The Best Cut for Beef Jerky (And Other Things You Need to Know)

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Knowing the answer to this question is quite essential. After all, I would never recommend you to make this type of jerky out of any meat parts. That’s not how things work if we are talking about this delicacy.

There are different types of meat that you can use for a jerky. I already mentioned that in a separate article I made. However, when it comes to meat selection, the rule is still pretty universal. Before you make a jerky, make sure that the meat that you are going to use doesn’t have too much fat.

Meat Parts with Less Fat are the Best for Beef Jerky

I know that some of you are wondering why I made such declaration. Well, the reason is pretty simple. For those who are new to making jerkies, the preparation time is quite long and tedious. I am not saying that it is difficult to prepare. Instead, what I am trying to emphasize is that it takes time before you can create a well-cooked jerky.

Specifically, preparing jerky requires drying and the art of dehydration. Of course, we are well aware that these processes don’t happen in a blink of an eye. In fact, it might take 4 to 10 hours before the meat thoroughly dries and become a jerky.

Several factors affect the speed of cooking. One of these is drying method that you are going to use. As far as I know, dehydrators and ovens can dry a beef jerky at a much faster rate compared to a smoker.

The duration also depends on the thickness of your meat. If you choose a thick and fatty cut, then you can expect that the drying time would consume your time. This is the reason why you need thin strips if you want to make a beef jerky.

What is the Best Cut for Beef Jerky

Honestly, there is no single answer for this question. You should know that there are different meat cuts that could work perfectly for your beef jerky. It is actually a good thing, considering that your options are not limited to one. But before I reveal these cuts, let me establish some ground rules when you are choosing meat. Take note that these rules are applicable to other types of meats as well!

  • Never buy expired and soon-to-be-expired meats.
  • Get the proper amount of meat in accordance with your needs. Drying will remove almost 70% of the weight of the meat. Therefore, if you will buy three pounds of beef, you can expect that you will only get a one-pound jerky.
  • Always get the meat part that doesn’t contain too much fat.
  • Let the butcher do the hassle for you. Just tell them which part of the meat you want to get. By doing this, you can actually save a lot of preparation time!

Now that I covered all the basic rules in meat selection, it is time for me to reveal all the meat parts that are best for beef jerky.

Eye of Round

Eye of Round

I can never be wrong if I say that this one is the most popular cut for beef jerkies. Specifically, this one is the distinct round muscle (hence the name) on the rear leg. This is also my favorite cut because of several reasons. One of these is that the round meat is lean. Moreover, it doesn’t have too much fat on its interior. Of course, I can say that it is easy to cut as well.

Let’s keep this as a secret. The reason I love round cuts is because they are very affordable!

Bottom Round

Bottom Round

The bottom round is pretty similar to the eye of round. The only difference they have is that this one is derived from the exterior muscle of the upper portion of the rear leg. Among all the types of rounds, the bottom round has the least softness. But still, it is perfect for beer jerkies! Aside from being lean, this one also exhibits extreme flavors, which makes it great for other recipes as well.

Sirloin Tip

Sirloin Tip

The sirloin tip is still a round meat. I can say that it is not famous as bottom rounds or top rounds. However, for jerky purposes, you can never go wrong with this cut! After all, it is the most tender among all the round meat!

Flank Steak

Flank Steak

If you got a lot of bucks hiding in your pocket, then I recommend that you should get this cut. The flank steak is an expensive part of the beef. But it certainly lean and doesn’t need trimming anymore. It also possesses strong flavor that is great for beef jerkies.

Top Round

Top Round

The top round is just the opposite muscle of the bottom round. It is less soft than the eye, but it is indeed softer than the bottom round. In short, this meat is the strike of perfect of balance.


These are the possible cuts that you can use for beef jerky. As far as my experience is concerned, using any of these meat cuts don’t pose any sort of disadvantages. As long as they are fresh and cut properly, they can become the perfect ingredient for any beef jerky recipes!

Just remember the guidelines of best cut for beef jerky I gave for choosing a quality meat. In that way, you will never get a lump of meat that would hurt your tongue and stomach! At the end of the day, nothing just beats a wise consumer!

I hope that you learned from this simple article. If you have anything to ask me, then just drop your questions or anything that is on your mind in the comment section below!

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