Keto-friendly. No carbs. This jerky eliminates all preservatives or artificial ingredients. Long shelf life of up to a year. Quality dried beef. Comes in several flavor options.
While this product is natural, it is not made with grass-fed beef. Sometimes seems too dry.
Lots of flavors available. Teriyaki flavor is on the sweet side but is still low carb. A convenient protein snack. Jack Links also makes jerky out of other types of meat, like chicken and pork.
This jerky contains both wheat and soy, which might be a challenge for some people.
The spice level on this jerky is pretty high, but not so high you cannot eat it. 97% fat free. Jerky is not too dry. Gluten-free. This brand has several hot flavors to choose from.
You do not get a large amount for the price.
This set comes with half jalapeño and half original flavors. Spices are non-GMO. Jalapeño is not too spicy. Not greasy. Excellent taste.
These are pricey and the texture can seem a little mushy.
We purchase every product we review with our own funds — we never accept anything from product manufacturers.
In Scotland, they have a saying, “A hungry man’s meat is long in making ready.” Jerky is the original “long in making ready” meat dish. Between cutting, marinating, and cooking in a wood smoker, it can take a couple of days to make good beef jerky. Even with dehydrators instead of wood-burning smokers, it still takes time. There are no shortcuts when it comes to jerky.
That time-consuming process is why packaged jerky is so expensive for such small amounts. Time is money, after all. That being the case, you want to get the best bang for the buck.
Jerky is a great trail snack, an easy choice when you’re waiting in a deer stand, on a fishing boat, or driving across the country. It can stave off hunger pangs when you know its hours until your next full meal and you don’t want to bloat on sugary snacks that add unwanted calories and inches to your waistline.
But which jerky is best for you? Keep reading this beef jerky buying guide and we’ll show you everything you need to know to chew, er, choose wisely.
The first thing to consider when buying jerky is the package size. Seek out the small print at the bottom of the package to determine the weight. Jerky is typically sold by the ounce. If the contents’ weight is less than five ounces, you should consider getting another bag or two. As any jerky maven can tell you, the stuff is incredibly addictive. Once you get started, it’s hard to stop, so stock up.
If you’re one of those iron-willed people who can stop eating jerky before finishing the whole bag, we salute you. If this is you, look for jerky in resealable packaging, which a number of manufacturers offer.
Are you eating jerky in public? If so, know that eating tough jerky that you really have to gnaw at can look a bit ungraceful at times. For these occasions, choose jerky that’s softer and easier to tear apart.
Jerky comes in different types of chewiness. Jerky that is touted as “original” may be tougher and stringier than other types. Jerky is a long-lasting snack: each bite may take several minutes to chew before you can swallow it.
Every brand is different, and the teriyaki flavored jerky from one company may be softer than the same flavor from another. Trial and error may be required to discover which jerkys have the chewiness you like best.
The physical texture of the jerky when you handle it is another important feature. Jerky is a finger food, so the texture makes a difference.
Which flavor, or flavors, of beef jerky you prefer is an entirely subjective issue. Everyone has their favorites. Fortunately, jerky comes in a lot of different flavors. Some of the most popular flavors are:
Beef jerky will generally set you back from under $1 per ounce to over $3 per ounce, depending on the quality and brand. Jerky that costs under $1 an ounce is often less like real beef jerky and more like cured sticks of meat.
Between $1 and $3 per ounce is the medium price range for beef jerky. Most brands of jerky will fall somewhere in this range. Spending over $3 an ounce is the high end of the jerky market. Beef jerkys in this price range are most often unusually spicy specialty varieties or high-quality “all-natural” offerings.
Resealable baggies: Solimo Sandwich Storage Bags
If your favorite jerky isn’t packaged in a resealable pouch, these Solimo sandwich bags from Amazon are an easy solution. Grab this box of 300 and you’re good to go.
Hand wipes: Wet Ones Antibacterial Hand and Face Wipes
A number of jerky brands are greasy, which is why you should have wipes handy to clean up once you’re finished gnawing. We like these antibacterial wipes from Wet Ones.
If anyone knows jerky, it's the folks down in Texas. Buc-ee's Bohemian Recipe Garlic Beef Jerky comes in a resealable bag and has a great flavor. It's thick and chewy without being overly greasy. It's a great snack for anyone on a Keto diet. Everything is bigger in Texas, and Buc-ee's, with its wildly successful line of huge oversize gas station/convenience stores, has hit a home run with this jerky.
We also like Cattleman's Cut Original Beef Jerky. It has a little more sugar and carbohydrates in it than we'd like, but its peppery, wood-smokey flavor more than compensates for those excesses. This jerky has a lightly textured surface and is solid without being overly hard or stringy.
Q. Is beef jerky good for you?
A. It depends on your personal dietary needs. It’s not bad for you, per sé, but it does have a lot of salt in it.
Q. Can I give jerky to preschool children?
A. No. It’s too tough for them to chew, and they could choke on it if they try to swallow it. Wait until they’re older.
Q. How long will beef jerky last?
A. Most store-bought beef jerky will last one to two years after the package is opened.