Why Jerky Is So Expensive?- Read To Know More

You’ve likely noticed that beef jerky can be pretty expensive, especially compared to other foods, like canned tuna or beef patties. Indeed, making beef jerky isn’t particularly complicated, so why is it more expensive than these other things? Let’s go into detail about ‘Why Jerky Is So Expensive?’.

Why Jerky Is So Expensive?

What is Jerky?: Why Jerky Is So Expensive?

Before we get into why jerky is so expensive, it’s important to understand what jerky even is. Beef jerky was originally made in northern Mexico and South America by removing all of a cow’s tough muscle fibers and making those into strips of beef. These were then dried in the sun or smoked with wood over a fire, which gave them their unique flavor and texture. 

Today, most jerky is made from meat that has been marinated before being cooked and then dehydrated to remove moisture. The outcome is a chewy, delicious snack that may be stored without refrigeration for a long time. In comparison to other snacks like chips or pretzels, it’s also low in fat and calories. Nonetheless, there are numerous reasons why jerky is so pricey.

What Makes Jerky So Expensive?

One factor that makes jerky such a costly meat product is how it’s made. Unlike other cured meats, which are essentially brined in salt and flavorings before being baked or smoked for preservation, jerky must be wet cured because of its low water content. This means spices are mixed with water before being added to fresh meat in a highly controlled environment that helps stabilize temperatures and humidity to ensure optimal curing conditions. 

The meat then sits for anywhere from 24 hours to several weeks depending on variety and recipe. Then it’s dried in dehydrators at precise temperatures and turned regularly over several days until it reaches an ideal moisture level—usually around 10 percent. The final step involves slicing, packaging, labeling, and shipping the finished product. 

All of these steps add up to make a product that costs significantly more than most cuts of meat. In fact, according to Food Safety News, beef jerky can cost up to $10 per pound compared with just $3 per pound for ground beef. That’s quite a markup! But there’s no doubt that high-quality jerky is worth every penny when you consider what goes into making it.

Everything that Increases the Price of Beef Jerky:

  • The price of raw beef
  • Ingredients of superior quality
  • Time and energy were necessary for non-automated processes.
  • The process of dehydration
  • The paucity of resources, and labour shortages in manufacturing

How Is It Made?

If you’re wondering why jerky is so expensive, it’s likely because of its complexity in making. Jerky can be made in several ways and from different cuts of meat; some people prefer beef jerky, while others prefer chicken or turkey. The variety of available cuts also means there are many ways to process them into delicious jerky treats. Some companies use only salt and pepper for seasoning, 

while others might add sugar or other ingredients like garlic powder. Some jerkies might even have an added marinade before being dried out in a dehydrator. Depending on how long they take to dry, how much moisture they contain when they go in, and what additives are used during processing, jerky prices could vary significantly. 

A batch that uses more hands-on time (and therefore more labor) will cost more than one that requires less attention and leaves excess fat behind. In addition, whether or not a company chooses to sell its products online affects the price as well—online retailers generally charge more for shipping than brick-and-mortar stores do.

Does jerky taste good?

The quick answer is yes, but it depends on the type of jerky you’re talking about. Sure, it tastes great if you’re talking about chicken or beef jerky. There are a variety of flavours and variations to pick from, including sweet and spicy, lightly seasoned, and salty. And there are plenty of healthy options out there as well; some brands even make vegan jerky that contains no meat at all! 

But if you’re asking whether it’s worth spending your hard-earned money on a bag of jerky, then that answer is a little more complicated. It depends on how much you like jerky. Some people consider it an indulgence, while others treat it as a daily snack food.

Are There More Affordable Alternatives?

If you’re looking for a low-cost alternative to jerky, consider cooking your own. There are several recipes out there that will let you whip up a batch of homemade jerky in an afternoon and won’t set you back much more than $50 in supplies. 

If it helps, think of it as spending money on ingredients to make something awesome—and expensive—instead of buying pre-made jerky. You might even be able to find some deals at local grocery stores or meat markets; ask around! 

You could also try making vegetarian/vegan jerky instead; many recipes rely on soy products or mushrooms, which are cheaper than meat. Or just try a different kind of snack altogether: nuts and seeds can give you a good dose of protein.


Who knew that jerky was such a complicated food to make? Well, with careful ingredients and processes, you can create your delicious jerky. Keep these tips in mind if you’re thinking about buying jerky or making your own. While it may seem expensive at first, there are ways to make it cheaper for yourself!

  • How long does jerky last?

Homemade beef jerky, on the other hand, may be kept in an airtight container for one to two months, while beef jerky kept in a Ziplock bag will last one to two weeks. If you store your beef jerky in the refrigerator, it will last for one to two weeks. 

  • Can you freeze jerky?

If you are not going to eat the beef jerky right away, then the best course of action is to freeze it. If properly frozen, the shelf life can be extended to 7 – 12 months. Vacuum-sealed bags may be placed directly in the freezer, while bags that are unsealed or filled with air need to be put in an air-tight container to prevent freezer burn.

  • What kind of meat is best for jerky?

Flank and skirt steak, in addition to top round, bottom round, pectoral, and lifter, create excellent jerky. These lean cuts of beef are both cost-effective and flavorful.

Why Jerky Is So Expensive?- Read To Know More

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