Why is Beef Jerky So Expensive? 5 Reasons Can Make You Surprised!

When it comes to snacks, beef jerky is one of the most popular choices. But what many people don’t know is that beef jerky can be quite expensive, especially if you buy it from a store. So, why is beef jerky so expensive? 

In this blog post, we’ll take a look at some of the reasons why. We’ll also discuss how to make your own beef jerky and compare the costs involved.

What is Beef Jerky And Where Does It Come From?

Beef jerky is a type of dried, seasoned meat that is typically made from lean beef that has been trimmed of fat. The meat is then cut into strips and dried, either in the sun or in a dehydrator. Beef jerky can also be made from other meats, such as pork, turkey, or chicken.

The word jerky is derived from the Quechua word ch’arki, which means “dried, salted meat”. Jerky is a traditional food of the Andes Mountains and was originally made as a way to preserve meat during the long mountain winters.

Jerky can be found in many different forms, such as jerky sticks, jerky bits, or jerky strips. It is often eaten as a snack or as part of a meal. Jerky can also be used as an ingredient in other dishes, such as soups and stews.

 Beef jerky is high in protein and low in fat, making it a healthy option for people who are looking for a nutritious snack. It is also a good source of vitamins and minerals, such as iron and potassium.

 Beef jerky is available for purchase in many different places, including grocery stores, gas stations, and online retailers.

Why is Beef Jerky So Expensive?

Beef jerky is a popular snack food, but it can be quite expensive. There are a few reasons for this:

The cost of beef: Beef is generally more expensive than other meats, so beef jerky will be more expensive than other types of jerky.

The cost of production: Jerky is a dried, preserved meat, and the process of making it can be quite labor-intensive and costly.

The demand for beef jerky: Jerky is a popular snack food, so there is high demand for it, which drives up the price.

The cost of packaging the beef jerky: Beef jerky is often sold in small, individual packages, which can add to the cost.

The cost of shipping the beef jerky: Because beef jerky is a dried, preserved meat, it needs to be shipped carefully to maintain its quality. This can add to the cost of the final product.

Profit margins for beef jerky manufacturers: Like any other business, beef jerky manufacturers need to make a profit to stay in business. This profit margin is often reflected in the final retail price of the product.

So, why is beef jerky so expensive? There are a few reasons for this, including the cost of beef and the cost of production. Additionally, the high demand for beef jerky contributes to its higher price point.

Why is Beef Jerky So Expensive
Why is Beef Jerky So Expensive?

The Best Cuts of Meat For Beef Jerky

There are a few things to keep in mind when choosing the best cuts of meat for beef jerky. The first is that you want to choose a lean cut of meat. This will help to ensure that the finished product is not too fatty or greasy. Fatty meats can cause the beef jerky to spoil more quickly, so it’s best to avoid them if possible.

Another thing to consider is the texture of the meat. You want to choose a cut that is relatively easy to slice into thin strips. The thinner the strips, the quicker they will dry and the more evenly they will dehydrate.

Finally, you’ll want to think about the flavor of the beef jerky. Different cuts of meat have different flavors, so you’ll want to select a cut that you think will taste good in jerky form. Some people prefer a more mild flavor, while others like their beef jerky to be very spicy. It all comes down to personal preference.

Here are a few of the best cuts of meat for beef jerky:

-Eye of round

-Sirloin tip

-Flank steak

-Top round

-Bottom round

-Venison (deer meat)

-Buffalo (bison) meat

If you can’t find any of these cuts of meat at your local grocery store, don’t worry. Any lean, reasonably priced cut of beef will work just fine. Just make sure to trim off any visible fat before slicing the meat into strips.

How The Beef Is Prepared For Jerky

The first step in preparing beef for jerky is to remove all of the fat. This includes both the external fat and the internal marbling. The leaner the meat, the better the jerky will be. Once all of the fat has been trimmed away, the beef can be cut into thin strips.

The next step is to season the beef strips. This can be done with any number of different spices or sauces. Some common seasonings for beef jerky include salt, pepper, garlic powder, onion powder, and Worcestershire sauce. Once the beef has been sufficiently seasoned, it is time to begin drying it.

