What Kind Of Meat For Beef Jerky?

When I first started making beef jerky, I had a hard time understanding why the cuts of beef that are great for grilling are frequently subpar for making beef jerky.

In the world of smoking low and slow, fat renders. The fat in jerky, however, won’t render and will instead become rancid.

Lean, inexpensive meats are the best types of beef to use for jerky. The round roasts, including the eye of round, top round, and bottom round, are typically the cuts that fit these criteria.

Eye of Round

What Kind Of Meat For Beef Jerky?

When making jerky at home, we recommend and prefer using the eye of round as the best cut of beef.

The name refers to the long muscle in the middle of the round.

Of all the rounds, the Eye of Round is the softest. The long, cylindrical shape, which resembles the tenderloin in appearance, facilitates cutting against the grain. Additionally, it produces lovely, uniform rounds of meat for jerky.

  • Fat Content (Intramuscular) – Minimal
  • Fat Content (Intermuscular) – Minimal
  • Flavor – Natural beef flavor
  • Texture – Moderately tender
  • Ease to Work With – Easy
  • Availability – Widely Available
  • Price – Moderate

Top Round (London Broil)

What Kind Of Meat For Beef Jerky?

The beef cut that most expert jerky makers use is top round. London Broil is the alternative name for this cut that home cooks and novice jerky makers may be familiar with.

Contrary to the Bottom Round, the Top Round originates from the inside of the leg muscle. It is more tender than the less tender Bottom Round but less tender than the Eye of Round or Sirloin Tip.

Top Round is preferred by commercial jerky producers due to its simplicity of use. Large-scale production is efficient and effective due to the large size and consistent shape.

London Broil is one of our top suggestions for the best cut of meat for jerky, so the answer to the question is yes.

  • Fat Content (Intramuscular) – Minimal
  • Fat Content (Intermuscular) – Minimal
  • Flavor – Natural beef flavor
  • Texture – Not Very Tender
  • Ease to Work With – Easy
  • Availability – Widely Available
  • Price – Economical

What Kind Of Meat For Beef Jerky?

When available, the bottom round is another excellent choice because it is the least tender of the Round cuts.

The outer muscle of the upper rear leg is where the Bottom Round originates. It is the least tender of the three cuts because it is a hardworking area of the animal.

  • Fat Content (Intramuscular) – Minimal
  • Fat Content (Intermuscular) – Minimal
  • Flavor – Natural beef flavor
  • Texture – Not Very Tender
  • Ease to Work With – Easy
  • Availability – Available in some locations
  • Price – Economical

Sirloin Tip (Knuckle)

What Kind Of Meat For Beef Jerky?

Even though the sirloin tip is one of the lesser-known meat cuts for jerky, it is one of the best. This cut may be a little more challenging to locate in regular stores, but if you do, we highly recommend it.

Not to be confused with the Top Sirloin, which is derived from the Sirloin Primal

  • Fat Content (Intramuscular) – Minimal
  • Fat Content (Intermuscular) – Minimal
  • Flavor – Subtle beef flavor
  • Texture – Not Very Tender
  • Ease to Work With – Easy
  • Availability – Available in some locations
  • Price – Economical

What Kind Of Meat For Beef Jerky?

Lifter meat, which is taken from the rib primal and is cut from the outside, has a nice, tender texture and excellent beef flavor. This relatively thin, flat cut is perfect for jerky. Slice this meat against the grain to make jerky that has a fantastic chew.

Also known as blade meat, cap and wedge meat.

  • Fat Content (Intramuscular) – Moderate
  • Fat Content (Intermuscular) – Some External Fat
  • Flavor – Rich, beefy
  • Texture – Tender
  • Ease to Work With – Easy
  • Availability – Only available in specialty locations and butchers
  • Price – Moderate

Pectoral, also known as special team, is a cut of meat that resembles lifter meat but is derived from the chuck primal. Additionally, pectoral meat is relatively thin, making the slicing process simple.

