Why Is Beef Jerky So Expensive? (EXPLAINED)

Have you ever wondered why beef jerky is so expensive? Is it because of the quality of the meat? What are the ingredients used to make it? The type of packaging? If you’ve been curious about why beef jerky can be so pricey, this blog post will provide some answers. Read on to find out more!

What Is Beef Jerky?

Beef jerky is a popular and convenient snack food that is made by marinating beef in a curing solution, trimming it off fat, and then drying it. The process removes the moisture from the meat, making it shelf-stable and preserving it from spoilage. The Quechua word “ch’arki,” meaning dried, salted meat, is where the word “jerky” is derived.

What Is Beef Jerky?

Lean cuts of beef, such as round roasts or pork loin, are typically used to make jerky because fat does not dry out and could lead to spoilage. Beef jerky is high in nutrients and can be stored for long periods of time.

Why Is Beef Jerky So Expensive?

The Cost Of Quality Ingredients

Beef jerky is expensive because it requires high-quality ingredients, which come at a premium cost. The cost of beef cuts used to make jerky has increased significantly in recent years, making it more expensive than ever.

The cost of spices, marinades, and other ingredients used to flavor and preserve the beef jerky also add to the final cost. The process of making beef jerky is also time-consuming and labor-intensive, which adds to the overall cost.

The Time-Intensive Process

Additionally, the time and energy required to make jerky are significant, and many manufacturers use natural preservatives over chemical ones, further adding to the cost. Generally speaking, the higher the quality of the ingredients used, the more expensive the jerky. A final consideration is that, unlike many kinds of food, most types of jerky are best eaten fresh. It’s the same reason that fresh eggs taste better than the ones you buy at the store – they’re just fresher. The same goes for jerky – fresher is almost always going to be better.

Limited Supply And High Demand

Beef jerky is a highly sought-after product, and the demand for it has exceeded production due to its labor-intensive nature. This reduced workforce in every industry has driven prices up, as has the exorbitant cost of high-quality beef. Additionally, fixed costs are associated with production, such as the cost of meat, drying, and packaging. Furthermore, beef jerky is more affordable in larger volumes, and with the current supply being lower than the demand, prices have continued to rise. All these factors combine to make beef jerky an expensive purchase.

Unique Flavors And Specialty Jerky

A wide range of unique flavors and specialty jerky are available to choose from. From the popular Bloody Mary Jerky to the KRAVE Jerky Variety Favorites, there is something for everyone. Old Fashioned Original offers an ever-growing selection of handcrafted, artisan beef jerky. They feature many small-batch flavors, including Bourbon Peppercorn and Baja Carne Asada. Fatman’s Beef Jerky also has a wide range of flavors, ranging from sweet to hot and everything in-between. For health-conscious snackers, they offer beef jerky with no MSG and high protein content in unique flavors such as Umami. Whether you are looking for a savory snack or something unique and special, there is sure to be a specialty jerky flavor for you.

How To Find Budget-Friendly Jerky?

Finding budget-friendly beef jerky doesn’t have to be a challenge. There are several options available to find tasty and affordable jerky.

First, big-box stores like Target and Walmart carry a variety of beef jerky, some of which are quite affordable. For a more cost-effective option, check out bulk beef jerky. It’s often cheaper than pre-packaged individual portions, and you can buy them in your favorite flavor.

Finally, ground beef jerky is also an economical option. It’s typically cheaper than buying pre-packaged jerky, and you can customize the marinade for different flavors. With a little research, you can find the perfect budget-friendly beef jerky to satisfy your cravings.

How To Make Your Own Delicious And Affordable Beef Jerky?

To make delicious and affordable beef jerky at home:

  1. Start by trimming all external fat off a 3lb top roast, rump roast, or London broil.
  2. Cut the meat into thin strips with a sharp knife, making sure to slice with the grain.
  3. Once the beef is cut into strips, let it marinate overnight in a medium bowl with ¾ cup Worcestershire sauce, ½ cup soy sauce, brown sugar, smoked paprika, meat tenderizer, black pepper, and red pepper flakes.

After it is done marinating, use a vacuum marinator to add extra seasoning. Finally, put the strips on a wire rack in an oven set to 160-175F and bake them for 4-6 hours. Enjoy your homemade beef jerky!

Beef Jerky Machine

If you are looking for a beef jerky maker that is an all-in-one package, the Beef Jerky Machine from STX International is a great option. It comes with everything you need to get your own jerky made and includes a dehydrator, three stainless steel racks, and a curing box.

The dehydrator features a powerful 500-watt motor that can dry meat up to three times faster than other dehydrators on the market. It also comes with six trays, allowing you to dry large quantities of food simultaneously.

The dehydrator has a digital control panel with a temperature range from 95°F to 158°F. The dehydrator also features a built-in timer that you can set for up to 26 hours.

The dehydrator comes with a recipe book that includes over 50 recipes for you to try out. It also comes with a one-year warranty.


Is Beef Jerky Worth Buying?

Beef jerky is worth buying for its high-quality, nutrient-dense ingredients and the time and effort that goes into preparing it. Homemade beef jerky can be significantly cheaper than store-bought, but it is still a great value due to its convenience.

Is Beef Jerky Healthier Than Chips?

Generally, beef jerky is a healthier and more nutritious snack than chips. One ounce (28 grams) of beef jerky contains nine times the protein and less fat than you’ll find in a serving of carb-packed potato chips. Beef jerky is also rich in iron, folate, calcium, and vitamins A and C. It also contains significantly less sugar than other popular snacks like protein bars or yogurt. So, beef jerky is an excellent option if you’re looking for a healthier alternative to chips.

Is Beef Jerky Raw Or Cooked?

No, beef jerky is not raw. It is cooked and processed with salt, spices, and other seasonings. The process involves dehydration, which removes the moisture from the meat and keeps it shelf-stable without the need for refrigeration. It is ready to eat and requires no additional preparation. For safety reasons, some experts recommend pre-cooking jerky to a safe internal temperature before drying. While beef jerky may not look obviously undercooked, it is not cooked over a flame.

Is Jerky OK For Weight Loss?

Yes, jerky can be a great snack for those trying to lose weight. It is high in protein and low in calories, making it an excellent source of lean protein. Eating jerky helps to keep you feeling full for longer and can help curb cravings for higher-calorie snacks. However, to achieve successful weight loss, it is important to also exercise regularly and make sure to burn off more calories than you consume.

Is Beef Jerky Just Dehydrated?

Yes, beef jerky is a lightweight, dried meat product that dehydrates lean meat at a temperature of 165°F for 3-4 hours. During this process, the moisture is removed, preserving the meat and giving it a chewy and crunchy texture. Jerky is a popular snack that has been enjoyed for thousands of years and requires no refrigeration.


We hope you found this article helpful in understanding why beef jerky is so expensive. But what do you think? Have you noticed the high cost of beef jerky? What have been your experiences with beef jerky prices? Share your thoughts in the comments below!

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