Best Cut For Beef Jerky


When making delicious beef jerky, the choice of meat is essential. The right cut can make all the difference in your jerky’s taste, texture, and overall quality. In this section, we will explore why the cut of meat is important and what the Best Cut For Beef Jerky is.

Best Cut For Beef Jerky

Why Is The Cut Of Meat Important For Beef Jerky?

The cut of meat plays a significant role in the outcome of your beef jerky. Certain cuts are more suitable for jerky-making due to their texture, lack of fat, and overall tenderness. Here are a few reasons why the cut of meat matters:

  1. Texture: Different cuts of meat have different textures. Some cuts are naturally tougher, while others are more tender. You want a cut that can be thinly sliced and easily chewed for beef jerky.
  2. Fat content: Fat doesn’t render well when making jerky and can go rancid, affecting the flavor and shelf life of the jerky. Lean cuts are preferred to ensure a healthier and longer-lasting snack.
  3. Flavor: Each cut of meat has its unique flavor profile. Choosing the right cut can enhance the taste of your jerky and provide a more enjoyable snacking experience.

Understanding The Importance Of Lean Cuts

Lean cuts of meat are ideal for beef jerky for several reasons:

  1. Lean meat dries more efficiently: Fat takes longer to dehydrate, which can extend the drying time for your jerky. Lean cuts ensure a more efficient drying process.
  2. Reduced risk of spoilage: Fat can turn rancid, increasing the risk of spoilage and affecting the taste of your jerky. Using lean cuts reduces this risk and helps maintain the quality of the jerky.
  3. Healthier snack option: Lean cuts contain less saturated fat and are healthier for those watching their dietary intake.

You can ensure superior beef jerky with optimal texture, flavor, and shelf life by choosing lean cuts such as top round, bottom round, flank steak, or sirloin tip roast.

In the next section, we will explore the best cuts of meat for beef jerky, providing options and insights to help you create the perfect jerky.

Top Round Roast Or London Broil

Explanation Of The Top Round Cut

The Top Round cut is taken from the round primal, specifically from the inside of the rear legs. This cut is known for being lean because the legs are used for movement. Top Round is often used to make roasts, London broil, Swiss steak, and thin slices of roast beef. It is cylindrical and may have an exterior fat cap, easily removed for jerky-making purposes.

The Suitability Of Top Round For Beef Jerky

Top Round is considered one of the best cuts of meat for making beef jerky. It is lean and lacks intramuscular fat, making it ideal for jerky preparation. The lean nature of this cut helps prevent the jerky from becoming overly greasy or fatty. When selecting Top Round for jerky, choosing a piece of meat that is void of veins or gristle is important. Removing small amounts of exterior fat and silver skin is usually sufficient to prepare the meat for jerky.

Using Top Round for beef jerky offers several advantages:

  1. Lean and flavorful: Top Round provides a delicious, beefy flavor without excessive fat content.
  2. Affordable option: Top Round is typically more budget-friendly compared to other cuts used in beef jerky recipes.
  3. Easy to work with: The natural cylindrical shape of Top Round makes it convenient for slicing into thin, uniform strips for jerky.

Note: While Top Round is often recommended for beef jerky, other cuts, such as Bottom Round and Eye of Round, can also work well. Each cut has its unique characteristics and may vary in pricing and availability.

Using lean and affordable cuts of meat is essential when making beef jerky, as the fat does not render and may affect the texture and taste of the final product.

Eye Of Round

Best Cut For Beef Jerky

The Eye of Round cut is another popular Best Cut For Beef Jerky option. This cut is taken from the rear leg of the steer and is known for its tender texture. Here are some features and considerations when using Eye of Round for jerky:

Features Of The Eye Of Round Cut

  • Lean: The Eye of Round is a lean cut with minimal fat, making it a healthier option for beef jerky.
  • Less marbling: The Eye of Round has less intramuscular fat than other cuts, resulting in leaner and less flavorful jerky.
  • Easy to slice: The Eye of Round has a uniform shape and a single-grain direction, making it easy to slice into thin strips.