  • Fat Content (Intramuscular) – Moderate
  • Fat Content (Intermuscular) – Some External Fat
  • Flavor – Rich, beefy
  • Texture – Tender
  • Ease to Work With – Easy
  • Availability – Only available in specialty locations and butchers
  • Price – Moderate

What Kind Of Meat For Beef Jerky?

Flank steak is packed with big, bold, meaty flavor. Its long, tough grains make cutting against the grain absolutely necessary.

Also known as beef flank and plank steak.

  • Fat Content (Intramuscular) – Moderate
  • Fat Content (Intermuscular) – Some External Fat
  • Flavor – Rich, beefy
  • Texture – Tender
  • Ease to Work With – Moderate
  • Availability – Widely available
  • Price – Moderate

Other Great Meat Options for Beef Jerky

Making beef jerky at home is great because you can be flexible and creative with the recipe. There is no reason why you cannot experiment with other cuts, even though our top seven suggestions are a great place to start.

Here are some additional meat cuts that are interesting to try.

Brisket is a rich, fatty, and delectable cut of beef that is famous for Texas-style barbecue. The difficulty in making jerky from brisket is locating a cut that is sufficiently lean.

Skirt steak is a long, flat piece of meat that is primarily valued for its flavor rather than its texture. Making beef jerky from skirt steak can be difficult because of its relatively high fat content. Not a deal-breaker, but less than ideal.

Tri Tip – Originally known as the California cut, this cut has deep roots in the Californian barbecue scene. When made into jerky, trip tip has excellent intramuscular marbling and can be very tender. If you come across it in your neighborhood store, it’s worth investigating.

Flap Meat: The muscle near the bottom of the sirloin produces flap meat. Although it is thin, fibrous, and chewy, it is flavorful. It is often confused with skirt and hanger steak. Although the heavy intramuscular marbling that doesn’t completely dry out can be used to make jerky.

Overview of the Best Cuts of Beef for Jerky

When purchasing meat for beef jerky, there are a few crucial considerations to make.

Focus on Cuts of Beef that Are Lean

The fat content of the meat is the most crucial consideration when choosing it for beef jerky. The cut you choose should have the least amount of fat possible. Beef jerky meat must be lean.

Due to its composition, fat cannot be fully dehydrated. When there is too much fat in a batch of jerky, it can spoil and go rancid more quickly. The choice of a meat cut with little fat will guarantee a lengthy and secure shelf life.

You can get away with a slightly fattier cut of meat if you plan to consume the jerky right away or within a few days.

Its important to consider both intramuscular and intermuscular fat.

Marbling, another name for intramuscular fat that runs between the muscle fibers, cannot be removed. It adds rich flavor and maintains the finished jerky’s tenderness and juiciness. When choosing meat for jerky, this is an important characteristic to look for.

Contrarily, intermuscular fat covers the outside of the lean meat. It should be removed before the jerky making process. Focus on cuts of beef with little to no intermuscular fat to make life easier.

Although beef cuts with more marbling, like ribeye, brisket flats, and short ribs, are great for other uses, it is preferable to choose a cut of beef with little to no fat. You want to make jerky that will last.

Choose Economical Cuts

Focus on quality, not price.

You don’t have to buy the fanciest cuts of beef. In fact, we don’t recommend it. The process of making jerky is beautiful because it transforms tougher meat into tender jerky. Even though fancy cuts of meat are used to make jerky, this is a poor use of the meat.

Save the fancy steakhouse for your filet mignon, ribeye, and prime rib.

Buy Fresh Meat

Avoid purchasing jerky that has already expired or is about to expire. The fresher the better. Steer clear of meat that has dark spots, strange odors, or cartilage, ligaments, or tendons.

Making beef jerky at home is wonderful because you have complete control. To ensure you are getting the meat you want, make sure to inspect each piece.

