How Beef Jerky Is Made

Beef jerky has been a popular snack for centuries, providing a delicious and portable source of protein. But have you ever wondered what goes into making this tasty treat? This article will give you a look at the process of making beef jerky.

Selecting the Meat

The first step in making beef jerky is selecting the right cut of meat. Traditionally, jerky was made using lean, tough cuts of meat such as flank steak or round roast. Today, however, any type of lean meat can be used to make jerky, including turkey and even salmon.

Slicing the Meat

Once the meat has been selected, it is time to slice it into thin strips. This can be done by hand or with a meat slicer, depending on the quantity being made. The slices must be thin to ensure even drying and a chewy texture.


The next step in making beef jerky is marinating the sliced meat. This not only adds flavor but also helps to tenderize and preserve the meat. Marinades can range from simple mixes of salt, sugar, and spices to more complex blends of herbs and sauces.


After marinating for several hours or even overnight, the sliced meat is ready to be dehydrated. This step removes most of the moisture from the meat, making it shelf-stable and giving it a chewy texture. Traditional methods of dehydrating involve hanging the meat strips in a well-ventilated area, but modern dehydrators can also be used for more consistent results.

Smoking (Optional)

For an extra layer of flavor, some jerky makers choose to smoke their meat before or after dehydration. This is often done with wood chips to give the jerky a smoky, barbecue-like taste.

Quality Control

Before packaging, it's important to check the quality of the beef jerky. Each batch should be inspected for proper dehydration and any signs of spoilage or contamination. This step is crucial in ensuring that consumers are getting safe and tasty beef jerky.


Finally, after passing quality control, the beef jerky is ready to be packaged. It is typically sealed in airtight bags or vacuum-sealed to maintain freshness and prolong shelf life.

As you can see, making beef jerky is a multi-step process that requires careful attention to detail and quality control. But when done right, it results in a delicious and nutritious snack that can be enjoyed anywhere, anytime. So, next time you reach for a bag of beef jerky, take a moment to appreciate the craftsmanship and care that went into making it.

Contact a beef jerky supplier near you to learn more.