The Top 11 Jerky Facts You Need to Know

  1. Jerky is an awesome dog treat.  Our friends at NJ Fence Pro, the best fence company in central New Jersey, tell us that a little bit of unseasoned jerky can easily help you make friends with any canine that might be defending it’s owner’s home.  Give your best friend a jerky treat now and then!
  2. Jerky is an ancient food that dates back to the 1500s. Incans produced a dried meat food called “ch’arki” which can be translated into the phrase “dried meat”. Native Americans made buffalo jerky for travelling. Jerky was a nutrient-dense food that was lightweight and could be stored for long periods of time, making it a perfect food for ancient peoples. Jerky is sliced meat that is trimmed of fat and preserved with salt.
  3. Almost any meat (as well as other products) can be made into jerky. Jerky options include beef, chicken, turkey, bison, alligator, bacon, cactus, cheese, clam, elk, emu, ham, kangaroo, marlin, mushroom, ostrich, pineapple, pork, salmon, tofu, trout, tuna, venison, wild board, and yak!
  4. Jerky quality can vary significantly between products. Make sure to read the nutritional information and ingredient list to choose the best product. For example, some jerky contains sodium nitrates and nitrites, artificial flavorings, and colorings. High quality jerky is produced without these additives and still delivers amazing flavor and satisfaction.
  5. Jerky is typically quite lean. Some varieties may feature streaks of fat, which some consumers prefer. However, finding low to no fat varieties is quite simple, making it a protein packed, low fat snack.
  6. Jerky requires no refrigeration or special storage because of the way it is preserved. Jerky can be carried on hikes, camping trips, to sporting events, virtually anywhere you need to go. Lightweight, portable, and filled with protein, it is the perfect on the go snack. Jerky has been provided to astronauts by NASA for over a decade. The crew benefits from the protein richness of this portable snack.
  7. Jerky flavors are added through various ingredients, smoke flavoring, salt, spices, and marinating the meat. Some examples of flavors include: buffalo, pepper, lemon, basil, citrus, various alcohol infusions, barbecue, cranberry, sweet, spicy, Thai, honey, mustard, and more.
  8. Jerky fits into many eating plans, including the Keto and Paleo Diets plans. Because jerky provides a protein dense snack, keto and paleo eaters can find varieties that also meet their fat intake and low carbohydrate requirements. Even if you’re not following a special diet or eating plan, jerky is a good choice because it does not raise your insulin levels and provides lean protein.
  9. Pay attention to the sodium content of the jerky you are considering for purchase. Lower sodium varieties of jerky are becoming easier to find online and in local markets and convenience stores. Try to find varieties of jerky with sodium levels of 200 milligrams or less to minimize your sodium intake.
  10. Jerky products can be found in minimally processed options consisting of sliced, whole muscle meat. The less processed jerkies tend to be more pleasing in texture and flavor, and are healthier for you to consume.
  11. Jerky exists all over the world. In China, people enjoy bakkwa, which is salty and sweet. In Mexico, carne seca is consumed and dendeng can be found in Indonesia.