Most of you probably associate Jerky with Cowboys, dusting off their saddlebags and chowing down after a long day out on the range tending cattle to partake in this salty, dried beef snack. Or maybe you think of bodybuilders who seem to have adopted the stuff as their high protein post gym hit. What you probably didn’t realize though is that Jerky dates eight back to the times of ancient Egypt when they used to dry out their meat reserves to ensure their supplies lasted longer through the lean months. It really came to the fore though when the Spanish conquistadors, fresh from their encounters with the Inca’s of South America, brought the delicious delicacy back to Europe. You can, of course, make it yourself, it’s just very thinly sliced beef, after all, dried out and coated with a blend of aromatic spices. However, in case that idea doesn’t exactly float your boat, let’s take a look instead at some of the best beef jerkies that will satisfy that lust for smoky cured meat.
The Best Beef Jerky
Finally, on today’s Best Beef Jerky review, we couldn’t pass up on mentioning one of the most popular products to hit the shelves in recent years. A Biltong. For those of you that don’t know, this is a mostly South African derived mean sourced snack and is full of the taste of adventure and exploration. Kalahari Biltong Air Dried Sliced Beef is in fact made from all American beef and has been blended with just 6 simple but oh so delicious flavors to deliver that distinctive and delicious taste. We are talking Top Round Beef with a marinade comprising vinegar, salt, chili powder, coriander, and black pepper. It has an incredible, appetite satiating 32 grams of protein and zero carbs making it the ideal post-workout snack. It also happens to be Soy, Gluten, and Sugar-free and is both Paleo and Keto friendly – the buzz words currently in the nutrition industry. Eat it on its own as a hearty high protein snack or why not try being more inventive and adding it to your omelets, pizzas or salads for an extra meaty treat! Responsibly sourced and free of all nasties and added ingredients, this is just how jerky should be. Proper beefy!
- BrandKalahari Biltong
- Weight2.08 ounces
Made only with premium cuts of real steak, slow cooked and cut by hand, Chef’s Cut delivers 12g of protein per serving and comes in a 2.5-ounce bag. It’s low in fat, high in protein and doesn’t contain gluten or nitrate plus it’s pretty tasty too. It contains Soy and Anchovies so if either of those ingredients either makes you feel quite frankly queasy or more importantly you have an intolerance to, then stay away from this one. Otherwise, it’s a delicious and highly flavorsome snack that has an aromatic blend of herbs, spices and sauces including Worcestershire sauce (not just for your Bloody Mary’s after all!) and a unique formula of “liquid smoke” which is made up of natural hickory flavor and molasses amongst other tasty ingredients. What you are getting is the real taste of steak in a bag, full of flavor and initially prepared by culinary mastermind and founder of Chef’s Cut, Chef Blair Swiler. Better still, there are no added nitrates which can be found in many of the inferior packet beef jerky’s. Go and grab yourself a bag today and feed your inner caveman.
- BrandChef’s Cut Real Jerky
- Weight2.56 ounces
Made from 100% grass fed beef with no fillers, Perky Jerky Beef Original is a bold and flavorsome blend that’s been marinated overnight with fresh ingredients like cracked black pepper and lemon juice to deliver a unique perky jerky taste! They’ve updated the packaging to give it a fresh new look that matches that taste, and it comes in a 2.2-ounce bag with 10 grams of protein per serving and just 90 calories too making it the perfect meat lovers snack. It’s all natural and delivers a real peppery punch but without any nitrates or added preservatives. It’s wholly satisfying and of course perfectly portable so great for an on-the-go between adventures re-fuel! Keep a packet in your gym bag, the glove compartment of your car or your backpack for when hunger strikes! You can even use it to sprinkle into salads and tacos to really pep up the taste. It’s also gluten free too so an excellent choice for lovers of Jerky.
- BrandPerky Jerky
Country Archer Grass Fed Beef Jerky packs a powerful protein hit off 11 grams per serving and just 70 calories. It’s certified organic and has been handcrafted with real, clean food and no hormones, antibiotics, gluten, MSG or nasty nitrates either. It’s presented in a generous sized 1 pound bag and comes in your choice of either Original, Mango Habanero or Teriyaki flavor. They say that it’s honest food that’s deliciously healthy and just about as close to gourmet as Jerky gets! We checked the ingredients and can confirm that it contains extra lean 100% grass fed beef that is naturally high in Omega 3’s and CLA as well as being packed with beneficial vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. It’s tasty, natural and full of flavor and makes the perfect meaty snack for those of you who might need to grab a high protein snack during the day.
- BrandCountry Archer
- Weight1 pounds
Naturally low in fat, high in protein and made with only 100% lean cuts of beef, Krave Gourmet Beek Jerky with Sea Salt sure tastes delicious. It makes a fantastic anytime, anywhere snack for anyone and everyone from athletes and busy moms to those of you following a health-conscious diet regime. It certainly makes a welcome and flavorsome alternative of crackers, crisps, and chips when it comes to satisfying those midday munchies. It comes s packed in 2.7-ounce bags, and you get 8 bags in total with your purchase, so plenty to keep you going. You can choose from Basil Citrus, Blackberry Barbeque or the Sea Salt variety which is the one we tried and loved the most. With key ingredients of beef, cane sugar and gluten-free soy sauce it’s delicious without being overpowering. The simple ingredients and minimal processing involved in the production of Krave Jerky mean you also can enjoy snacking with a clear conscience too. If you prefer a different source of lean protein, then Krave also have pork, chicken and turkey products as well as their popular gourmet beef.
