5 Beef Jerky Brands to Try
Stock up on a protein-packed snack!
Sweet. Salty. Tangy. Rich and meaty. Beef jerky is a sensory delight that has become a snacking staple for campers the world over. There are few things as satisfying as that initial tear into a fresh slab of delicious cured meat when you’re deep into a long hike.
Now a luxurious global sensation that is notoriously pricey, jerky’s roots are far less fancy. The practice essentially arose from a need to preserve meat, which was a rare commodity hundreds of years ago, to prevent it from spoiling. Native Americans discovered that thinly sliced, lean cuts of meat lasted a long time when they were thoroughly dried.
Today, the world of jerky is remarkably complex, exploding with exotic flavors and textures. Unique meats are sometimes blended with beef (including things like kangaroo, alligator, rattlesnake, and so much more) and the marinades are endless with everything from teriyaki, to extreme chili, to coffee. There are also no-frills, ultra-premium brands that focus on high-quality cuts of meat like filet mignon.
Now, we’ve all had Jack Links, and it is indeed delicious. But if you really want to expand your jerky palette (and maybe avoid some of that salt and sugar), you should really try branching out and exploring some new brands. Read on below to discover five unique jerky brands that are sure to please.
No Man’s Land Beef Jerky
For nearly 25 years, No Man’s Land Beef Jerky has produced authentic, high-quality jerkies for hard-working folks. Born out of frustrating experiences with gas station jerky during a road trip in the ’90s, owner Britt Smith has been churning out a top-notch product for three decades with her family in the great state of Oklahoma.
The big guys will use heat and essentially ‘bake’ the jerky until it dries thoroughly. No Man’s Land, however, prides itself on an authentic ultra-slow drying process that locks in the succulent flavors of high-quality cuts of beef. In addition to their jerkies, also check out the satisfying snap of their meat sticks.
Alien Fresh Jerky
As the name implies, Alien Fresh Jerky proudly aims for flavors that are out of this world. Hailing from the desert town of Baker, California, Alien Jerky is a favorite pit stop for folks heading back and forth from Las Vegas. You can’t miss the building; it’s crafted to look like (you guessed it) a giant alien spaceship.
In addition to offering premium beef, Alien Jerky has gained thousands of loyal customers for its unrivaled flavor options. Favorites include sriracha, smoky chipotle, ghost pepper, and the hilariously named ‘abducted cow’ (pineapple teriyaki). Can’t quite decide? They’ve got some great sampler bundles that are sure to suck you into their tractor beam.
Three Jerks Jerky
You would not be out of place looking for a wine pairing with this next jerky. The Three Jerks Jerky company sets itself apart from the competition by solely producing its product from the most coveted cut of beef: filet mignon. While you might think that drying out this flavorful and tender piece of meat is a waste, the majority of high-powered investors on the popular show, Shark Tank, would disagree.
That’s right, these guys secured some serious cash from some of America’s top investors to get the business up and rolling. In addition to the impossibly tender jerky, you’ll fall in love with artisan flavors like chipotle adobo, maple bourbon, and Memphis barbeque. One bite, and you’ll be wishing you got in on the ground floor too.
People’s Choice Beef Jerky
Thousands of five-star reviews can’t be wrong, right? Nearly a century of dedication has gone into People’s Choice Beef Jerky and its strong commitment to quality and family continues to this day. Striking the perfect balance between tradition and innovation, People’s Choice offers a perfect flavor experience for everyone.
Purists will quickly cling to their time-tested original recipe where you keep things simple and let the meat do the talking. For those of you looking for something a little different, you’ll be delighted to check out offerings from their test kitchen. These creative jerky masters have concocted small batches of fascinating flavors like dill pickle, Nashville hot, and chili habanero.
Righteous Felon Jerky Cartel
What a name, right? The Righteous Felon Jerky Cartel specializes in moving some potent products… Top-quality pasture-raised, black Angus beef is used in a specialized 21-day aging process that allows your jerky to be its best self.
For the courageous and bold of heart, these jerky flavors might be just what you’re looking for. The VooDoo Chile recipe features the flaming heat of the Carolina Reaper, one of the hottest peppers known to man. More tame, but equally adventurous flavors include ‘Bourbon Franklin’ (vanilla bourbon), ‘Victorious B.I.G.’ (stout beer-infused), and ‘Maryland Monroe’ (hickory smoked with Chesapeake crab spice).
You can’t go wrong with beef jerky for your hiking/camping/road trip. It’s lean, easy to transport, and full of flavor. Up your jerky game by ditching the convenience store stuff and snagging a bag (or 12) of these natural and top-quality brands.