If you’re looking for a high-protein snack, you may be considering jerky. But before you make it your go-to food, there are a few things you should know.
Have you ever considered jerky as your go-to food? You are not alone. Many people have found the tasty meaty treat to be the perfect snack when they’re on the go.
And that’s for a good reason. Jerky is a deliciously lean and healthy meat snack. It’s not for the faint of heart, and it can certainly improve the texture of your lifestyle.
However, if you are considering jerky as a replacement for your favorite meats or snacks, then there are some things you need to know before you jump into your first batch of jerky.
1. There Are Many Different Types of Jerky Available, So Try Different Options
Jerky is a very popular food in the United States. It’s one of those foods that has become so popular that people make their own at home. The problem with this kind of homemade jerky is that it tends to be very dry, and it’s not as tasty or nutritious as store-bought jerkies like those in https://jerkybrands.com/.
So many different styles of jerky are coming out each day for you to try. We think beef makes the best jerky, but you might have a different opinion, so try different ones until you find a flavor that works best for your needs.
If you’re looking for single servings, look for smaller packages instead of big ones. To get maximum flavor and taste, try making your own beefy jerky at home using spices and canned meats instead!
2. Jerky Can Be a Better Option Than Candy or Potato Chips
Jerkies are an excellent option for people who are trying to lose weight or just trying to stay healthy in general. It can be a better option than candy or potato chips.
Because on top of all the deliciousness, jerky is also a great source of protein, fiber, and vitamins B6 and B12 — especially if you eat it as part of a balanced diet with other foods like vegetables and fruits.
3. Some Jerkies Can Be High in Preservatives and Sodium (Salt)
Jerky is a healthy snack option. It’s made with lean meat and has very few ingredients. But it’s not always healthy. Some jerkies can have high amounts of sodium (salt) or preservatives. So, you should know what you eat.
There are two types of jerkies:
- Dry/cured meats, which are seasoned before they’re dried. The problem with dry/cured meats is that they contain preservatives that can increase the risk for cancer when consumed over long periods.
- Wet/marinated meats, which are seasoned after they’re dried. These don’t contain preservatives but sodium nitrate (a processed food additive) and other additives that can adversely affect your body if consumed over an extended period.
While these products may seem like an easy way to get protein into your diet without worrying about unhealthy additives or preservatives, it’s best not to consume them regularly.
4. You Can Make Your Own Jerky at Home
You can make your own jerky at home. It’s effortless to do, and you can control what goes into it.
The first step to making your own jerky is to decide how you want to season it. You can use any combination of spices, sauces, or marinades. Here are some great ideas:
- Curry powder – One of the most popular seasoning combinations for jerky is curry powder. Add some minced garlic or onions if you want extra flavor.
- BBQ sauce – Another popular seasoning choice for homemade jerky is barbecue sauce. You can add some minced garlic or onion and other spices that sound good to you (like cayenne pepper).
- Tamari sauce – Tamari sauce has a sweet, tangy flavor that works well with most meats (including beef and pork), so try it out! You can add some garlic and other spices (like cumin) that sound good.
After you’ve decided on your seasoning, the next step is to choose your meat. The best meats for jerky are lean and have little to no fat. Some great choices include:
- Beef – Look for flank steak, London broil, or top round cuts.
- Chicken – Boneless, skinless chicken breasts are the best option.
Once you’ve selected your meat, it’s time to start prepping it. If you’re using beef, you’ll want to trim off any fat before slicing the meat into thin strips.
For chicken, you can either slice it into thin strips or cut it into small cubes. The important thing is that the pieces are all uniform in size, so they cook evenly.
After the meat is prepped, it’s time to start seasoning it. If you’re using a dry seasoning like curry powder or cumin, simply sprinkle it over the meat. If you’re using a wet condiment like barbecue sauce or tamari sauce, you’ll want to place the meat in a resealable bag and coat it evenly with the sauce.
Once the meat is evenly coated with seasoning, it’s time to start cooking it. If you’re using a dehydrator, follow the instructions for your specific model.
If you’re cooking the jerky in an oven, preheat it to the lowest setting (usually around 200 degrees Fahrenheit) and place the meat on a wire rack that’s been covered in foil or parchment paper to prevent sticking. Cook the jerky for 3-4 hours, or until it’s dry and slightly crisp.
Once the jerky is cooked, let it cool completely before storing it in an airtight container. It will keep for up to two weeks.
5. Jerky Does Go Bad, So Always Check the Package for an Expiration Date
As with any meat, jerky also does go bad. That’s why always store your jerky in a cool, dry place. It’s best to keep your jerky in an airtight plastic meal container in a dark area, like underneath your kitchen cabinets or in a cupboard away from sunlight and heat sources.
This will help you prevent spoilage and extend your shelf life. Also, always check the package for an expiration date when purchasing jerky.
Jerky should not be kept in a refrigerator if it has been kept at room temperature, as this could cause the jerky to spoil more quickly.
6. Jerky Is Not Necessarily High in Fat and Calories
Jerky is not necessarily high in fat and calories. The meat used to make jerky is usually lean, but it can still contain a fair amount of saturated fat. Therefore, you should check the labels on the packaging to see how much saturated fat is in the product you are buying.
Most of the fat in jerky comes from the soy sauce base used to marinate the meat, not the actual meat itself! If you want to reduce your risk of heart disease, choosing low-fat or no-fat jerky may be a good option.
In the end, jerky is a very convenient snack to have in your bag. It’s portable, flavorful food that has become increasingly popular with people looking for a healthy diet alternative to other snacks.
But even if you go with jerky as your go-to food, you still have to ensure that you have snacks made from quality ingredients. It’s a great food to have, but it’s not meant to be your everyday food or replace conventional foods.