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The 10 Best Cuts of Beef For Jerky: Pro Tips


Jerky is a popular snack made from dried, seasoned meat. It is a great way to preserve meat for enjoyment later, and it is also a delicious and portable snack. 

When it comes to beef jerky, there are many ways to enjoy it. When making jerky there are many options utilizing various cuts of beef.

The best cut of beef for jerky depends on your personal preferences. There are many different types of beef jerky, from lean to fatty, from tough to tender. If you like your jerky lean and chewier jerky, then here are a few of the best cuts of beef to use:

10 Best Cuts of Meat for Making Jerky:

1) Bottom Round Roast:

The bottom round steak is also known as the swiss steak. It comes from the same area of the cow as the top round steak, but it is a little bit more flavorful. It is also more challenging than the top round cuts, so it’s not the best choice if you’re looking for a tender bite. However, it is still a good option for flavorful jerky.

2) Flank Steak:

Flank steak, also called plank steak, is an extended, flat cut of beef that’s perfect for jerky. The long grains of the steak is great for making thin slices, and the leanness of the meat means that it will dry quickly.

3) Sirloin Tip Roast:

A sirloin tip roast is a great option for beef jerky. It is a leaner cut of meat, so it does not have as much fat content as some of the other options. However, it is still packed with flavor and has a good amount of protein. This makes it a great choice for a healthy option.

4) Eye of Round Roast:

The eye of the round roast is a small, lean cut of beef that is perfect for jerky. The elongated muscle fibers of the roast make it easy to slice, and the lack of fat will make it dry quickly.  The tenderness of this cut makes it a good choice for a softer jerky.

5)  Brisket Cut:

The brisket cut of a cow has two separate portions, the point and the flat. The flat is leaner and the point is considered one of the fattiest portions of the cow. The long fibers of the meat make it easy to slice.

The high-fat content will dry slowly so ensure you plan appropriately when preparing your jerky. This cut of meat makes a good choice for BBQs or smoking and is ideal for slow cooking methods.

6)  Plate Cut:

This is a cut of beef taken from the short ribs and the belly of the cow. It is a fatty cut of meat full of flavor and easy to slice and dry. However, the high-fat content will dry slowly, so it is not the best choice for those who want to enjoy a jerky as soon as possible.

7)  Pectoral Cut:

A pectoral cut is a lean, tough cut of beef that comes from the chest of the cow. These qualities make it a good choice if you want to make jerky, and little fat means that it will dry quickly.

8)  Tri-Tip Roast:

This is a triangular-shaped roast that is in the bottom sirloin. It has excellent flavor but can be a little tricky if not cooked properly. When slicing for jerky, it is best to slice against the grain to help with tenderness.

9)  Ribeye Roast:

This fancy cut of beef-like filet mignon is perfect for those who are looking for a lean and flavorful jerky. Since there is a reasonable amount of fat, it dries out less quickly since it is a tender cut of meat. However, it is a more expensive cut than some of the other options.

10)  Lifter Cut:

This cut is from the top part of the cow and extends from the neck to the lower flank. It is a very lean piece of meat with little to no marbling. Because it does not have much fat, it can dry out quickly if not handled correctly.

When making jerky out of this cut, it is best to use the appropriate dehydration process, or an oven set on low.


How to Choose the Best Cut of Beef for Jerky?

Now that you know what the best cut of meat is for jerky, it is time to learn how to choose the best meat for your needs. Here are a few things to keep in mind when you are buying meat from the local butcher:

1)  The type of meat:

Two types of beef are commonly used for jerky: lean and fatty. Lean beef is an excellent choice for those looking for a healthy option, as it is lower in fat and calories. Beef with excess fat is best for making your own jerky with rich flavor, as the fat will add flavor and moisture to the meat.

2)  The size of the piece of meat:

The size of the piece of meat you choose will depend on how much jerky you want to make. If you are only making a small batch, then a smaller piece of meat will suffice. However, if you are making a large batch, you’ll need a larger piece of meat.

3)  The thickness of the meat:

The thickness of the meat you choose will also affect the drying process. If you want a quick-drying jerky, you will need to choose a thinner piece of meat. However, if you are not in a hurry, you can choose a thicker piece of fresh meat.

4)  The fat content:

The fat content of the meat you choose will affect the flavor and texture of the quality jerky. If you are looking for a leaner jerky, you’ll want to choose a leaner cut of beef. However, if you’re looking for a more flavorful jerky, you’ll want to choose a fattier cut of beef.

5)  The price:

Beef is a relatively expensive meat, so the price is always considered when choosing beef cuts for homemade jerky. However, you should not let the price be the only factor in your decision. Choose the best option for your needs, regardless of the cost.

Tips for Making the Best Jerky:

Once you’ve chosen the best cut of beef for your needs, it’s time to learn how to make the great jerky. Here are a few tips to help you get started:

1)  Choose the right marinade:

There are countless marinades out there, so choosing the right one can be a daunting task. However, you should keep a few things in mind when making your decision. First, consider the type of flavor you are looking for. Second, consider the type of meat you are using. And third, consider the length of time you have to marinate the meat.

2)  Marinate the meat for the right amount of time:

Marinating the meat for too long can cause it to become tough while marinating it for too short can cause it to be bland. The general rule is to marinate the meat for 1-2 hours per pound. However, you may want to experiment with different times to find what works best.

3)  Cut the meat against the grain:

When slicing the meat, be sure to cut it against the grain. This will prevent the meat from becoming tough.

4)  Dry the meat in a dehydrator:

Dehydrators are designed explicitly for drying meat, so they’re the best option for making jerky. However, you can also dry the meat in an oven or smoker.

5)  Store the jerky in an airtight container:

Once the jerky is dry, store it in an airtight container. This will help to prevent the meat from becoming expired.


Some Best Jerk Beef Recipes:

If you are looking for some delicious and best beef jerky recipes, look no further. Here are a few of our favorites:

1)  Sweet and Spicy Jerky:

If you are looking for a sweet and spicy jerky, this recipe is for you. It is made with lean meat, brown sugar, chili powder, cumin, paprika, and other spices.

2)  Maple Jerky:

This recipe is for those who love the taste of maple. It is made with lean beef, maple syrup, soy sauce, Worcestershire sauce, and other seasonings.

3)  Teriyaki Jerky:

This jerky is full of flavor; thanks to the soy sauce, brown sugar, ginger, and other seasonings, this jerky is full of flavor.

4)  Hickory Smoked Jerky:

This jerky gets its flavor from hickory smoked salt, which gives it a unique flavor that you are sure to love.

5)  Peppered Jerky:

If you are a fan of pepper, you will love this recipe. It is made with lean beef, black pepper, and other spices.

No matter what type of great beef jerky you are looking for, we are sure you’ll find a recipe that you’ll love.


Whether you are a jerky lover or a jerky novice, we hope this guide has helped you choose the best cut of beef for your needs. With these tips in mind, you are sure to make delicious beef jerky that everyone will love. There is nothing like homemade beef jerky, so get to it and start Jerkin. Thanks for reading!