To make a delicious, salty, savory beef jerky, you need to pick the right cut of meat. Read on to learn more about the best beef cuts to make jerky.
Finding the right cut of meat to make beef jerky can be a little antithetical to how we usually choose beef. When we look for a good steak, we typically look for a healthy marbling of fat to keep it moist and tender while cooking.
The Best Cuts of Meat To Make Beef Jerky With
However, if you use a fatty cut of meat to make jerky, it will spoil much faster, so you want to find a cut that’s muscly and lean.
Let’s take a look at some of the best cuts of meat to make beef jerky with so that you can make your very own deliciously salty and meaty snack at home.
Bottom round is one of the cheaper cuts, but it’s just as delicious. This cut is an exterior muscle from the very top of the back leg.
Again, much like top round, this muscle sees quite a bit of work, but not as much as a top round cut would.
This cut may have a fat cap you have to trim off and won’t be as tender as top or eye of round. However, the amount you get for the price fully makes up for it.
Top round is an interior leg muscle, which means it sees a lot of work during the cow’s lifetime.
This hard work is what makes this cut lean. It’s one of the pricier cuts on this list, but that’s because it’s one of the most tender—softer than bottom round, but not as soft as eye of round.
If you go with top round, look for a cut that’s free of gristle or veins, or if you’re a slicing pro, you can remove these parts yourself. Remember, gristle and veins won’t render when you make jerky.
Eye of Round
Eye of round is the leanest and the most tender sub-primal round cut. Many beef jerky enthusiasts consider this cut the best cut of meat to make beef jerky with.
This oval cut comes from the rump and has a similar shape to tenderloin.
Again, while you may have to cut off a fat cap, the tenderness of this cut is unmatched in terms of lean beef.
However, top-notch, professionally-cut eye of round is hard to find, which is why many meat lovers and jerky fans prefer to get quality cuts by ordering meat online.
Butchers can divide brisket into two parts: the point and the flat. The flat is the part that you want to make jerky with.
While you’ll have to cut off quite a bit of surface fat, you get a lot of meat out of the flat.
Additionally, the flavor of brisket flat is unmatched in its deep, beefy taste. The grain also makes this cut easier to slice into jerky strips.
Just below the loin are the abdominal muscles of the cow, known as the flank.
These muscles see a whole lot of action during the cow’s lifetime, which means there is very little fat you have to deal with—contrary to popular belief. If you do see a lot of fat, poor butchering is the culprit.
While this cut is a little more expensive, it’s cheaper than eye of round and makes a comparably delicious jerky.
Other Beef Recipes to Try:
- Easy Instant Pot Beef Bourguignon Recipe
- Easy to Make Roast Beef Sandwich with Pickled Red Onions
- A Night Out and Beef Tataki with Ponzu
Stacey is a Southern girl with a taste for travel, thriving on the discovery of the world through food. After spending many years traveling and living overseas, she’s now back home in her beloved deep south enjoying life with her three little ones and loving the adventure. She’s a food stylist and food photographer, as well as, the creative behind Little Figgy Food, where she loves to inspire others to try new flavors and foodie techniques.