All You Need to Know About Beef Jerky Cuts
To some, the word “jerky” evokes images of dusty cowboys driving cattle across the endless range, chomping on thin strips of tough, salt-and-air cured meat that never goes bad. The truth is, high-quality jerky is a tender, flavorful protein snack. And, like all delicious foods, creating mouth-watering jerky starts with the right premium ingredients.
The Differences in Beef Jerky Cuts
All good beef jerky snacks start with a lean, high-quality beef cut. While some fat is necessary to ensure tenderness and even taste, excess fat spoils jerky. Each cut should be evaluated for freshness and fat content carefully.
Below are five popular beef jerky cuts and their characteristics.
- Eye of Round - This is lean, inexpensive, and has very little interior fat. This cut also has a lengthwise grain that makes slicing easier than many cuts.
- Bottom Round Steak - This cut is more tender that the eye cut, and has a rich natural flavor.
- Top Round - This cut falls in between bottom and eye-of-round in its texture, fat content, price, and flavor.
- Flank Steak - Flank Steak is a bit more expensive than round steak cuts, but preferred by people who want to make their own jerky at home because this option doesn't have excessive fat to trim.
Spices and seasoning should bring out natural tenderness and flavor of your meat, not overwhelm the palate. That's why T.O.P. Chops always starts with the highest quality beef cuts and only adds seasoning that enhances natural flavors - creating a high-protein snack that tastes the way meat should.