Everything You Need To Know About Beef Jerky

Oct 19, 2020 | Animal welfare

For a long time, beef jerky had a reputation as a controversial snackfood – ‘you either love it or hate it’ was a popular opinion amongst us Aussies.  Jerky’s renowned smoky, chewy and meaty texture has led to it building a loyal fan base.  Over the years jerky fans have predominantly been males – that...

Cleaver's Organic Original Jerky

For a long time, beef jerky had a reputation as a controversial snackfood – ‘you either love it or hate it’ was a popular opinion amongst us Aussies. 

Jerky’s renowned smoky, chewy and meaty texture has led to it building a loyal fan base.  Over the years jerky fans have predominantly been males – that is, up until now. 

It goes without saying that we Australians are more health-conscious than ever.  Our food and snacks are being put under the media microscope to educate us on what’s good for us, what’s great for us, and what’s a no-no. That’s great news for beef jerky, and great news for us here at Cleaver’s.

Cleaver’s beef jerky is a source of protein since it is made from 100% Australian certified organic grass-fed beef. This means jerky has a more favourable nutritional composition than a lot of other popular snack foods. 

With our increased health literacy over the past few years, jerky’s audience has opened up to men and women of all ages living diverse lifestyles, even becoming a favourite healthy grab ‘n go snack amongst kids! Cleaver’s jerky is soft and tender, a key reason for its appeal to a wider audience.

Need convincing that this is your new favourite snack or just eager to learn more about beef jerky? Here’s everything you need to know, and more. 

1.   What is Jerky?

2.   Cleaver’s Organic Beef Jerky

3.   What Does Beef Jerky Taste Like?

4.   Our Range of Beef Jerky Flavours

5.   Order Cleaver’s Beef Jerky

6.   How is Beef Jerky Made?

7.   What Meat is Best for Jerky?

8.   How Much is Beef Jerky?

9.   How to Store Beef Jerky?

10.   Is Beef Jerky Good for Your Health?

11.   How Many Calories Are There in Beef Jerky?

12.   What about salt?

13.   In Summary – What Makes Beef Jerky A Great Snack?


1.   What is Beef Jerky?


Put simply, beef jerky is just one variety of a popular kind of meat product known generically as ‘jerky’ – a type of dehydrated meat. Jerky, which is cooked, should not be confused with biltong (which is air-dried). Correctly prepared jerky has a soft texture that is easy to chew.

Jerky can also be made from pork, turkey or fish, but most commonly it is made from beef. Jerky meat is quite lean but also contains small amounts of fat, usually not more than five grams per serving. 

The beef is sliced into strips and then seasoned with a range of spices. Within the Cleaver’s spice mix we’ve included salt and organic sugar, to not only improve the taste of the jerky, but also help give it a long shelf life. 

Salt and sugar assist in drawing out any excess moisture from each strip of meat.  In the final stage of preparation, the meat is cooked, and sometimes smoked – this further enhances the flavour and preserves the meat. 


2.  Cleaver’s Organic Beef Jerky


Here at Cleaver’s, we have combined a signature beef jerky recipe with certified organic produce to create three exceptional flavours.  As well as the taste, what makes our product superior to others on the market is that you can be confident that our beef contains no antibiotics, GMOs, synthetic chemicals or added hormones.  Cleaver’s beef jerky is also allergen free and suitable for a gluten-free diet.

Our grass-fed organic beef is 100% Australian. Our beef is infused with delicious flavours from the aromatic seasonings and the right amount of pepper or chilli (depending on the flavour) to provide that extra bite. The final touch is the slow smoking to give it that unique natural flavour of the outdoors.


3.   What’s the Difference Between Biltong and Jerky?


Biltong and Jerky are similar in the sense that both products are dried meats, they however are very different when it comes to ingredients, taste and the production process. 

While beef is commonly used for both products, the beef that is used in jerky is traditionally more lean and cut much thinner.  Jerky is carefully cooked in an oven or dehydrator to produce a natural smoky flavour.  Biltong is air-dried and often uses vinegar to assist. The addition of vinegar in biltong production results in a slightly acidic taste. 

The final difference between the two is in texture, biltong is a big dried steak that is then cut into smaller pieces. Biltong is often exceptionally dry and tough, taking a great deal of effort to chew.  Jerky is much softer, making it much more pleasant to eat – especially for women.


4.   What Does Beef Jerky Taste Like?


Beef jerky is known for its unique combination of salty, smoky and sweet flavours, varying slightly depending on the spices used in the marination stage.  And that’s where we bring it to life!


