The Best Beef, Turkey, And Vegan Jerky You Can Buy In 2021


In a special camping edition of Julia Tries Everything, I brought Budget Eats queen June Xie with me on a jerky taste test journey. We tried over 40 jerky brands and landed on these 15 as the best dried meat-eating experience.


Best Traditional Beef Jerky

1. Chef’s Cut Original Recipe

chef's cut original recipe

Chelsea Lupkin

We were both reminded of home when we had the Chef’s Cut jerky; for me it was reminiscent of my mom’s Christmas prime rib with horseradish. For June, it reminded her of the Chinese jerkys she grew up with. It’s chewy, tender, dry and fibrous. It gives you a chew but doesn’t break your jaw.

2. Just Meat Beef Steak

just meat beef steak

Chelsea Lupkin

This was the beefiest, most steak-like of all the jerkys we had which makes sense since it’s a beef steak instead of a jerky! This has the fewest ingredients, so it’s a pure and simple experience. It’s leathery and makes you work for it.

3. Think Jerky Beef Jerky

think jerky

Chelsea Lupkin

You know how there are cheese pulls? There are beef pulls, too. It’s fibrous yet tender, similar to meat floss.


Best Flavored Beef Jerky

          1. Tillamook Country Smoker Honey Glazed Beef Jerky

          tillamook honey glazed beef jerky

          Chelsea Lupkin

          We expected this to be too sweet and candied, but Tillamook hit the perfect balance of sweet and savory. There were a decent amount of fat chunks on this jerky making it buttery and tender. This was the best Tillamook product we tried from the day.

          2. Baja Jerky Sweet Orange Beef Jerky

          baja jerky sweet orange beef jerky

          Chelsea Lupkin

          It’s like orange chicken but in jerky form. The spicy and savory jerky flavor market is beyond oversaturated, so to finally have a sweet jerky done right hit the spot.

          3. Stryve Spicy Peri Peri Beef Biltong

          stryve beef biltong peri peri

          Chelsea Lupkin

          This is a warm, sweet biltong thanks to the coriander, clove, and nutmeg. If you haven’t had biltong before, it’s a South African air-dried, cured meat that’s cut with the grain of the muscle. When it’s sliced thin, it’s the right amount of chewy—and this one is just that.

          Best Teriyaki Beef Jerky

              1. Jack Link’s Teriyaki Beef Jerky

              jack link's teriyaki beef jerky

              Chelsea Lupkin

              Sweet and salty in the beginning and the smoky flavor wafts in at the end. This is the reliable choice.

              2. Think Jerky Sesame Teriyaki

              think jerky sesame teriyaki

              Chelsea Lupkin

              This is a more mature teriyaki flavor and has a real meat texture.

              3. Field Trip All Natural Teriyaki Beef Jerky

                  field trip all natural teriyaki beef jerky

                  Chelsea Lupkin

                  It smells like orange with a touch of spicy ginger, which is less of a teriyaki flavor, but the texture on this one puts it in our top three.

                  Best Turkey Jerky

                  1. Field Trip Cracked Pepper All Natural Turkey Jerky
                    1. field trip cracked pepper all natural turkey jerky

                      Chelsea Lupkin

                      This was June’s favorite of the day. It’s relaxing and not as tough as the beef jerkys—just try it.

                      2. Chomps Jalapeño Turkey Jerky

                      chomps jalapeño turkey jerky

                      Chelsea Lupkin


                      The jalapeño bits are fresh in here and hit your nostrils with a punch. The turkey is mild and sweet with a celery salt seasoning so the combo pairs surprisingly well.

                      3. Chomps Original Turkey Jerky Stick

                      chomps original turkey jerky stick

                      Chelsea Lupkin

                      We had a tough time with the Chomps beef jerky, but the turkey jerky is where this brand shines. It’s a sweeter Slim Jim and almost reminded us of breakfast sausage.

                      Best Vegan Jerky

                      1. Electric Jerky Texas BBQ
                        1. electric jerky texas bbq

                          Chelsea Lupkin

                          The color looks just like jerky and tastes more like teriyaki and brisket than those with true barbecue flavors. We loved the chewiness of this vegan jerky, putting it in first place.

                          2. Moku Jerky Sweet & Spicy

                          moku jerky sweet and spicy

                          Chelsea Lupkin

                          This mushroom jerky is a transformative experience. It smells like mole and smoke at first, then has a kick of cayenne at the very end. The texture is a little stickier than typical jerky but the flavor is on par.

                          3. Primal Spirit Vegan Jerky

                          primal spirit vegan jerky

                          Chelsea Lupkin

                          This mimics beef the most, if that matters to you. The fibrous nature to it is masterful and the flavor is sticky and smoky. However, the jerky is a bit wet (as opposed to juicy), so keep that in mind if you prefer a dryer jerky.

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