Buy Sufficient Amounts

Keep in mind that you will lose anywhere between 50 %E2%80%93 75% of the original weight during the dehydration process Make sure to buy a sufficient amount of meat.

A good rule of thumb is 3 to 1. One pound of jerky can be made from every three pounds of raw meat.

Make Friends with Your Butcher

Make friends with your local butcher. For all your jerky-making endeavors, he or she can be a great resource.

You can have your butcher pre-slice the beef for you. You can skip a step in the jerky-making process by doing this. Your butcher can cut the beef into uniform slices to your exact specifications using a commercial slicer.

This will guarantee that the jerky cooks in your oven uniformly, which is crucial when making jerky at home.

Our comprehensive guide will teach you more about cutting meat for jerky.

Know Your Cuts and Keep an Eye on Sales

Once you are familiar with the cuts, you can monitor weekly sales and specials. Shopping for meat for beef jerky at big box stores like Costco and Sam’s Club is also a great idea. They offer great prices in larger quantities.

Additionally, you can look for online vendors who focus on organic, sustainable, and regenerative cattle With a variety of options, the direct-to-consumer meat market is expanding quickly.

Can you make beef jerky out of Filet Mignon?

Yes, you can make beef jerky out of Filet Mignon.

Theoretically, any beef cut can be used to make beef jerky. Although we think that cooking Filet Mignon to medium rare is the best way to enjoy it, this might be a fun and novel idea. Beef cuts like Top Round, Bottom Round, Lifter, Pectoral, Flank Steak, and Skirt Steak are recommended.

Can you make beef jerky out of ground beef or ground meat?

Although ground beef or other ground meats can also be used to make beef jerky, whole muscle beef jerky is much simpler to make.

You can combine the meat with the seasonings and ingredients of your choice before using a jerky gun or your hands to form patties or strips. Check out our jerky gun recipe for step-by-step instructions.

Additionally, we reviewed the top jerky guns in-depth.

Can you make beef jerky out of tri tip?

The trip tip is an excellent meat cut for jerky. Although it is more expensive than most, it has the leanness that you want in jerky.

For maximum tenderness, cut the tri tip against the grain.

What’s the best cut of beef for tender jerky?

More intramuscularly marbled beef cuts produce more tender jerky. Lifter or pectoral meat are great options. The beef cut can have an impact on how tender the finished jerky is. But the processing technique will have an even bigger impact.

Try recipes with ingredients like sugar, soy sauce, and vinegar, which can break down the muscle fibers, if you prefer a softer or more tender jerky. Reduce the cook and dry times a little as well to get more moisture To ensure complete shelf stability, just make sure to completely dry the jerky.

Can you make jerky with other proteins such as venison, turkey, and pork?

Absolutely. You can make jerky from a variety of protein sources. Check out our list of unique beef jerky recipes.

Top Round, Bottom Round, Lifter, and Pectoral are the best cuts of meat for jerky, but other cuts, like Flank Steak and Skirt Steak, can also be used. These cuts of beef are affordable, lean, and flavorful, which are all requirements for beef jerky.

The first step in producing beef jerky is choosing the appropriate cut of meat. It’s also one of the most important steps.

It’s time to sharpen your knife. The next step is slicing the meat. See our detailed instructions on How to Slice Meat for Jerky.

Looking to spice up your jerky making game? Check out our beef jerky seasoning blends (Coming Soon! Sign-Up For Early Access). We conducted hundreds of batches to find the perfect all-in-one jerky seasonings.

A food fanatic and lover of all things beef. Sara has an unhealthy obsession with all things beautiful, so you can usually find her playing with her dog Pearl, checking out new wine bars, or experimenting with makeup.

Don’t miss out on Jerky News

Sign up to get a complimentary $6. 99 bag on your first order.

How to Slice Meat for Jerky [5 Steps …

How Long To Marinate Jerky? [Not What…

How to Store Homemade Jerky [Professi…

Best Meat for Beef Jerky

Leave a Comment