Pros And Cons Of Using Eye Of Round For Jerky


  • Tender texture: The Eye of Round is naturally tender, translating to a softer and more enjoyable eating experience.
  • Low in fat: If you’re conscious about your fat intake, the Eye of Round is a great choice due to its minimal fat content.
  • Easy to find: The Eye of Round is common in most grocery stores or butcheries.


  • Less flavor: Due to its low-fat content, the Eye of Round may lack the rich flavor that some other cuts provide.
  • Requires marinating: To enhance the flavor, it is recommended to marinate Eye of Round jerky before drying, as it may benefit from additional seasoning.

When using Eye of Round for beef jerky, it’s important to slice the meat against the grain to ensure tenderness. Additionally, marinating the meat can help infuse it with flavor. Overall, the Eye of Round is a versatile and readily available cut that can yield tasty beef jerky.

Stay tuned for more information on other cuts suitable for making beef jerky!

Bottom Round

Exploring The Characteristics Of Bottom Round

The Bottom Round can be the Best Cut For Beef Jerky. This cut comes from the animal’s hind leg and offers unique characteristics that make it a popular choice among beef jerky enthusiasts. Here are some key features of Bottom Round:

  1. Lean and flavorful: Bottom Round is known for its low-fat content and rich beefy flavor. It has just the right amount of marbling to enhance the taste without overpowering it.
  2. Texture: This cut has a slightly tougher texture compared to other cuts, making it perfect for jerky. The meat slices hold up well during drying, resulting in a satisfying chew.
  3. Affordable: Bottom Round is relatively more affordable than other cuts, making it a budget-friendly option for homemade beef jerky.

Benefits And Considerations For Using Bottom Round For Jerky

Using Bottom Round for beef jerky offers several benefits. However, it’s important to consider a few factors before opting for this cut:


  • Lean and flavorful: As mentioned earlier, Bottom Round provides a delicious flavor profile that adds depth to your jerky.
  • Affordable: If you’re looking to make jerky in large quantities or on a budget, Bottom Round offers excellent value for money.
  • Availability: Bottom Round is common, making it easier to find in most grocery stores or butcher shops.


  • Texture: While some jerky enthusiasts appreciate the slightly tougher texture of Bottom Round, others may prefer a softer or more tender jerky. It’s important to consider your personal preference before choosing this cut.
  • Thickness: Bottom Round can be challenging to slice thin, especially without a meat slicer. Thinner slices are usually desired for a more traditional jerky texture.
  • Marinating: Due to Bottom Round’s texture, it’s essential to marinate the meat thoroughly to ensure proper flavor penetration and tenderization.

In conclusion, Bottom Round is a fantastic choice for making beef jerky. Its lean and flavorful nature and affordability makes it an excellent option for jerky enthusiasts. With proper marinating and slicing techniques, Bottom Round can produce delicious homemade jerky that will satisfy your cravings.

Understanding The Qualities Of Flank Steak

When it comes to Best Cut For Beef Jerky, choosing the right cut of meat is crucial for achieving the best flavor and texture. Flank steak, or “V” steak, is popular among jerky enthusiasts. It is a long, thin cut that comes from the abdominal muscles of the cow, specifically the lower chest area. Flank steak is known for its rich beefy flavor and distinctive texture.

Flank steak is a lean cut of meat with minimal marbling, which makes it ideal for jerky. It has a pronounced grain that runs along its length and is easy to slice into thin strips for jerky preparation. The unique texture of flank steak allows it to absorb flavors and marinades well, resulting in a delicious and savory jerky.

Best Cut For Beef Jerky

Is Flank Steak A Good Choice For Beef Jerky?

Yes, flank steak is an excellent choice for beef jerky for several reasons:

  1. Flavor: Flank steak has a robust beef flavor that pairs well with various seasoning blends and marinades. The meat’s natural flavors shine through, giving the jerky a mouthwatering taste.
  2. Texture: Flank steak has a coarse texture that satisfies the jerky’s chewiness. It is not too tender, allowing for a longer chewing experience.
  3. Easy to slice: Flank steak’s long grain makes it easy to slice against the grain, resulting in tender jerky that is easier to chew.
  4. Affordability: Flank steak is relatively affordable compared to other cuts, making it a cost-effective option for homemade beef jerky.

