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What Are The Different Cuts of Beef Jerky

What Are The Different Cuts of Beef Jerky

Beef jerky is a popular and delicious snack that has been enjoyed for centuries. Traditionally made with thinly sliced, dried, and smoked beef, it is a convenient snack that is packed with protein and flavor.

But have you ever wondered what cuts of beef are used to make this tasty treat? Beef is divided into 8 main primal cuts, each with its own distinct flavor, texture, and fat content. These cuts include chuck, rib, loin (which comprises the short loin and the sirloin), round, flank, plate, brisket, and shank.

The unique characteristics of each cut are influenced by the muscles' level of activity, resulting in variations in taste and marbling.

All of which can change the taste, texture, and look of beef jerky.

So with that being said, let’s dive into the best cut of beef for jerky.

cuts of beef on a cow infographic

Which Parts of The Cow Are Used For Beef Jerky?

Beef jerky can be made from a variety of cuts as we already mentioned, but certain parts of the cow are more commonly used when it comes to jerky.

  • Top Round: This is one of the most popular cuts for beef jerky. It comes from the back leg muscle and is a lean cut with low fat content. The round has a mild flavor which makes it versatile for different types of seasoning. It is also usually cut into thin slices, making it perfect for jerky.

  • Bottom Round: The bottom round is another popular cut used for beef jerky. It comes from the back leg and is also a leaner cut with less marbling. This results in a chewier texture, which some people prefer in their jerky.

  • Flank: This cut comes from the abdominal muscles of the cow and has a rich, beefy flavor. Flank steak can be tough when cooked as a whole piece of meat, but when thinly sliced and marinated, it makes delicious jerky.

  • Sirloin: The sirloin is a tender cut of beef that comes from the lower back. Unlike a flank steak, it has low fat content and is often used for steaks. So when it's used for beef jerky, you're really getting steak jerky.

  • Brisket: This cut comes from the cow's chest area and is known for its tough texture and rich flavor. When made into beef jerky, it is thinly sliced and marinated to produce a tasty, chewy snack.

  • Flank: This cut comes from the abdominal muscles of the cow and has a rich, beefy flavor. But it's also much more expensive. Flank steak can be lean and offers a lot of flavor.

These are not the only parts of the cow that can be used for beef jerky, but they are some of the most popular due to their texture, flavor, and availability.

pile of beef jerky

Things to Consider When Talking About Cuts for Beef Jerky

When deciding on the best cut of beef for jerky, there are a few things to keep in mind:

  • Fat Content: When making beef jerky, it is important to use lean cuts of meat as fat does not dehydrate well and can lead to spoilage. Look for cuts with minimal marbling.

  • Texture: Tougher cuts of beef like flank or brisket can make for chewier jerky, while tender cuts like sirloin can result in a softer texture. Consider your preference when choosing a cut.

  • Marinade: The type of marinade you use can also affect the taste and texture of beef jerky. Stronger flavors may work better with leaner cuts of beef, while milder marinades can enhance the flavor of tougher cuts.

  • Price of The Cut: Some cuts of beef are more expensive than others, so consider your budget when deciding on the best cut for jerky.

So, What Is The Best Cut of Beef for Jerky?

The best cut of beef for jerky generally depends. Affordability and taste are crucial considerations for nearly everyone. Therefore, the ideal cut of meat for one person may not necessarily be the best option for another.

With that being said, generally speaking, most businesses and individuals that make beef jerky choose to go with Top Round and Bottom Round as the best cuts of beef for jerky.


Because these cuts offer everything you want when making beef jerky, affordable, lean, and full of flavor.

different types of beef jerky from different cuts of beef

Beef Jerky To Try Out

There are many different flavor types of beef jerky available on the market today. From traditional smoked jerky to more modern flavors like teriyaki or peppered, there's something for everyone.

Our favorite type of beef jerky tends to be spicy. We love the combination of heat and savory flavors, making it the perfect snack for any occasion. With that being said, if you're looking for new beef jerky to try with a bit of spice, you're going to love these!

If you're not afraid of a little heat, then this beef jerky is for you. Made with Carolina Reaper peppers, known as one of the hottest peppers in the world, this jerky offers an intense and unforgettable flavor.

And it's award winning!

cowboy reaper beef jerky

Another spicy option for those who love teriyaki and heat. This spicy beef jerky is also made with the famous Carolina Reaper pepper, so you know it's packed full of both flavor and heat!

Oh, did we mention this is award winning also?

island teriyaki reaper beef jerky


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