In the recent past, the popularity of beef jerky has risen to rather unprecedented levels with increased customers leading to an increase in the variety of beef jerky available. All this new beef jerky are basically aimed at satisfying the rather insatiable and dynamic clients. Beef jerky is basically a snack food made by marinating it in a solution and subsequently drying it. All this is to ensure proteins, which are normally unstable and tend to go bad easily when wet, can have a longer shelf life while possessing a unique flavor unto them. By 1996, it was estimated that the snack market had a staggering $240 million which is by no means a small feat.
With meat, there is always a high protein content with moderate cholesterol level that ensures the beef jerky remains an all-time favorite, and can continue enjoying a bigger demand that keeps growing gradually.
However despite beef being the best bet to make beef jerky which remains the undisputed popular king of jerky, the beef jerky snack market is now forced to work with the best types of meats can be used to make beef jerky. All this is in a bid to maintain the immense popularity it enjoys which is evident in the various brands and flavors that are being released into the market.
The Eye of Round
The first type of meat that is very popular and credited for producing some of the most delicious beef jerky is the eye of round meat. A comparison with all rounds of meats has proven that it is the tenderest of all the rounds. It is obtained from the rear leg and it comprises of just a single muscle which is oval in shape. The following factors are attributed to its success as the best beef jerky. The meat is mainly composed of muscle that has little fat inside it. The lack of fat ensures that the meat can be attributed to little or no potential adverse health effects. The cost of purchasing it is relatively cheap which makes it ideal. Lastly it just needs the fat cap to be trimmed which is quite an easy process. The grain in this meat runs along the length. In turn, the slicing process becomes less tidy easy to executable.
The Bottom Round
The bottom round, the least tender when stacked up against all rounds, make it a great choice too. It is lean which means it’s healthy, can easily be flavored, it is relatively cheap to purchase, and interior warbling is quite easy. This meat is obtained from the upper side of the rear side and it is the outer muscle. The fact that it is a muscle points to its low fat content and consequently making it a great choice.
The Top Round
Another round, the top round, also makes an excellent choice of beef jerky too. It has a tenderness level that is in between the bottom round and the eye of the round with the latter being tenderer. Basically, it is the exact opposite of the bottom round, and it is obtained from the muscle of the inside leg. Being a muscle, it also contains little fats that makes it lean and healthy. When compared to other meats, it is also relatively economical and easy to purchase. Additionally, it can be easily flavored.
Ground meat remains another excellent choice of meat to use when making beef jerky. With ground meat, however, one has to be keen and ensure that they pick lean meat, since fat can easily destroy the jerky. Ground beef jerky remains popular as it is easily chewed and goes easy on teeth. Due to its ground nature, the beef jerky produced from this meat is known to have a different texture. A soft texture that always gives it a competitive advantage.
Despite most rounds being known to be tender, with the eye of the round being the most tender, a sirloin tip is the only other meat that can averagely near it in terms of tenderness. Sadly, the meat is not so much preferred in preparation of beef jerky, since most people have been found to have a preference for other meats. However, it is appropriate to understand that sirloin tip meat also offers a certain degree of tenderness. Like all the other rounds, it is basically a muscle that comprises of more meat and a negligible amount of fats. However, when stacked up against the other types of meat, sirloin tip meat is hard to find.
What Makes The Sirloin Tip Unsuitable
In fact, for all the aforementioned meats, the sirloin tip is also undeniably the most expensive. In turn, this makes it unsuitable for processing beef jerky, and it becomes less surprising as to why it potentially wards off a lot prospective buyers. The grain is often auspicious and may affect the slicing process to some great extent. Due to the fact that it has considerable amounts of fats, it would advisable to choose a rather lean piece. This meat, however, is easy to flavor, and can be marbled, especially for the interior, when compared to other cuts.
The downside, however, is that beef jerky produced from sirloin tip is usually tougher to chew, which calls for extensive care during the slicing process. In other words, any failure to slice the meat accordingly can leave the fiber intact, and this will eventually promote even more straining when eating.
There are numerous other types of meat that can produce the ultimate beef jerky. Deer meat also produces quite tender and delicious jerky. However, to be on the safe side, the best kind, especially in this context, has been associated with lean meat from a cow or from domesticated animals.