There are a few different ways to dry beef for jerky. One popular method is to use a dehydrator. Dehydrators work by circulating warm, dry air over the beef strips. This method is very effective and produces high-quality jerky.

Another option for drying beef is to use an oven set to the lowest possible temperature. The beef strips should be placed on a wire rack so that they are not touching one another. It is important to check the beef frequently during the drying process to make sure that it does not overcook.

Once the beef has been fully dried, it can be stored in an airtight container. Jerky will keep for several months if stored properly. When ready to eat, simply remove a strip of jerky from the container and enjoy!

Marinating The Beef

Beef that is going to be cooked using the dry heat method should be marinated for at least four hours, but no longer than 24 hours. If you are using a wet marinade, it is important to not let the beef soak for too long, as it can become tough. 

The best way to marinate beef is to place it in a resealable bag or container, and then pour the marinade over the top. Be sure to massage the bag so that the meat is evenly coated with the marinade. Once the beef has been properly marinated, it can then be cooked using your chosen method.

Seasoning The Beef

With salt, pepper, and paprika before browning in a large skillet helps to give it flavor and prevent it from drying out during cooking. Once the beef is browned, it can be transferred to a slow cooker along with onions, garlic, tomato sauce, and beef broth. Cook on low for 6-8 hours or until the beef is cooked through.

This recipe results in juicy, flavorful beef that can be used in a variety of dishes. Try serving it over rice or pasta, or using it as a filling for tacos or burritos.

Drying The Beef Jerky

The next step in the process. The beef jerky will need to be placed on a drying rack, which can be purchased at most sporting goods stores. It is important to make sure that the beef jerky is not touching any other food items, as this could lead to cross contamination. The beef jerky should be left to dry for approximately 24 hours, or until it is completely dried out.

Storing and Serving The Jerky

It’s important to store your jerky correctly if you want it to last. The best way to store it is in an airtight container in a cool, dry place. You can also store it in the fridge or freezer if you want it to last even longer.

When you’re ready to eat your jerky, just take it out of the container and let it come to room temperature. Once it’s thawed, you can eat it as is or cook it however you like. Jerky is delicious straight from the package, but some people prefer to cook it before eating.


Is beef jerky raw meat?

No, beef jerky is not raw meat. In order to make beef jerky, the beef must first be cooked. The cooking process helps to preserve the meat, and it also gives the beef jerky its signature flavor. After the beef has been cooked, it is then cut into thin strips and dried. This drying process is what makes the beef jerky shelf-stable.

What is the markup on beef jerky?

The markup on beef jerky can vary depending on the brand and where it is sold. Generally speaking, the markup is around 100%. This means that for every dollar you spend on beef jerky, the company made two dollars.

Is beef jerky a healthy snack?

Yes, beef jerky can be a healthy snack. It is a good source of protein, and it does not contain any harmful additives. However, some brands of beef jerky are high in sodium, so it is important to read the labels carefully before purchasing.

What part of the cow is beef jerky?

Beef jerky is typically made from the flank or round steak. These cuts of meat are lean and have a good amount of protein.

How many pounds of beef does it take to make 1 pound of jerky?

It takes approximately 2 pounds of beef to make 1 pound of jerky. This ratio may vary depending on the type of beef used and the thickness of the slices.

Can you live off of beef jerky?

Yes, it is possible to live off of beef jerky. While it may not be the most well-rounded or nutritious diet, beef jerky provides enough calories and protein to sustain someone for an extended period of time. Of course, living off of beef jerky would not be ideal and would likely result in some pretty severe health problems down the road. So, if you’re looking to survive on beef jerky alone, make sure you have a plan B in place as well.

Does beef jerky have blood?

No, beef jerky does not have blood in it. The blood is removed during the process of making beef jerky.

Is beef jerky a processed meat?

Beef jerky is a type of processed meat that has been preserved by being dried and cured. It is typically made from lean cuts of beef that are trimmed and then cut into strips. The strips of beef are then marinated in a mixture of spices and other ingredients before being dehydrated or smoked.

