Why is Beef Jerky So Expensive?

When you hear the name of beef jerky, the very first thing that hit your mind might be its high cost. Beef jerky is one of the delicious snacks that are available in plenty of amount in the market but still it is quite pricey in comparison to other foods. Did you ever think that why is beef jerky so expensive?

There are many reasons for the high cost of beef jerky. So, once you know them, we are sure that you will not be surprised anymore about its high price.

In the below article, we are going to list down the reason behind the high cost of the beef jerky and how they affect the price of such a delicious snack. Once you read them, we assured that you would never doubt about the high cost of the beef jerky in the future.

List of reasons for the expensive cost of beef jerky

01_Beef Jerky

After undergoing extensive research and study, we have come across the below significant reasons that are responsible for the high price of the beef jerky. These causes directly impact the overall costs of the beef jerky in the end.

So, let’s have a look!

1) Cost of the Raw Beef

Beef is a naturally expensive product, and there is no cheap price alternative available for it. There is a lot of energy and time is used for supplying the healthy beef towards a customer market.

It is essential also to have a high-quality beef for making jerky for a healthy purpose. All the batches of the beef cautiously crafted without wasting any part. The companies try to maintain the authenticity and simplicity of the genuine beef jerky by using the fresh beef without freezing them.

One more reason that beef jerky is costly is due to the beef’s leanness. It is essential to have a low content of fat inside the beef so that it doesn’t get rancid or spoil after some time. It is  95% to 97% fat-free. So, instead of trimming the fat from the beef, it is required to use the lean cut of beef which is costly.

2) High-Quality Ingredients

The next main reason behind the high cost of beef jerky is the high quality of the raw ingredients. The ingredients like spices, meat, marinades, and other things straight impact the end product’s quality. If the raw ingredients are of better quality then, it will make the end jerky product into a better version.

Few spices are delicious and fresh that enhances the overall taste of the product. But these ingredients also come at the premium rates that increase the total price of the beef jerky.

The best beef jerky cuts are lean which are quite costly than the fatty cuts. The beef with the bottom and top rounds provide the best texture and flavor to the food, but these are also quite costly to buy.

Beef jerky prepared from the cheap fattier cuts may offer you a low price, but they will not have excellent quality. So, the lean cut might be expensive, but they provide the right texture and flavor to the end product that you will love.

3) Non-Automated Processing

There are few stages in the making process of beef jerky which are exceptionally labor-demanding. Even though automatic machinery and food technology can boost particular steps of the jerky preparation procedure (e.g., an automatic slicer is more effective and precise in comparison to the manual-cutting), there are few steps which need the manual effort. For example, in case of placing the marinated jerky over the screens of stainless steel you need manual help.

Furthermore, the actual procedure of making beef jerky is time-consuming. It needs around three days to prepare a small batch of beef jerky. Drying jerky in the dehydrator is a better and less labor intensive option than drying in the smoker as using the smoker also increases the overall cost of the beef jerky along with the more manual approach.

4) Time and Energy

The drying out and cooking procedure of the beef jerky is very time-consuming. A group of beef jerky needs to be prepared for a lengthy period to reach the perilous control points of temperature and time to certify a secure and healthy product.

This procedure might need 2 to 6 hours contingent on the meat’s thickness and dehydrator’s temperature. The lengthier amount of time required for making beef jerky makes the end product more costly.

5) The outcome of the Dehydration Procedure

The most perilous reason that increases the cost of beef jerky is the outcome of the drying and cooking procedure. Raw beef comprises of almost 75% of water, and the most of it vaporizes at the time of the cooking procedure. The method of eliminating moisture is the precarious aspect in converting raw beef meat into the ready-to-eat snack with the longer shelf life.

If you talk in detail, it might need 3 pounds to 4 pounds of raw jerky meat to turn it into the 1 pound of beef jerky. So, it means that the procedure of making beef jerky increases the cost of the raw meat by three times in the end without adding any additional charges.

Some manufacturing company adds artificial ingredients, sugar, and additives in their jerky for getting more weight without impacting their manufacturing cost. You can read the ingredients info on the jerky beef label for more information.

6) Water Weight

The beef jerky has lots of water weight that increases its overall costs. While dehydrating meat, this water weight drastically reduced the decreases the weight of the meat. So, to overcome this issue, companies increase the cost of the beef jerky contingent to its actual weight before drying.

7) Additives

Several beef jerky companies utilize a lot of additives, like fillers and preservatives. Such kind of additional ingredients and chemicals increase the rate of low-quality beef jerky because they upsurge production expenses.

There is no use of additives in the high-quality beef jerky as they have undergone superior processing and their cuts are also better. But such things also enhance the overall cost of the beef jerky.

Final word

So, now you know our top 7 reasons which make the beef jerky an expensive snack in the market. But great and high-quality things like beef jerky always come in small packages.

We hope that the above-discussed insights will benefit you invalidating the high rate label of beef jerky. We admit that beef jerky is not an inexpensive snack that you can buy.

However, we accept as true that it is one of the best means to fetch high-quality protein in an easy and compact way. So, if you want to enjoy some healthy, nutritious and high-quality beef jerky then, you have to incur some expenses.

We think now we have answered your question of why is beef jerky so expensive. If you still have any other doubt in your mind about the above info then, do write to us.

We are always present to help you anytime. You can also share your kind thoughts on the above detail with us too that can help us in making our article more informative and useful to other readers as well.




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Hi there, I’m Linda, chief editor at Dehydrator Blog. We believe in Health is wealth. After struggling to buy healthy organic food for my family, I decided that’s not the right way to do. Still today many of them not aware of food dehydrators and uses of dehydrated food. That’s why my team and I want to solve this problem. That’s how Dehydrator Blog was born.. Our mission is simple. Trying to spread awareness of dehydrator to all. Join our hands if you believe in our mission.