Best Cut of Meat for Making Beef Jerky

Origins of Beef Jerky

Beef jerky is one of the most delicious types of meat in the world. The recipe is not new at all but it has kept and maintained its popularity for centuries. Beef jerky has been discovered by the Quechua people in 1550. Back in time, there were not any refrigerators and people depended on hunting most of the times. Actually, beef jerky is the purest beef meat without any fats, cut into strips. These strips are perfectly dried to prevent adulteration and to resist over time. After drying them, people used salt to avoid bacteria development and prevent the food from spoilage. The stunning recipe can be easily prepared, as it does not imply too much effort. All you need is salt, and some heat, then you can keep it into a refrigerating device for months.


One of the most important decisions when preparing the recipe is the cut of meat that it’s going to be used. The proper cut of meat will make the difference when making a delicious jerky, so the first criterion is to carefully choose the ideal cut. In order to make sure you’ve picked the best one, make sure you pick a cut with the least amount of fat. If it contains fat, the fat will completely destroy everything and the final outcome might not be as tasty as expected.

What To Look For?

Besides making sure you have chosen the leanest meat, there are some other aspects to take into consideration when buying the right cut. Considering the following features will bring you more convenience when cooking and will provide you with the best results. So, make sure you:

  • Pick the freshest meat, and never purchase expired meat – Fresh meat is a must for your healthiness and for obtaining delicious and tasty beef. As it is only dried, not cooked, meat has to be as fresh as possible.
  • Consider the proper amount – After drying, it will lose a part of its weight, so it’s important to buy enough. For instance, if you buy 3 pounds, you will end up with about 1 pound. So, take into consideration how many people there are and how much meat has to be purchased.
  • Ask the butcher to slice it – In the end, we need the meat sliced, and if we can obtain this from the first time is even better. Already sliced, it will help you save time as you just have to dry it and add the salt, or spices. Moreover, you will obtain the perfect thickness.

Types of Beef Cuts

Here are some specific cuts that are ideal for making beef jerky. So to obtain delicious, crispy and flavorful beef, we recommend you any of the following cuts:

  • Eye of round – This is surely the most popular part of the beef that people choose for preparing jerky. This is because it is the softest, and most tender of the “rounds”. The eye of round is the single oval muscle in the rear leg and it is extremely lean, it does not contain interior fat, and it is also very economical.
  • Bottom round – The bottom round is another great choice for making jerky. It’s located on the upper rear leg, and even though it is the least tender of the rounds, it’s a great pick for preparing the recipe. This is because it’s lean, flavorful, and economical.
  • Top round – The third part of the “round” is the top one, which is very similar to the bottom round. The top round is the opposite of the bottom round and it’s softer and more fragile than the bottom round and less soft than the eye of round. In this case, it’s an economical pick, too, and it’s extremely flavorful.
  • Flank Steak – The flank steak is situated down the bottom round, and it’s an exquisite pick for making jerky. The only drawback is that it’s a little bit more expensive compared to the other parts. As well as, it’s less tender than the three round but it will surely delight your taste buds. The greatest advantage is that it’s easy to work with thanks to its versatile shape.
  • Sirloin – Even though it’s not as popular as the round parts, it’s the most tender cut for making beef jerky. There’s very little fat on the sirloin on the outer side of the muscle that can be easily trimmed. It’s a pricier option but it will definitely worth it, as you won’t be disappointed by the results.


We recommend all these cuts for preparing the beef jerky. After all, it all depends on your cooking style and preferences. Testing all these will help you decide which one is the best for you, so we reliably recommend all the above options. Even though the cut plays a very important role, do not forget that fresh meat is always a must. Fresh, lean, and high-quality meat will offer you healthy and tasty servings you can share with your family and friends.

Has gathered knowledge about meat from her family as her parents started a neighborhood butcher shop in Baltimore when she was just a child. Growing up, she learned the tricks of the trade from her father and later went on to get certifications. To obtain these certifications, Amy took courses in meat selection, evaluation, and processing. Moreover, she learned about the importance of reliable suppliers and thus makes it a point to only work with trustworthy sources.

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