, eating jerky that has not been properly cooked runs the risk of exposing you to harmful bacteria, the most frequent of which are salmonella and E. coli. These bacteria may make you feel ill.

Can you get sick from undercooked jerky?

In light of the above, it is reasonable to assert that consuming jerky that has not been thoroughly cooked is not likely to result in any kind of negative effects on your health at all. But, don’t you agree that it is smarter to err on the side of caution rather than regret?

Is beef jerky technically raw?

No, strictly speaking, beef jerky is not raw, despite the fact that it has not been prepared in the conventional manner either. The dehydration technique that is used to manufacture jerky essentially accomplishes the same result as stated above. In addition to this, it extracts the moisture from the jerky, which is what gives it its trademark quality of being resistant to spoiling in a short amount of time.


It is possible for beef jerky to be undercooked, and jerky that is undercooked has a greater risk of containing germs that might be hazardous. The difficulty is that it might be difficult to determine whether or not jerky has been cooked all the way through. So, in order to make sure that your jerky is safe to consume, it is advisable to heat the beef to a temperature of 160 degrees Fahrenheit (71 degrees Celsius) before you begin the actual process of dehydrating it.


How can you tell if jerky is undercooked?

When your jerky has had time to cool, you should attempt to bend it ever so slightly. A strip of beef that is pliable yet does not break readily under bending is the ideal shape and structure for what we are going for here. This is the amount of dryness that we consider to be perfect for our jerky. If it tears in the center, then it has not yet lost enough moisture, but if it snaps, then it has lost too much moisture and is too dry.

What should the inside of beef jerky look like?

The perfect consistency for beef jerky has a texture that is somewhere between chewy and leathery. When you bite into it, it should be easy to chew and shouldn’t give you the impression that the meat is too tough to nibble on. It is fine for the strip to have a tiny crunch, provided that it can be consumed without causing discomfort to the jaw or causing it to get fatigued.

How can you tell if beef jerky is safe to eat?

The stench is the most obvious indicator that beef jerky has become rotten over time. It will typically smell rancid and unpleasant most of the time. If you come across beef jerky that smells bad or has mold on it, you should throw it away and not consume it.

Can you get sick from undercooked beef jerky?

Consequently, by the time the temperature of the dried meat eventually starts to increase, the bacteria will have grown more heat resistant, and they will have a greater chance of surviving. In the event that these bacteria are pathogenic, they have the potential to make anyone who consume the jerky sick with a foodborne disease.

Does beef jerky have to be completely dry?

The following are fundamental instructions in easily making jerky the tasty and nutritious delight that it should be. To begin, the inside of the meat should be completely dry before it is heated, therefore you shouldn’t do it too quickly. It’s possible that the crusty covering on the outside of the meat will help keep the moisture on the inside.

What happens if you eat the white thing in beef jerky?

It’s possible that you’ve found packets of silica in anything from beef jerky to the brand new sneakers you just purchased. Ingestion of silica gel is not often harmful, however it has been known to cause choking in a few rare cases. Because of this, the producers put a warning sticker on them that says “Do not consume.” In the event that a loved one is having difficulty breathing due to the ingestion of silica gel, contact 911 immediately and seek immediate medical assistance.

Does beef jerky have parasites?

Curing (salting), drying, smoking, or microwaving meat on its own does not reliably destroy infective worms. Homemade jerky and sausage were the source of a significant number of cases of trichinellosis that were reported to the CDC in recent years.

What happens if you eat the oxygen absorber in beef jerky?

Even in the very modest levels that are found in a single oxygen absorber packet, elemental iron is capable to causing serious poisoning. 2 In addition to this, it has direct corrosive effects and may be irritating to the digestive system. One of the earliest indicators of poisoning upon ingestion is vomiting, which may or may not be accompanied by blood.

Is beef jerky supposed to be white?

liquids extracted from the flesh. As jerky is dried, the moisture in the meat evaporates into the air, leaving behind salt crystals that are unable to remain dissolved. Instead, they remain on the surface of the jerky and may sometimes be seen as a visible deposit if the jerky is dried long enough. The deposition has the consistency of a very fine white powder. Mineral salts are included in meat, and because of this, they are soluble in oils.

Should beef jerky be red inside?

If curing salt was used in the marinade for the jerky, it is possible that the completed product will still retain a bright red color. If you did not use curing salt and your jerky is still a lighter red or pink color after being cooked, this is an indication that it is not fully cooked. But, this is a common occurrence and a sign that the curing salt did its job.