If you’re a meat-eater, possibilities are, you’ve probably delighted in digging into beef jerky more than a few times. As deliciously savory together jerky have the right to be, it may be surprising to establish it can additionally be one of the most nutritious snack choices. Lovers of jerky will surely enjoy learning an ext about this protein-packed snack, consisting of where it come from, what types of meat you deserve to use to make it and also the procedure of producing this treat. We’ll warn you, despite — you’ll be craving some jerky before long!

What Is Jerky?

Jerky is a dehydrated meat snack human being have appreciated for numerous centuries. The word derives from the Spanish indigenous “charqui,” meaning “jerked meat,” which originally came native the Quechua “ch’arki,” definition “dried flesh.” Ancient Incans in the Andes made ch’arki indigenous llama and alpaca meat, starting possibly about 8,000 years ago.

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You can find species of jerky in plenty of cultures. Some excavators believe hunter-gatherers from other old communities were creating jerky as at an early stage as or even earlier than the southern Americans. Drying is the world’s oldest and most prevalent method of preserving food.

Preserving meat detailed a means to use whole animal there is no letting something spoil. In the past, human being have used air drying, curing and also smoking come produce and preserve jerky. Because jerky is shelf-stable, it has actually long been a valuable source of protein for civilization when obtaining and cooking fresh meat was difficult, such as throughout journeys.

Jerky continues to be a renowned snack today and also still it is provided the same exceptional level of protein and nutrients when you’re ~ above a hike, in ~ the office or in ~ home and also need a nutritious snack.

Making jerky needs removing so lot moisture that a pound of meat or poultry will weigh around four ounces after it gets dehydrated. That’s why jerky have the right to be an ext costly per lb — it is exceptionally nutrient-dense. Simply a pair of thin slices of jerky will provide the same nutrients you would obtain from a plump cut of meat.

The popular of low-carb diets has put jerky in the spotlight even much more lately, due to the fact that jerky is a healthy, pour it until it is full snack that have the right to replace carb-heavy treats like potato chips, granola or crackers. Jerky additionally tends to be fairly lean, making it a an excellent option for low-fat diets.

Keep in mind the jerky frequently includes ingredient to improve the flavor, so jerky deserve to contain sugar and also other additives. In its pure form, however, jerky is just salted meat. Today, jerky comes in nearly endless meat types, textures and flavors, so everything kind of jerky you’re spring for, you can likely uncover it.

Is Jerky cooking or Raw?

Jerky is a totally cooked product. That is never ever raw. The course, merely food preparation meat does not keep it. Jerky can last so long without spoiling since it includes so small moisture. Contemporary methods of do jerky cook the meat while drying it out. You deserve to do this v a smoker, oven or dehydrator.


Properly prepared jerky can last safely because that a year. Curing or smoking preserves some jerky even further. These different methods will also contribute to the jerky’s flavor profile. While there space many species of jerky, every commercially sold jerky is a fully cooked product, is safe to store for extended periods and also is prepared to eat ideal out of the package.

What Can world Make Jerky From?

You’ll find all sorts of jerky species on the industry today, ranging from the traditional beef jerky to jerky do from reptiles and also other exotic animals. Due to the fact that its preparation procedure turns meat into jerky, there is no limit to the species of jerky people can make. One thing to pay attention to once making jerky is the fat contents of meat. Fat won’t dehydrate effectively, for this reason the existence of fat in jerky will certainly decrease that is shelf life. Therefore, lean meats work finest for jerky production.

Venison: Many deer hunters prefer to use part of their kill to produce jerky. Girlfriend can also find deer jerky for sale commercially. Deer jerky is most likely the many prevalent kind of venison jerky, however other types exist, such as elk and also antelope. Wild is exceptionally lean, making it good for jerky production.Lamb and also mutton: It’s also possible to turn lamb and also mutton right into jerky. Lamb refers to the meat of a young sheep, and mutton is the meat that an enlarge sheep. These red meat are relatively lean, make them right for jerky, despite you won’t uncover them too often on the market.Buffalo and also bison: Bison and also buffalo room favorites of world who gain uncommon or exotic meats. Bison jerky consists of the meat of one of two people American or europe bison. Buffalo jerky comes from either cape buffalo or water buffalo native Africa and also Asia.Fish: The idea the fish jerky may seem strange, however people have been drying and preserving fish since old times. Pescetarians and seafood fans will certainly be happy to know you can find fish jerky made from many species of fish, including salmon, tuna and also trout, because that example.


Kangaroo: Kangaroo jerky is a novelty in the U.S., but in Australia, kangaroo meat is relatively common. Kangaroo meat is a form of red meat and, like many other video game meats, is reasonably lean.Yak: Yaks are domesticated bovid animals with lengthy hair. Lock resemble buffalo. Jerky connoisseurs in search of a nutritious, low-calorie red meat might enjoy the distinct taste of yak jerky.Ostrich and emu: Another exotic meat you could see native jerky producers is ostrich or emu. These huge birds belong to the ratite family and also produce red meat, unequal other types of poultry.Game birds and also waterfowl: You can likewise make jerky native waterfowl like ducks and also geese and game birds favor pheasant. This meats room rich in flavor and can make tasty jerky.Alpaca: Alpaca jerky is possibly the original form of jerky, or at least the origin of the word. Some world today still reap jerky made from alpaca meat — a soft red meat comparable to beef.Alligator and also crocodile: The different types of jerky don’t only come native mammals, fish and birds. Friend can likewise find jerky do from reptile meat, prefer alligator and also crocodile or, sometimes, even snake.