This process gives beef jerky its characteristic flavor and texture. While beef jerky is often considered to be a processed meat, it can also be made from other types of meat, such as pork, chicken, or turkey.

Is it cheaper to make beef jerky?

The cost of making beef jerky depends on a few factors, including the type of meat you use, the spices and seasonings you add, and the method you use to dry the meat. 

Generally speaking, you can expect to spend around $2-3 per pound of meat when making beef jerky at home. When purchased in bulk, the cost of beef jerky can be as low as $1 per pound. When factoring in the cost of spices, seasonings, and other ingredients, the cost of making beef jerky at home is typically around $5-10 per batch. 

Store-bought beef jerky can cost upwards of $20 per pound, making it significantly more expensive than homemade beef jerky. In addition to being more affordable, making beef jerky at home also allows you to customize the flavor to suit your preferences.

Can you eat the packets in beef jerky?

Most beef jerky packets are not meant to be eaten, as they are full of preservatives and other ingredients that can be harmful to your health. However, if you are determined to eat them, it is best to consult a doctor or nutritionist first to make sure that doing so will not harm your body in any way.

Why is beef jerky so salty?

The saltiness of beef jerky comes from the curing process that it undergoes. Curing meat involves using salt to draw out moisture and preserve the meat. This process also gives beef jerky its characteristic flavor. The high salt content in beef jerky can also be a way to prevent bacteria growth.

Why is it called jerky?

The word “jerky” is derived from the Quechua word ch’arki, which means “dried, salted meat”. Jerky is thought to have originated in South America and was brought to North America by the Spanish. The first recorded use of the word “jerky” in English was in 1699.

Jerky is made by cutting meat (usually beef, venison, or turkey) into strips and then drying it. The meat can be dried using a number of methods, including air-drying, sun-drying, smoking, or dehydrating. It is important that the meat strips are not too thick or too thin, as this will affect the texture and taste of the finished product.

Once the meat is dried, it can be flavored with a variety of seasonings, such as salt, pepper, garlic, onion, or Worcestershire sauce. The flavoring is usually applied before the drying process. Jerky can also be made without any added seasoning; this is known as “plain” or “natural” jerky.

Jerky is a popular snack food and is often eaten as a portable snack or trail food. It is high in protein and low in fat and calories, making it a good choice for those who are watching their weight. Jerky is also shelf-stable and does not require refrigeration, making it a convenient food to take on camping trips or hikes.

So, there you have it! That’s why jerky is called jerky. Now that you know a little bit more about this delicious snack, why not try making your own at home? It’s actually quite easy to do and the results are well worth the effort.

Can dogs eat beef jerky?

Yes, dogs can eat beef jerky. However, it is important to make sure that the beef jerky does not contain any onions or garlic, as these can be toxic to dogs. Additionally, the beef jerky should be given in moderation, as too much of it can lead to gastrointestinal issues in dogs. Finally, it is important to make sure that the beef jerky is not too salty, as this can also be harmful to dogs.

What keeps beef jerky from spoiling?

There are a few things that keep beef jerky from spoiling. First, the beef is cured, which means that it is preserved in salt. This helps to prevent the growth of bacteria. Second, the beef is dried, which removes most of the water content and creates an environment that is inhospitable to bacteria.

Finally, the beef is typically smoked, which further reduces the water content and adds another layer of preservation. Together, these methods can keep beef jerky fresh for several months.

How long can you marinate beef for jerky?

You can marinate beef for jerky for up to 24 hours. However, if you are using a leaner cuts of beef, you may want to marinate for a shorter period of time to avoid making the meat too tough.


Beef jerky is a high-priced snack for a few reasons. The main reason, however, is that beef jerky is made from high-quality meat. When it comes to making this type of snack food, there are no shortcuts. 

In fact, the entire process of creating beef jerky takes time and effort. From selecting the best cuts of meat to ensuring that each strip is dried properly, the makers of beef jerky take their time in order to deliver a quality product. 

So next time you’re looking for a tasty and filling snack, don’t be afraid to reach for some beef jerky – you won’t regret it!

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