Where to Buy the Best Beef Jerky: The Ultimate Guide

Beef jerky is a tasty and nutritious snack that has been popular for centuries. But not all beef jerky is created equal. The quality can vary greatly depending on the brand, ingredients, and preparation method. So where can you find high-quality beef jerky that is both delicious and good for you? This guide will overview the best places to buy beef jerky, both in stores and online.

Buying Beef Jerky In Stores

Beef jerky can be found at many brick and mortar retail locations. Here are some of the best places to buy beef jerky locally:

Grocery Stores

Most major grocery store chains will have some selection of beef jerky in the snack or deli meat sections. However, the options are often limited to mass-produced brands that use preservatives and lower quality meats. Your best bet is to check smaller specialty or organic grocers which may offer better quality jerkies from local producers or small batch brands.

Butcher Shops

Many local butcher shops now prepare their own beef jerky using quality cuts of meat. This allows you to get freshly made jerky often with minimal or no preservatives added. Supporting your local butcher is also great way to get artisanal jerkies made in small batches.

Smokeshops/Tobacco Stores

Smoke shops and tobacco stores aimed at adult customers frequently carry a wide variety of jerky brands and flavors. This can be a good place to find craft jerkies made by smaller companies or to sample some more unique flavors like whiskey or hot pepper varieties.

Gas Stations/Convenience Stores

Gas stations and convenience stores like 7-Eleven often have a small section of protein snacks near the register which may include some jerky options. While the selection is usually not expansive, these can be great for grabbing a quick jerky fix on the go. Look for better quality brands if available.

Outdoor Stores

Outfitter and sporting goods stores focused on hunting, fishing, camping, and other outdoor activities tend to have a wider jerky selection targeted towards their customer base. You can often find small batch and artisanal jerkies from lesser known brands here.

Costco/Sam’s Club

Warehouse club stores will stock larger packages of jerky for discounted bulk pricing. However, choice is often limited to mass market brands like Jack Link’s. If you eat jerky frequently, buying in bulk here can offer good savings.

Amazon Retail Stores

The online retail giant Amazon has expanded into physical grocery and convenience locations in select cities. Their stores offer a cross-section of grocery, household items, and their own branded snack foods and beverages. You may be able to find Amazon private label jerkies here.

Buying Beef Jerky Online

Purchasing beef jerky online provides the widest selection and ability to have jerkies from smaller specialty producers shipped directly. Here are some of the best places to buy jerky online:

Direct from Jerky Brands

Many jerky companies now sell through their own e-commerce sites where you can order directly. This ensures you are getting an authentic product and can browse the full range of flavors offered by each brand. Some examples include Jerky.com, Duke’s Smoked Meats, and Krave Jerky.

Specialty Jerky Retailers

There are several online stores dedicated specifically to selling jerky and meat snacks. These retailers offer an extensive selection of jerky brands all in one place for easy browsing and comparing. Two of the most popular online jerky stores are House of Jerky and Best Reviews Guide.


The ubiquitous online mega-retailer Amazon carries a massive selection of jerkies across their platform. You can find major brands as well as small batch artisanal jerkies all available for convenient online ordering. Browsing user reviews can help discern quality.

Other Online Shops

Many general online retailers like grocery and specialty food stores have beef jerky available through their web shops. This includes retailers like Thrive Market, Vitacost, Walmart, and many others. Delivery subscriptions like Boxed also include jerky selections.

Crowdsourced Delivery

Apps and services that allow you to order grocery and household items to be delivered from local stores often include beef jerky selections. Check apps like Instacart, GoPuff, and DoorDash to see if beef jerky delivery is available in your area.

Subscription Boxes

Signing up for a monthly jerky subscription box is a fun way to discover new jerkies and flavors. The jerky arrives right at your door and many offer artisanal small batch brands that are harder to find in stores. Some top jerky subscription options are Jerky Drop, Carnivore Club, and Jerky Pack.

What To Look For When Buying Beef Jerky

When evaluating beef jerky, here are some of the most important factors to consider regarding quality:

  • Ingredients – Look for all natural jerkies without artificial preservatives, MSG, nitrites, and excessive sugar. Ideally just beef, spices, vinegar, and salt.

  • Meat Quality – Higher quality whole muscle cuts of grass-fed/grass-finished beef produce better jerky.

  • Prep Method – Look for jerky that is smoked or dehydrated at low heats rather than extruded or restructured.

  • Texture – Jerky shouldn’t be overly dried out or brittle but rather lightly chewy.

  • Flavor – Should taste bold but not be overloaded with salt, sweetness, or other flavors.

  • Price – Expect to pay $3 to $5 for a 2 oz bag of quality jerky, more for exotic meats or premium brands.

6 Best Beef Jerky Brands

Here is a selection of top rated beef jerky brands that consistently produce high quality products:

1. Duke’s Smoked Meats

  • Where to Buydukesmeats.com

  • What Makes Them Unique – Use premium cuts of meat in original 1952 recipe. Lightly smoked.

  • Best Flavors – Traditional, Black Pepper & Sea Salt

2. Krave Jerky

  • Where to Buykravejerky.com

  • What Makes Them Unique – Innovative flavors using high-end ingredients.

  • Best Flavors – Sweet Chipotle, Pineapple Orange, Chili Lime

3. People’s Choice Beef Jerky Co.

  • Where to Buypcbeefjerky.com

  • What Makes Them Unique – 45 years perfecting their simple, traditional recipe.

  • Best Flavors – Original, Teriyaki, Cracked Pepper

4. Lawless Jerky

  • Where to Buylawlessjerky.com

  • What Makes Them Unique – Grass-fed and grass-finished beef. Bold flavors.

  • Best Flavors – Green Chile Pepper, Ghost Pepper, Maple Bourbon Pepper

5. Jack Link’s Beef Jerky

  • Where to Buy – Most major retailers

  • What Makes Them Unique – Longtime mass market leader. Wide distribution.

  • Best Flavors – Original, Teriyaki, Peppered

6. Vermont Smoke & Cure

  • Where to Buyvtsmokeandcure.com

  • What Makes Them Unique – Handcrafted in small batches. Unique flavors.

  • Best Flavors – Maple Barbecue, Peppercorn, Honey Mustard


What’s The Best Beef Jerky? Taste Test


Why is beef jerky so expensive?

Shrink. Unlike other foods, the primary ingredient in beef jerky shrinks in size by 60-70% during preparation; this is water weight. So, a 6 oz steak only yields about 3.9 oz of jerky! That’s a big reason why jerky is so expensive.

Is beef jerky a healthy snack?

In short, though beef jerky is a healthy snack, its best consumed in moderation. Most of your diet should come from whole, unprocessed foods. Though beef jerky is healthy, avoid eating too much of it, as it’s high in sodium and may come with the same health risks that are linked to eating processed meats.

Is dehydrated beef the same as beef jerky?

Beef jerky is a type of dried meat, specifically beef, that is typically seasoned and cured before being dehydrated. Dried meat, in a broader sense, refers to any meat that has had its moisture removed through various methods.

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