How to make Jerky

Even if you understand what jerky is, you might not be familiar with just how to make it. Though over there are numerous recipes for making jerky, we can failure the four an essential steps for just how to make beef jerky or various other types, depending on your meat preference.

1. Slicing the Meat

Since jerky is composed of slim slices, jerky-making artist must cut the meat carefully. Chilling the meat to nearly frozen makes slicing easier. A meat slicer device is the best method to achieve consistent results. Every the slices should be of also thickness, therefore they cook at the exact same rate and also reach the exact same level that doneness. Part jerky is composed of soil meat created into pieces, but this is no the traditional technique for do jerky.

This slicing step additionally involves trimming off any kind of fat on the meat before it moves on, due to the fact that the oils in the fat will stay after dehydration and can reason jerky to spoil prematurely. That’s why it renders sense to select cuts the meat the are currently lean and also do no contain marbling.

2. Flavoring the Meat

The 2nd step is where much of the magic of jerky-making happens. Here is where artisans and food manufacturers usage their distinct recipes to create jerky in their signature smell or flavors. They have the right to do this with a dry rub or v a marinade or brine.

Marinades and also brines will include moisture come the meat, which will rise the time it takes to dry it out, yet it have the right to be fantastic way to pass through the meat through delicious flavor. Because that example, we use a delicious soy-based marinade for our signature Lancaster-style beef jerky.

Though every cooking recipes is unique and also contains differing combinations of ingredients favor spices and also sugars, jerky-makers frequently include salt in your rubs, marinades and also brines, because it is superb natural preservative and flavor enhancer. You have the right to make lower-sodium jerkies, however, using acidic marinades. Some jerky may additionally contain chemical preservatives favor sodium nitrite. Some kind of preservative, whether herbal or artificial, is necessary to lengthen jerky’s shelf life.

When utilizing a marinade, you can either enable meat come soak in a cold marinade in the refrigerator prior to cooking the meat while it dries out, or friend can chef the meat in a boiling marinade, then dry it out.

3. Cooking and Drying the Meat

Once the meat is prepared to dry out, jerky chefs location the strips on racks, same spacing them therefore they cook and also dry the end at the very same rate.

The method for cooking and drying jerky different from agency to agency or residence chef to residence chef. The an enig is to ensure the quickly reaches the vital temperature of 160 degrees Fahrenheit because that meat and also 165 levels for poultry, and then continues to dehydrate in ~ a lower temperature. Cooking and drying at a low temperature throughout the procedure can allow bacteria come survive.


Jerky makers deserve to use smokers, ovens or dehydrators come cook and also dry the end jerky. Making use of a smoker will include that unmistakable smoky taste come the jerky, which works well for some jerky flavors. It’s also feasible to use huge industrial ovens set at a low temperature through fans and exhausts that remove moisture native the air. House cooks may use countertop food dehydrators to create tiny batches the jerky.

Whatever an approach used for food preparation the jerky, that is adequately dry as soon as it reaches a moisture-protein ratio of 0.75-to-1 and a water activity of much less than 0.85. The time it takes to acquire to this allude will depend on the temperature you’ve kept it at and the thickness that the meat.

4. Packaging the Jerky

Now, the jerky deserve to cool off and also move ~ above packaging. Sealed plastic bags space the common packaging of choice for jerky. Sometimes, manufacturers and also even house cooks use vacuum-sealed bags, i beg your pardon can assist preserve freshness. Because that bags that room not vacuum-sealed, you’ll likely discover an oxygen-absorbing packet inside. Similar to vacuum sealing, this helps eliminate oxygen that could reason jerky come spoil sooner than it otherwise would.

Packaging is also where brands obtain to incorporate their signature logos and also designs and nutritional information about their jerky. Especially for non-beef jerky, you’re likely to see a photo of the animal on the front.

You have the right to learn a lot around the jerky by check the nutrition label, especially the ingredients list. However, you may not see an accurate recipe for the company’s marinade or seasonings, since food labels frequently use a blanket term choose “natural flavors” to team these ingredients.

Enjoy Artisanal Jerky indigenous S. Clyde Weaver

At S. Clyde Weaver, we use time-honored methods and high-quality ingredients to produce a range of delicious products, from smoked meats to age cheeses to scrumptious jams and jellies. In addition to gracing America’s tables with foods for every meal, we additionally make delicious snacks, including mouthwatering beef jerky in number of flavors and our particularly soft and also delicious turkey texture.

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It’s difficult to to win beef jerky as soon as you’re looking for a tasty, nutritious snack. Order several of our artisanal jerky today to enjoy on your following hike, road pilgrimage or at any time you’re prepared for a an increase of protein and also amazing flavor.