Overall, flank steak is a top choice for making beef jerky due to its flavor, texture, and ease of preparation. It is important to note that proper marinating and drying techniques are essential for achieving the best results with flank steak jerky.

So, if you want to create delicious and savory beef jerky, consider flank steak as your go-to cut for a flavorful and satisfying snack.

Sirloin Tip Roast

The Sirloin Tip Roast is a lesser-known cut of meat for jerky, but it is one of the best options available. This cut is located next to the tip of the Sirloin and is known for its lean and flavorful meat. Here are some details about the Sirloin Tip Roast cut that make it a great choice for beef jerky:

Details About The Sirloin Tip Roast Cut

  • Anatomically located next to the tip of the Sirloin- Lean and flavorful meat- Usually sold as roasts or steaks for marinating- Comes from the rump and hind legs of the beef- Leaner and less tender than other cuts due to the muscles used for movement- Often used in ground beef preparations

Pros And Cons Of Using Sirloin Tip For Jerky


  • Lean and flavorful meat adds a delicious taste to the jerky
  • Economical choice for making beef jerky
  • Availability at most meat retailers and grocery stores


  • Requires marinating to tenderize the meat for drying
  • Slightly more difficult to slice due to its muscle structure

Sirloin Tip for beef jerky can produce delicious, chewy, and flavorful jerky. While it may require a bit of marinating to ensure tenderness, the result is well worth the effort.

As with any cut of meat, it’s important to ensure freshness and proper handling during the jerky-making process. Selecting high-quality meat and following best practices for storage and preparation will help create the best beef jerky.

By exploring different meat cuts and experimenting with flavors and seasonings, you can find the perfect combination for your homemade beef jerky.

Brisket Flat

You may consider the Brisket Flat as the Best Cut For Beef Jerky. It is a part of the Brisket, taken from under the first five ribs. While the Brisket includes both the flat and the point, we will specifically focus on the Brisket Flat for jerky making.

How Does Brisket Flat Fare For Beef Jerky?

The Brisket Flat is a lean muscle that lacks intramuscular fat, making it a suitable option for jerky. Unlike the point heavily marbled with fat, the flat provides a leaner and more uniform texture for your jerky. Its flat, thin muscle structure with a defined grain makes it easy to slice and work with for your jerky preparation.

Considerations For Using Brisket Flat In Jerky Making

When using Brisket Flat for jerky, there are a few considerations to keep in mind:

  1. Trimming: While Brisket Flat is relatively lean, you might need to trim off any surface fat or silverskin nodules before slicing it for jerky.
  2. Recreation: Using the Brisket Flat for jerky means you won’t be able to use it for other popular uses such as smoking or making barbecue. It’s important to consider your priorities and whether utilizing the Brisket Flat specifically for jerky aligns with your cooking preferences.
  3. Flavor: Brisket Flat offers a rich beefy flavor that shines through in the final jerky product. If you appreciate deep, hearty flavors in your jerky, the Brisket Flat can be an excellent choice.

Considering these factors, you can determine if Brisket Flat for beef jerky suits your taste preferences and cooking goals.

Now that we have explored the Brisket Flat, let’s move on to the next section to discuss another cut that works well for beef jerky.

Cuts To Avoid

When it comes to making beef jerky, certain cuts of meat are unsuitable due to their fat content and tenderness. Here are a few cuts to avoid when selecting meat for jerky:


Sirloin cuts, including top and Bottom, are not ideal for beef jerky. These cuts tend to have more marbling and intramuscular fat, which can result in a greasy and less desirable texture for jerky.

Skirt Steak

Skirt steak is another cut to avoid for jerky. It has a higher fat content, and the texture can be tough and chewy when dehydrated. It is best to opt for leaner cuts of meat for a better jerky experience.


Ribeye is a flavorful and tender cut of meat, but it is not recommended for jerky due to its high-fat content. The marbling in ribeye can make the jerky greasy and shorten its shelf life.

