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Who doesn’t love jerky? Not only is it a quick and delicious snack, it’s very healthy—high in protein, low in fat, and almost exclusively keto—plus it’s paleo-friendly. And there are dozens of options these days, including many for vegetarians and vegans. But what’s the absolute best jerky? In an effort to find the best jerky you can buy, we decided to peruse Amazon and see how real jerky lovers felt.
The results were decisive. With more than 1,500 reviews and a sparkling 4.4-star rating, the top choice for the best jerky is People’s Choice Beef Jerky.
It’s been handmade in Los Angeles since 1928. And in all that time, the only change in the last 90 years has been to update the recipe to use all-natural spices and cut out the additives and preservatives.
Amazon has hundreds of jerkies for sale, particularly with the popularity of high-protein, low-sugar keto and paleo diets. While beef jerkies are the most popular, there are also plenty of options for lovers of chicken, turkey and vegan and soy varieties. Pescetarian, or love fish? There are plenty of tuna and salmon jerkies. Fan of gamey meats? There are venison, bison and elk options, too.
What makes a great jerky?
- Texture: Soft and chewy? Thick and long-lasting? A great jerky finds that elusive balance.
- Taste: Of course, it’s subjective. But no matter what flavor it is, the seasoning can’t overpower the meat (or whatever).
- Ingredients: We want meat that’s been treated well. We want our cows grass-fed and our produce hormone-free. And of course, there’s no need for additives and preservatives.
Jerky makes a great between-meal or post-workout snack. It fills you up without weighing you down. There’s no sugar, very little sodium (usually—depends on the flavoring) and, if you avoid the mass-produced brands, most jerkies are free of additives, preservatives, and gluten.
The choice for Best Overall Jerky was difficult. So we had to go with People’s Choice. But we also liked:
- Kaimana Ahi Tuna Jerky—it has substantially higher protein than other jerkies;
- Nick’s Sticks—made on a farm in Wisconsin;
- Brooklyn Biltong—“biltong” is South African beef that’s air-dried, not dehydrated;
- Think Jerky—created by celebrity chefs, we love that 10 percent of profits go to veterans’ charities.
What’s your favorite jerky? Here are 11 that you can order straight from Amazon.