Finding the best meat for beef jerky is one of my favorite things. I am not saying it is easy, but it is not impossible. There are many cuts of beef you could use, but everyone has different advantages and disadvantages. I like to share my own experience and some tips that I find helpful along the way.
Here are the 9 tips to find the best meat for beef jerky
Tip #1: Go for a cut with the least amount of fat possible
Using a cut of meat with low fat is the best choice for making jerky. That is because fat spoils and ruins the jerky. Some of these cuts include eye of round, bottom round, and top round.
Tip #2: For simplicity, go with the eye of round
Eye of round is the most popular cut for making beef jerky, which means it is a good choice. The eye of round is very tender, as it comes from the oval muscle in the rear leg of the cow. This cut is also lean, has little interior fat, and is easily sliced.
Tip #3: For a second choice, try bottom round
Even though this cut is less tender, it still makes for great beef jerky. The bottom round is the outer muscle of the back leg. This cut is lean, flavorful, and very cheap. You should know that there is a possibility for more interior marbling.
Tip #4: If you like to experiment, try a brisket
Many people do not realize that brisket is a premium, lean cut of beef that has a tough texture and a ton of flavor. The texture is not as chewy and will resemble a steak.
Tip #5: The trip tip is often ignored, but should not be
In many BBQ joints, the drip tip is the king of flavor. The trip tip is one of the most flavorful cuts of meat that you can use in beef jerky. However, unlike other cuts of meat, this one may be a bit expensive. I recommend you use it if you are making a small batch of beef jerky.
Tip #6: The flank steak can be a good option if the price does not matter
The flank steak is a more expensive cut of beef, but still a fantastic option to make your favorite jerky. If you slice it against the grain, you will get a nice cut ready to be turned into jerky. Be careful not to slice with the grain because the cut will be very tough. While this meat is lean, you will still need to trim some fat off. There is also a chance that you will need to remove some internal marbling.
Tip #7: Do not rule out ground beef
I am always surprised to hear that people have never tried ground meat jerky. It truly is an easy process and especially a cheap choice. I suggest you choose the lean option when you buy ground beef, but it does not have to be the leanest.
This type of beef is also easy to chew and not hard at all, which some people prefer. Keep in mind, though, that ground beef jerky will result in a very different texture from other cuts of beef.
Another downside of ground beef jerky is that it will likely require a jerky gun. It is possible to make one without, but you may benefit from using it and obtain a better texture.
Tip #8: For the best texture, use filet mignon
Sounds fancy and slightly crazy to use filet mignon when you make beef jerky. Still, I love the kind of texture this cut creates. You will never look back after having this melt-in-your-mouth feel.
Some people also love filet mignon because it can be smoked and preserves the flavor very well. Price may be a restraint here, which is understandable, but if it is not, then you should give this cut a try.
Tip #9: Rib steak can also be a good cut for beef jerky when there is no other option
Many ignore rib steak, but it can be a great cut of beef to make beef jerky. A rib steak is a very flavorful cut compared to other cuts. Many attribute the flavor to the marbling of fat, which can be hard to remove when you want to prepare beef jerky.
It’s time to make your beef jerky!
Now that you know exactly what to look for next time you go to the butcher shop, why not start making your homemade beef jerky? This process can be fun and rewarding, as it will result in tasty snacks that are also healthy and high in protein.
Do not forget to check out the advantages of each of these cuts, and choose one best for you. Serve your tasty beef jerky with salads, as a side dish, or as a healthy snack any day.
Finally, a food dehydrator should make the process of dehydrating beef and other types of food at home simple and easy. There is quite a number available in the market so make sure to pick one that suits your needs.
Now that you know how to find the best meat for your beef jerky, why not try making this awesome Chili Lime Beef Jerky recipe?