The 9 Best Beef Jerky of 2019

Bring your protein fix anywhere

Our editors independently research, test, and recommend the best products; you can learn more about our review process here. We may receive commissions on purchases made from our chosen links.

Portable, packed with protein and popping with flavor, beef jerky makes a great, filling snack for carnivores. Now more than ever before, the power of protein is being recognized thanks to popular diets such as Paleo and Keto touting its nutritional benefits. With protein gaining such great street cred in recent years, there are more varieties of beef jerky on the market than ever before.

These dried meat snacks come in all sorts of flavors, from traditional to teriyaki, spicy to sweet and beyond. If you like beef jerky, there’s a flavor (or 10) that you’re sure to love. All jerky isn’t created equal, however, they come in a wide variety of textures and types designed to meet every taste. Here is the best beef jerky you can buy now.

Note: you should also be aware that most nutritionists associate a diet high in processed meats, like beef jerky, with an increased risk of cancer (possibly because they often contain nitrates). Beef jerky also tends to be high in sodium. While we have attempted to list jerkies that do not use nitrates, it's best to keep these caveats in mind for your overall health and enjoy in moderation.

Our Top Picks

Best Overall: Country Archer Original Beef Jerky 3 oz each

For a solid, go-to beef jerky, this one from Country Archer gets top marks. Each serving contains 70 calories, 11 grams of protein and just 1 gram of fat. Made from 100 percent grass-fed beef, fans say this beef jerky tastes great. It comes in a variety of flavors from original to mango habanero, so you can spice up your snacking as you like.

Most (though not all) of the ingredients are organic, and customers say they love the simple contents and the fact that there are no nitrates included. It does contain 4 grams of sugar and it’s a bit on the pricier side, but fans say it’s well worth it for the flavor, texture and overall quality of this jerky.

Best Grass-Fed: Field Trip All Natural Grass-Fed Beef Jerky, Original, 12 Ounce

When you want your jerky to come from cows who eat grass and not a bunch of fillers and artificial foods, there’s this all-natural beef jerky from Field Trip. It comes in a variety of flavors, including cracked pepper and maple BBQ. The original recipe contains 80 calories, 14 grams of protein, 3 grams of sugar and 1 gram of fat per one-ounce serving.

Free of gluten, soy, dairy and nitrates, it’s a protein-filled snack that fits most diets. Customers say the flavor is great, and the jerky is tender.

Best Teriyaki: Jack Link's® Premium Cuts Teriyaki Beef Jerky Mega Pack - 8oz

Jack Link's® Premium Cuts Teriyaki Beef Jerky Mega Pack - 8oz
Courtesy of Target

For those who crave the tangy taste of teriyaki-flavored beef jerky, there’s this one from Jack’s Links, flavored with soy, ginger and onion. It’s relatively inexpensive, and while some jerky brands can be difficult to track down in stores, this one is typically readily available most places, even at your local gas station. Each 1-ounce serving contains 80 calories, 1 gram of fat and 5 grams of sugar.

While some find the texture a little tougher than they like, most say it’s a solid value, tastes good and makes a filling, on-the-go, protein-packed snack.

Best Spicy: Seriously Spicy Beef Jerky-GLUTEN FREE

If you want some heat with your jerky treat, this Seriously Spicy beef jerky from Katie’s brings it. There are other flavors and heat levels as well, which top out with the XXX Scorpion flavor delivering maximum heat. Flavored with cayenne pepper, each 1-ounce serving contains 90 calories, 2 grams of fat, 3 grams of sugar and 13 grams of protein. There’s no MSG or nitrates included.

Customers rave about this jerky, saying it’s fresh and tastes amazing. They warn, however, that it’s hot, hot, hot, and not for everyone.

Best Sweet and Spicy: Think Jerky Sweet Chipotle Grass-Fed Beef Jerky

For jerky that has a kick with a bit of sweetness, there’s this sweet chipotle jerky from Think Jerky. Made from grass-fed beef, it mixes the sweet taste of raspberries with a three-pepper blend for a unique twist on jerky. Each serving contains 100 calories, 2 grams of fat, 5 grams of sugar and 16 grams of protein. It’s gluten-free, non-GMO, and contains no nitrates.

Crafted by well-known chefs, this jerky is praised for its great taste and texture.

Best Organic: Laura's Lean Beef Organic Grass Fed Jerky, Original

This organic beef jerky from Laura’s Lean is about as pure as a jerky can get. Made with organic, grass-fed beef, it contains no nitrates and no preservatives, and it’s gluten-free. It does, however, contain 6 grams of sugar in each 1-ounce serving, along with 80 calories, 1 gram of fat and 11 grams of protein.

Most customers like the taste and texture and note that it’s one of the few organic beef jerky options on the market.

Best Low-Sugar: Beef Biltong Zesty Garlic, No Fat, Low Sugar, 16g Protein

If you’re looking to cut out sugar, this jerky won’t derail your efforts. Each 1-ounce serving has less than 1 gram of the sweet stuff and contains a whopping 16 grams of protein. It’s gluten-free, contains no nitrates or MSG, and comes in a variety of flavors, including zesty garlic.

Customers say it’s filling, tastes great and works well with Keto diets and other low-sugar diets.

Best Original: Perky Jerky 100 Percent Grass-Fed Beef Original, 2.2 ounce bags

For those times you don’t want anything fancy—just a good, traditional beef jerky, Perky Jerky is your go-to jerky. Made from 100 percent grass-fed beef, the manufacturer claims it’s the best-tasting jerky on the market, guaranteed.

Each 1-ounce serving contains 90 calories, 1 gram of fat and 10 grams of protein. It does, however, also contain 8 grams of sugar, which some say makes it too sweet. Overall though, customers say this is a solid choice when it comes to jerky, and a portion of the proceeds from each bag goes to fund muscular dystrophy and Down syndrome research, which is a nice bonus.

Best Vegetarian: Primal Strips Meatless Vegan Jerky

Primal Strips Meatless Vegan Jerky
Courtesy of Amazon 

Yep, even vegetarians can enjoy the taste of beef jerky without the actual beef. These meatless strips from Primal Strips come in a variety of flavors, including Texas BBQ, Teriyaki and Hickory Smoked, and they’re all 100 percent vegan. While the nutritional content varies by flavor, the Hickory Smoked version, for example, contains 90 calories, 3 grams of fat, 3 grams of sugar and 10 grams of protein.

With the same, meat-like texture as beef jerky, this is an excellent substitute for the real thing.

Was this page helpful?