Is Jerky Tender?

Last updated on September 15th, 2022 at 03:13 am

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Jerky is a snack you can take with you when you’re on-the-go and enjoy anywhere. You can even grab some for a snack at home. Jerky is made most commonly from beef but can be made from all kinds of cuts of meat. 

These strips of dried meat come packaged and ready to eat. They make a great snack or meal when you are out on a hike or wherever you’d like. 

Jerky is available in different kinds of flavors. By now you are probably wondering what jerky tastes like. Is it tough or is jerky tender?

Jerky is dried meat and because of this normal jerky is always somewhat chewy. It can be tender if it is sliced a certain way. It can also be more tender if it is made from minced meat. 

Is Jerky Tender?

So if you prefer jerky that is more tender you will want to look for the specific varieties that are designed to be tender. You can also make your own jerky at home from ground beef and it will be tender as well. 

Jerky is available to you tough or tender according to what you like best.

The article, The Best Cuts of Beef For Jerky, explains what the right cut of meat is for beef jerky. They state, ”…using meat that has been hanging around for a while or close to the expiration date is a definite no-no…If you are putting the effort into making jerky I recommend making a fair amount at once…You may also need to trim the meat of excess fat so making sure the cuts of meat you but are large enough is a must…In all aspects of food and especially when shopping for cuts to make jerky, look for quality over price, it almost always pays off in the finished product.”

Jerky is more tender if it is made from a good quality cut of meat or from ground meat. Slicing the cut of meat across the strand of fibers also helps the strips to turn out more tender. 

Also, the jerky will be more tender if there is minimal fat in the meat strip. It is said that some of the best cuts of meat for jerky is the eye of the round and the sirloin tip. 

Now, some like jerky to be tender and soft, and some like it a little tough and chewy. Then there are those who like it to be really tough and chewy. So, jerky comes in a variety of options. You can enjoy whatever kind of jerky you like the best.

Is Beef Jerky Supposed To Be Tender?

Jerky is an easy snack to bring along when you are traveling or in the great outdoors. Or if you really like jerky, you may enjoy some at home. 

Coming in all flavors and kinds of meat, the strips of jerky are enjoyed by many. No doubt, when you think of jerky you imagine it being tough and chewy. 

Sometimes you may even be chewing one piece for quite a while. We already discussed that jerky can be tender, too, but is it supposed to be?

Jerky is available in many ways like soft and tender or tough and chewy. This is because different people like their jerky different ways and it’s all about personal preference. Usually, good jerky is dry and leather-like, chewy but still a little tender.

Beef jerky can be traced back to centuries ago. No one knows for sure when the invention of drying the meat came about but it is probably the oldest form of food preservation. 

Because it is made from strips of dehydrated meat, jerky can last for a while after it is made. Fresh meat spoiled quickly and so making jerky was a way people long ago could save their meat and eat it for meals on journeys. 

Really tender jerky is more than likely made with minced meat. Meaning, the meat is broken down so much like it would be if it was already chewed. The minced meat can be made from many cuts of meat but should have hardly any fat in it. 

This type of meat is best for really tender jerky. As you can see, you can have really tender or really tough jerky, it all depends on how it is made and what you prefer.

How Do You Make Jerky Tender?

So, jerky is available in a varsity of options and can be made tender or tough depending on certain things. It is always a little chewy unless made with minced meat making it really tender. 

If you are planning on making some of your own jerky and like the meat strips more tender instead of tough, you could be curious as to how exactly to make the jerky more tender. How do you make jerky tender?

Jerky can be made tender by slicing the cut of meat across the grain instead of along the grain. The fibers in the meat make it more tough and chewy so by slicing across these you can make the jerky more tender and easier to chew.

Let’s say you have a cut of meat that you are making into jerky. In this cut of meat are muscles which are made from fibers. These fibers are similar to strands that run along the meat. 

If more of these fibers are left in the slice for jerky then the jerky will be more tough. If you have ever tried jerky you have probably noticed that it is most always chewy. 

However, there are times when the dried meat strips are more tender and easier to eat. 

This happens when in the process of slicing the meat, less of the fibers are left in the slice that is going to be made into jerky. Even if you are careful to slice the jerky correctly across the grain instead of along the grain to get a more tender jerky, it will still end up a little chewy. 

Jerky is dried and is supposed to be a little chewy but if you want really tender jerky you have to remove the grain completely from the cut of meat or use a minced meat like ground beef to make it. 

Final Thoughts

In conclusion, jerky can be tender if it is made a certain way. It should be from a quality cut of meat and sliced a certain way. Slicing across the fibers as well as avoiding fat is helpful if you want your jerky to turn out more tender. 

Jerky will always be a little chewy but that is because it is dried meat and it is supposed to be that way. It is available tough to tender depending on your own personal preference. 

But, jerky can be tender if this is what you like best for your on-the-go dried meat strip snack.

Hannah R.

Hey, I'm Hannah and I'm the founder of Get Eatin'.

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