How Much Is Beef Jerky? – Prices & Buying Tips

Beef jerky is a popular high-protein snack made from sliced and cured beef. But with so many brands and package sizes available, how much does beef jerky cost on average? Here is a comprehensive guide on beef jerky prices per ounce, factors that affect cost, tips for getting the best deal, and where to find affordable beef jerky.

Average Price of Beef Jerky

Beef jerky prices can range quite a bit depending on the brand, meat quality, package size, retailer, and other factors. Here are some general guidelines on beef jerky prices:

  • At grocery stores, name-brand beef jerky costs $1.50 to $3 per ounce on average.

  • At warehouse clubs like Costco or Sam’s Club, bulk packs of store brand beef jerky run $0.60 to $1 per ounce.

  • Buying beef jerky online in bulk bags can cost as little as $0.40 to $0.80 per ounce for beef jerky sticks.

  • At gas stations and convenience stores, beef jerky normally costs $1 to $2.50 per ounce for major brands.

  • Premium artisanal beef jerky can cost $3 to $7 per ounce depending on quality.

As you can see, the price per ounce of beef jerky ranges quite a bit. You’ll typically get the best deals per ounce when buying large bulk packages rather than small bags.

What Impacts the Price of Beef Jerky?

Several factors influence the retail price of beef jerky, including:

  • Brand – Big name brands cost more than generic store brands.

  • Meat quality – Grass-fed or organic jerky costs more than conventional beef jerky.

  • Package size – Bulk bags offer better price per ounce than small pouches.

  • Retail location – Prices are higher at convenience stores than big box stores.

  • Processing method – Handmade artisanal jerky costs more than mass-produced.

  • Ingredients – More premium spices, woods for smoking, etc. increase cost.

  • Convenience – Pre-sliced or seasoned jerky costs more than whole slices.

Tips for Getting the Best Deal on Beef Jerky

Here are some tips to help you find the most affordable beef jerky prices:

  • Buy larger bulk bags rather than single 2-3 oz pouches.

  • Look for warehouse club brands over name brands.

  • Shop online stores specializing in discount bulk jerky.

  • Avoid buying jerky at convenience stores or airports.

  • Compare cost per ounce rather than package price.

  • Look for deals and coupon codes when shopping online.

  • Purchase whole jerky strips and slice yourself to save.

  • Consider making your own jerky at home from fresh beef.

Where to Buy Budget Beef Jerky

Here are some of the best places to buy affordable beef jerky:

  • Costco – Carries house Kirkland Signature jerky often under $1/oz.

  • Sam’s Club – Member’s Mark jerky in 24 oz bags for around $0.60/oz.

  • Amazon – Various brands available in 1-5 lb bulk bags.

  • Walmart – Great Value or Jack Link’s brand jerky under $2/oz.

  • Aldi – Carries its Clancy’s brand jerky for around $0.70/oz.

  • Dollar General – Beef jerky sticks under $1.50/oz.

  • Online specialty shops – Offer discount jerky in bulk sizes.

  • DIY at home – Make your own jerky for $0.50/oz or less.

Average Beef Jerky Prices by Brand

To give you an idea of real-world beef jerky prices, here is what you can expect to pay for some of the major brands:

  • Jack Link’s (2.85 oz pouch): $1.40/ounce

  • Slim Jim (5 count box): $1.60/ounce

  • Oberto (3 oz pouch): $2.00/ounce

  • Krave (1.5 oz pouch): $2.00/ounce

  • Duke’s (1.5 oz pouch): $1.33/ounce

  • Tillamook (1.5 oz pouch): $1.33/ounce

  • Perky Jerky (1.2 oz bag): $2.50/ounce

Again, buying in larger bulk sizes can reduce the per ounce cost. But this gives a sense of the typical range for popular brands you’ll find at major grocery and convenience stores.

How Much Should You Pay for Beef Jerky?

Beef jerky can still be considered a good value if you pay around $1.50 to $2 per ounce for major brands, or $1 or less per ounce for bulk no-name jerky. Paying $2 to $3 per ounce at convenience stores is quite expensive.

For very high-end jerky using prime cuts and artisanal preparation methods, pricing of $4 to $8 per ounce can be justified.

Keep an eye out for any bulk deals, coupons or club store pricing to get quality jerky for under $1 per ounce whenever possible. And for the best value, consider making jerky from fresh beef at home for around $0.50 per ounce.

Making Homemade Beef Jerky

To save substantially on beef jerky prices, consider making it at home. Here is a quick overview:

  • Purchase eye of round roasts on sale for $3 to $5 per pound.

  • Slice thinly into 1/8 to 1/4 inch thick strips.

  • Marinate overnight in a jerky cure of soy sauce, spices, salt, etc.

  • Dehydrate at 145-155°F in a dehydrator or low oven for 4-6 hours.

  • Pat off moisture and let cool. Store in airtight container up to 2 weeks.

  • Cost is around $0.40 to $0.60 per ounce.

So for the price of one bag from the store, you can make multiple pounds of homemade beef jerky to enjoy!

Is Beef Jerky Worth the Price?

At around $2 per ounce, beef jerky can seem expensive compared to other protein-packed snacks. But fans of beef jerky find it worthwhile for several reasons:

  • Highly portable protein food for on-the-go.

  • No refrigeration required for unopened packages.

  • Long shelf life of up to 1-2 years when stored properly.

  • Does not require any preparation or cooking.

  • Provides nutrition from beef like protein, zinc, and iron.

  • Available in a variety of delicious flavors.

So while beef jerky may cost more than some other snack items, its convenience, shelf life, nutrition, and protein make it a worthwhile investment for many people. Just shop smart and buy in bulk online or at big box stores whenever possible.

In Summary

Beef jerky prices generally range from around $1.50 to $3 per ounce at major grocery stores, and up to $7 per ounce for premium artisanal brands. Bulk packs can offer better value at $0.40 to $1 per ounce. Buy online, compare cost per ounce, look for deals, and make your own to find the lowest beef jerky prices. While a bit expensive, fans feel beef jerky is a smart purchase for the nutrition, convenience, and long shelf life it provides.

The Real Reason Beef Jerky Is So Expensive


How much does beef jerky cost?

On average, beef jerky ranges from $1.31 per ounce to $2.90 per ounce.

Why does beef jerky cost so much?

Even so, beef jerky is expensive. Beef jerky is so expensive because it uses a lot of quality meat to make just a little bit of jerky, the process takes resources and employees’ time, and beef jerky producers often buy from the beef industry and the price of beef can be expensive.

How many pounds of meat does it take to make 1 lb of jerky?

YIELD OF DRIED MEAT Four pounds of fresh, trimmed meat will yield 1 pound of jerky, a lightweight dried meat product. Suggested cuts include lean beef round, flank, chuck, rump, or brisket.

How much does it cost to make one bag of beef jerky?

Labor, from start to finish, is typically $1.50 per 3oz bag. Let’s add that up… 1 pound of finished jerky will turn into 5.3 – 3oz bags. At $10.00/pound, that is $1.89 for 3oz of beef jerky.

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