Making your own beef jerky comes with endless possibilities. One of the first decisions you have to make is choosing which drying process you would like to use. If you haven’t made that decision yet, and would like to learn more about the different processes — check out our blog “Dehydrator vs. Oven: Which Is Best For Making Gourmet Beef Jerky” where we discussed the pros and cons of each process and help you decide which is best for you.
In today’s blog, we are going to discuss six of the most common cuts of meat for homemade beef jerky. While you can choose just about any cut of meat for this flavorful adventure, there are definitely ones that make better jerky than others. One of the most important factors to keep in mind is the amount of fat that the cut of beef contains. The less fat, the better the jerky!
#1. Eye of the Round
The eye of the round, unlike the other cuts from the round primal, is slightly more tender. This cut is large and lean having only a fat cap that will need to be trimmed off. Having grain that runs long ways, allows for easy cutting and preparation for your jerky. Another great characteristic is having little to no intramuscular marbling. A downside to this cut is that it is not as flavorful as the rest of the rounds, but a good spice or marinade can always help with that. Lastly, it is one of the least expensive cuts, which is always a nice benefit.
#2. Top Round
The top round is more flavorful than the eye of the round, but is slightly less tender. Also coming from the round primal, this cut is very lean. The top round is one of the smaller round cuts as it comes from the inner-part of the rear leg. Similar to the eye of the round, the top round doesn’t have any intramuscular marbling. It is also one of the more inexpensive options for making gourmet beef jerky.
#3. Bottom Round
Very similar to the top round, the bottom round is lean and flavorful. The bottom round is the least tender cut from the round primal region. About the same size as the top round, the bottom cut comes from the outer-part of the rear leg. One thing that sets the bottom round apart from the others, is having a higher possibility of intramuscular marbling. The bottom round is an inexpensive cut just like the rest of the round cuts.
#4. Flank Steak
If you like a bit of a tougher jerky, the flank steak is a great option! The main thing to be aware of with flank steak is the necessity of paying attention to the grain. Cutting against the grain on flank steak will allow for a more tender jerky, whereas cutting with the grain will result in tougher jerky. Coming from the flank region, located in front of the round region, this cut is very flavorful and lean (for the most part). You can easily trim away excess fat if visible. Flank steak is a little more expensive, and also contains more intramuscular marbling.
#5. Sirloin Tip
Sirloin tip is a very lean cut, which is why it is a good choice for making gourmet beef jerky. It is not as tender as some of the round cuts but is still an ample choice. This cut can be slightly off-putting as it originates from the round primal region, rather than the sirloin regions. Sirloin tip is a very flavorful cut, and is also on the more expensive side.
#6. Ground Beef
Making jerky out of ground beef is a lengthier, more meticulous process. You will need to make sure you have freshly ground, extremely lean beef which can be hard to find at a store. Once you have your ground beef, you’ll need to flatten it. There are many tools out there that can help with this process, such as a jerky gun or cannon. One of the advantages of making ground beef jerky is creating an extremely tender and easier to chew jerky.
What Keller Crafted Meats Has To Offer
Everyone has a different preference when it comes to gourmet beef jerky, which is why there are so many different kinds out there. If you make jerky out of a cut and don’t like it, try a different cut the next time until you find your favorite!Keep in mind that these are a few of the most common cuts used for gourmet beef jerky, but it definitely isn’t limited to these six cuts. Be sure to check out our organic, grass-fed selection of beef as well as our jerky, including a paleo beef jerky! Another great option is signing up for one of our subscription boxes to give you a variety of our high quality meat. Contact us today!