While it may still be winter outside, you can be sure summer is on the way. And, with that we should be aware of the handling of the meat used for homemade jerky. Whether you are transporting it, defrosting it or storing it . . . the handling of raw meat is very important with regard to temperatures.
To defrost frozen meat for jerky, one of the following methods can be used. 
- Defrost food in the refrigerator
- Defrost in cold water
- Defrost in the Microwave (use defrost setting or be very careful not to start cooking process.)
Note: For foods defrosted in water, place meat in airtight packaging and submerge in cold water.
Storage and Chilling
The following are pretty much just good-old-common-sense, but never hurts to refresh. 
- Meats should be stored in a refrigerator with a temperature of 40 degrees or below. This temperature should be maintained to slow growth of harmful microbes.
- Always refrigerate or freeze the meat as soon as you get home from the store.
- Never let meats sit at ‘room temperature’ more than 2 hours before refrigerating or freezing. Nte: The time should be reduced to 1 hour IF the temperature is above 90 degrees F.
- Never defrost at room temperature. (See above.)
- Never over-stuff the refrigerator as the cold air needs to circulate to keep meat/food safe.
While maintaining a safe temperature at home while working with jerky meat is important, it is equally important to keep meat safe when transporting from the grocery store to home. This can be done by one of the following ways:
- Packing the meats in a pre-cooled, insulated bag cooler
- Storing in a cooler with ice packs If you’re looking for the best, look for a Yeti Cooler
- In a pinch, wrap the meats in thick newspaper or heavy brown paper and keeping it out of direct sun while in the vehicle.
Note: This last method should only be used if no other storage method is available and then the meat should be delivered straight home to the refrigerator or freezer.