- BrandKrave Jerky
- Weight1.8 pounds
In a very convenient re-sealable 10-ounce value pack, this Cattleman’s Cut is next up in our round-up of the Best Beef Jerky around. Although quite frankly, it’s so darn tasty that the re-seal might not get a look in! This product is prime USDA steak that has been marinated for over 24 hours and then slow cooked for an even more tender and flavorsome bite. What you see is what you get, and that is just pure, premium steak with plenty of robust, sweet and savory seasoning from hardwood smoke and a brown sugar marinade. There are four delicious flavors as well as this Original formula. Choose from Old Fashioned, Peppered Steakhouse as well as Teriyaki style. The portion size is generous, the flavors are bold but natural, and it delivers maximum flavor for your savory enjoyment. For a tasty treat that’s fresh and full of flavor and crafted from chunky cuts of prime cattle, this Cattleman’s Beef Jerky gets a big old thumbs up from us.
- Brand Cattleman’s Cut
- Weight10.1 ounces
A departure from beef, next up in our guide to protein-packed gourmet snacks we’re taking a look at a Venison version that’s tender and delicious and bound to satisfy the cravings of even the most hardened carnivore among you! It’s a clean, quality source of animal protein that has been simply dehydrated and marinated with exceptional seasoning. It’s so much easier to get your protein hit Jerky strip style rather than having to stock up on chicken breasts every time you go to the grocery store. In the Epic Snacks pack you get ten .08 ounce strips of 100% grass fed, free range venison strips. Epic Snacks operate a “Whole Animal” project, endeavoring to honor their livestock by providing them with nourishing foods and keeping them on healthy lands that are naturally biodiverse. This snack is as majestic as the animal it’s been sourced from.
- BrandEpic Provisions
- Weight0.8 ounces
Made from only 100% prime beef rid, the marinade for this delicious beef Jerky from J&K is exclusively created in-house for a one of a kind taste sensation. Containing USDA Sirloin sourced from Southern California, it’s not just tenderized but in fact double tenderized to deliver an exceptionally flavored product. The ingredients are big and bold with the likes of soy sauce, Worcestershire sauce and a liquid smoke going into their special recipe marinade. J&K has been around since 1980 with the recipe having been passed down through the generations from grandfather to now grandson. Both, no doubt like yourself, with a healthy respect and love for full-flavored and straightforward, honest beef products, perfectly smoked to deliver the best jerky taste with that still homespun flavor. It’s like the kind of Jerky your Grandma would make you, only in this case it’s your Grandpa! Talking of which, just check out the name of the next Jerky on our best of review today! How’s that for a nice Segway?
- BrandJ&K Beef Jerky
So this one is just like your Grandpa would make too! Hence the name. In conveniently sized packets of 2.2 ounces shredded dried beef you get three packets in total to deliver 6.7 ounces of classic homestyle premium beef jerky for you and your family to enjoy. Due to that dehydration process, you get a long-lasting and deliciously flavorsome product that is perfect for snacking on the go and great for post-gym workouts or to have in your office drawer at work for when hunger strikes. For over 30 years now, Grandpa’s Original have been producing their top-notch savory and smoky jerky blended from selected spices. Family, home, and tradition are at the heart of this tasty jerky. Beef jerky itself makes the ideal snack for pre and post workouts, or as a protein-powered pick me up for activities like hiking, fishing, camping, and general outdoor adventures. For an unmistakable bite and fabulous, consistent flavor, Grandpa’s Premium cut beef jerky is a delicious choice.
- Weight 6.7 ounces
Fancy something that’s a little bit different and full of smoky flavor then why not try out the Smokin Mesquite flavor delivered by Slim Jim’s beef jerky trips. With 9 grams of protein per serving and plenty of hot and spicy flavor, this jerky will do more than just fire up your taste buds. It might just put a few more manly hairs on your chest too! You need to ride no rodeo to enjoy this meaty fresh fulsome snack! Although, if you can’t manage the whole bag in one sitting, it can handily be re-sealed so that you can go right ahead and stash it back in your saddlebag for later! Made from thick but tender cuts of 100% beef, Slim Jim’s is a bold and daring Jerky, high on taste and hugely satisfying.
- BrandSlim Jim
- Weight3.2 ounces
In an exclusive relationship between Jack Links and 7-Eleven, there are 5 unique, differently flavored and seasoned beef jerky’s In this range to choose from. Each perfectly packaged portion delivers 9 grams of protein and just 1 gram of fat plus absolutely no unwanted MSG. Jack Links Bold Cracked Pepper Beef Jerky makes the perfect delicious and nutritious on the go snack for busy and hungry carnivores! Using only top quality beef and weighing in at 1.7 ounces per pack, this snack has just the right amount of chew and plenty of natural flavors. Talking of flavors, aside from the featured Cracked Pepper variation, Jack Links also comes in Brown Sugar Bourbon, Hickory Smoked Bacon, Mahalo Teriyaki and their Signature Recipe. Why not give them all a go? As they say, variety is the spice of life and seems like that extends to beef jerky too!
- Weight1.7 pounds