Skip to Content

What Does Beef Jerky Taste Like? Does Beef Jerky Taste Good?

5 from 1 vote Only logged in users can rate recipes

A very popular meat snack that is loved by many is beef jerky.

So what does beef jerky taste like? Beef jerky is known for its dried, chewy, and salty taste, and it is delicious on its own and pairs well with various drinks.

It is often marinated with various spices and dried to give it a smoky flavor.

It is a ready-to-eat snack that comes in a packet and can be consumed anytime, anywhere.

This chewy snack is packed with flavor, and its taste can vary according to brands and companies.

Read on to find more about this healthy yet delicious snack.

What Is Beef Jerky?

what is beef jerky

Beef jerky is thinly sliced beef meat that is dehydrated.

It is commonly marinated with salt and dried to prevent bacterial growth and for longer shelf life.

It is generally rough in texture, chewy and brown in color,.

According to the wiki, the term jerky comes from Ch’arki – Quechua word.

Ch’arki means dried, salted meat.

So basically, beef jerky is beef that is thinly sliced, marinated, and dried.

In the past, most beef jerky was salted and dried.

However, these days, thanks to heavy competition in the market, there are so many varieties of jerky beef flavors.

There are sweet, salty, spicy, and smoky flavors in the market.

It comes in both big and small packets.

National Library of medicine mentions that the moisture content in beef jerky cured with salted anchovy and shrimp is less than 50%.

Hence, it can be preserved for a long time even without the need for refrigeration.

Thanks to the pre-flavoring, it can be eaten straight from the packet.

What Does Beef Jerky Taste Like?

what does beef jerky taste like

If you have never tasted beef jerky in your life, you might be curious about its taste.

However, if you have tasted steak before, your curiosity can take a break because beef jerky tastes similar to steak.

Yes, since both are beef-derived products, they are bound to be similar in taste.

The taste, however, depends on the way it is prepared, the ingredients paired with it, or the kind of beef used.

For classic beef, jerky usually tastes salty since it is marinated with salt to prevent any bacterial growth.

It has a very chewy and hard texture because of the dehydration of the meat.

For flavored beef jerky, such as the sweet beef jerky, sugar is added to the meat along with some sweetening flavor and sauces.

This makes the beef jerky sweet with its signature chewy texture.

Spicy beef jerky has various spices, such as pepper, cumin, cinnamon, etc., to make the beef jerky hot and spicy.

It pairs well with beverages like beers, colas, and cocktails.

Smoky flavored beef jerky is another delicious jerky.

It has a smoky flavor that instantly reminds you of barbeque nights with your friends.

The subtle hint of smoke and charring elevates the taste of plain beef jerky.

Nutritional value of beef jerky. Yes, beef jerky has high nutritional value.

Since it is made from beef, it is rich in protein which is great for energy.

It is fat-free because of the dehydration process.

It is also an excellent source of iron and zinc. However, it is high in sodium.

Beef jerky is definitely a healthy snack when compared to other snacks like potato chips, fries, and sweets.

It is calorie-free, fat-free, low in carbs, and has a high amount of protein.

The high amount of salt can be a problem for some, but it pairs well with the meaty flavor.

How To Serve Beef Jerky?

how to serve beef jerky

Among the many ways to eat and serve beef jerky, the most popular and common method is to eat it straight from the packet.

Most beef jerky comes in a ready-to-serve packet.

It comes in various flavors, and in order to serve, you just have to tear the packet, plate it and serve it with some drinks and sauces—beef jerky pairs well with most alcoholic beverages such as beers and mimosas.

Some people like to also cook beef jerky.

It can be cooked in various ways – boiled, fried, baked, etc.

It depends on the recipes and the kind of taste you’re going after.

You can chop the jerky into smaller bite-sized pieces; add some veggies, and stir fry them together.

This will enhance the overall flavor of the stir-fried veggies.

It serves as a great quick snack during long journeys, post-workout, and during a busy schedule.

Since it is packed with protein, it gives plenty of energy.

You can put the beef-jerky packet in your bag and get busy with your life.

You don’t have to worry about it getting soggy or cold.

Whenever you’re done with your schedule, tear open a packet of jerky and eat it with a beverage of your choice.


Beef jerky is very popular and in high demand because of various reasons.

Some of them are – ready-to-eat, high in protein, no preparations required, delicious, nutritious, quick and easy, etc.

It is a delicious snack that is packed with flavor and nutrients.

If you love meat and enjoy quick snacks, beef jerky is the perfect snack.

It not only fills you up but also makes you feel satisfied with its taste and flavor.

What Does Beef Jerky Taste Like? Does Beef Jerky Taste Good?

Recipe by Andrew Gray Course: Food Taste


Prep time

Cooking time



  • Beef jerky

  • Ingredients from your favorite recipes


  • Depending on the ingredients used, the cooking method, and the type of dish, the taste of the food can vary greatly.
  • Make sure to select a recipe that will elevate the food’s original flavor, and enjoy experimenting with different recipes!

Recipe Video

About The Author