5.   Our Range of Cleaver’s Beef Jerky Flavours


We are proud to supply three delicious flavours: Original, Pepper Steak and Sweet & Spicy. Each flavour is made with the highest level of care using traditional smoking methods in small batches to ensure highest quality. 

The Original recipe sticks to the classic smoky beef flavour that loyal jerky fans will love. Pepper Steak has the sharp and smoky pepper taste that will satisfy any BBQ-enthusiast’s cravings. Our Sweet & Spicy jerky combines the right amount of sweetness and chilli to provide the perfect balance of zing and spice.


6.   Order Cleaver’s Beef Jerky Online


If you don’t have a stockist near you, we’ve made it easy to purchase Cleaver’s Organic Beef Jerky online. You can order from our online store here. Our credit card and PayPal options guarantee a secure purchase and with fast and reliable delivery, your delicious snacks will be at your doorstep in no time.

Cleaver’s organic beef jerky is 100% carbon neutral. We even offer carbon neutral shipping so you can ensure that every single carbon emission has been accounted for and offset.


7.   How is Beef Jerky Made?


Wondering how we actually make beef jerky? Here’s an overview of the process.

We start by slicing our organic beef into pieces about the size of a steak, but very thin. These slices are coated with seasonings and allowed to marinate to enhance the flavour.

Cooking the jerky requires a very different method than your usual oven or stove-cooked meaty meal. Jerky is cooked on racks using a smoker, oven or dehydrator.  This provides control over the length of time required for the drying process and the moisture content. We aim to produce a soft texture, but still with just the right amount of firmness.

Once the jerky is cooked we cut it into snack-sized pieces and vacuum package it for freshness.


8.   What Meat is Best for Jerky?


The type of meat used to create jerky has a significant impact on how the product will taste, as well as the nutritional benefits it provides. If you select lean red meat as the protein source, such as beef, you get a firmer product. Contrastingly, softer meats like poultry or fish give jerky a chewy texture. There is no hard and fast rule when it comes to jerky meat – it all comes down to personal preference!


9.   Why is Beef Jerky More Expensive Than Regular Beef?


We start making jerky with certified organic grass-fed beef.  This is more expensive than regular beef because of the rigorous standards involved in raising certified organic cattle.  Jerky production adds fabulous flavours, but it also removes most of the moisture from the beef.   This means that even though we add the organic spices and flavours, starting with a lot of beef doesn’t equal finishing with a lot of jerky.

This means jerky definitely costs more per kilogram than steak, but since jerky is a snack you only need much smaller serves.  It still makes Cleaver’s Organic Beef Jerky great value.


10.  How to Store Beef Jerky?


Since it has a very low moisture content, beef jerky can last for lengthy periods of time. Cleaver’s organic beef jerky will last for 12 months from the date of manufacture in its original unopened packaging. 

Jerky doesn’t require refrigeration, so you can store it in a cupboard, in a backpack or in your pocket!


11.  Is Beef Jerky Good for Your Health?


Now that we’ve covered what beef jerky is, how it’s made and how it tastes, you may be asking yourself, is beef jerky good for my health? As jerky is considered a snack food, many people wonder whether it’s a healthy or unhealthy option.

Generally speaking, jerky is a great snack option. Beef jerky provides consumers with a source of protein as well as a source of essential vitamins and minerals. With this product makeup, it can also be suitable for various diets, such as low carb and paleo diets. Beef jerky’s long shelf life also makes it a great option for travel, backpacking, and other situations in which you have limited access to fresh food and need a protein hit.

Below is the nutritional information for Cleaver’s Beef Jerky:

Choosing Cleaver’s certified organic grass-fed jerky means you’re eating what is naturally in beef, and nothing that isn’t.


12.  How Many Calories Are There in Beef Jerky?


The number of calories in a single serving of Cleaver’s organic beef jerky is 406kj – that’s just 97 calories!


13.  What about salt?


Jerky is a snack, and should be consumed in moderation.  Salt contains sodium, and consuming too much sodium can be a problem. You should always follow the advice of your medical professional about your own diet.  One thirty gram serving of Cleaver’s organic beef jerky contains roughly 19% of your daily sodium allowance, which is set at 2,300 mg per day.


14.  In Summary – What Makes Beef Jerky A Great Snack?


It’s packed with protein, delicious, portable and easy to order online. Get your order in here – you won’t be disappointed!