Factors To Consider When Selecting Cuts For Jerky

When choosing the Best Cut For Beef Jerky, consider the following factors:

1. Lean to Fat Ratio: Look for cuts with a higher lean meat content and minimal visible fat. Lean cuts will result in drier and longer-lasting jerky.

2. Tenderness: Select naturally tender cuts, as dehydration can make tougher cuts even harder to chew.

3. Price: Consider the cost of different cuts, as some leaner and more desirable cuts for jerky may be more expensive. Finding a balance between quality and affordability is essential.

By avoiding cuts with excessive fat and considering the lean-to-fat ratio, tenderness, and price, you can choose the best cut of meat for making delicious and long-lasting beef jerky.

FAQ about Best Cut for Beef Jerky

Q: What are the best cuts of meat for making beef jerky?
A: The best cuts of meat for beef jerky are the lean and cheap cuts, such as eye of round, top round, and bottom round. Flank steak, round tip roast (sirloin tip roast), and brisket flat can also work well.

Q: Why are lean cuts of meat preferred for beef jerky?
A: Lean cuts of meat are preferred for beef jerky because fat does not render and can go rancid, affecting the flavor and shelf life of the jerky. A lean cut ensures a longer shelf life and a more desirable texture.

Q: What is the difference between the eye of round, top round, and bottom round?
A: The eye of round is the most expensive and leanest of the three cuts, taken from the inside of the cow’s hind legs. The top round is slightly less lean and more affordable, while the bottom round is the cheapest option and is taken from the outside of the hind legs.

Q: Can I use flank steak for beef jerky?
A: Flank steak is a great option for making beef jerky. It is a lean cut of meat that works wonderfully for jerky. However, it tends to be more expensive compared to the round roasts.

Q: Can I use ground meat for beef jerky?
A: You can make beef jerky from lean ground meat. Choose a lean package with at least 90% lean meat. Ground meat jerky has a different texture compared to whole meat jerky but is easier to chew.

Q: Can I use venison or elk meat for beef jerky?
A: Both venison and elk meat are great options for making jerky. They are very lean cuts of meat with mild game flavor, making them fantastic choices for jerky.

Q: What should I consider when selecting the meat for beef jerky?
A: When selecting meat for beef jerky, look for cuts with little fat, inspect for freshness, and consider joining big box stores for better prices. Asking the butcher to slice the meat can also save time.

Q: How should I slice the meat for beef jerky?
A: It is essential to slice the meat against the grain for beef jerky. This helps enhance tenderness and texture. Slicing with the grain will result in tougher jerky.


Summary Of The Best Cuts For Beef Jerky

Now you should know the Best Cut For Beef Jerky. After analyzing the data, it is clear that the best cuts of meat for beef jerky are as follows:

  1. Top Round Roast or London Broil: This cut is lean and provides excellent flavor for jerky-making.
  2. Bottom Round Roast: Another lean option that is perfect for making jerky.
  3. Eye of Round: The most tender of the round cuts, making it a preferred choice for many jerky enthusiasts.
  4. Flank Steak: While it can be slightly more expensive, flank steak offers bold flavor and a nice chew for jerky.
  5. Round Tip Roast (Sirloin Tip Roast): This cut is slightly more difficult to find but provides a tender texture and great flavor for jerky.
  6. Pectoral (Lifter): This cut from the chuck primal is lean and provides excellent beef flavor for jerky.
  7. Brisket: While not as common as jerky, brisket can be used if you can find a sufficiently lean cut.

Final Thoughts On Choosing The Right Cut

When selecting the right cut of meat for beef jerky, it is important to prioritize lean cuts with minimal intermuscular fat. These cuts will produce jerky with a long shelf life and a consistent texture. While some cuts may be more accessible or affordable than others, it ultimately comes down to personal preference.

Consider experimenting with different cuts to find the one that best suits your taste and texture preferences. Building a relationship with your local butcher can also be beneficial as they can provide guidance and recommendations for jerky-making.

Remember, the key to a successful batch of beef jerky is choosing the right cut, properly slicing the meat, and using high-quality ingredients in your marinade. With these considerations in mind, you’ll be well on your way to enjoying delicious homemade beef jerky.

Happy jerky-making!

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