The Ultimate Beef Jerky Comparison Guide

Beef jerky is versatile, healthy, convenient, and flavorful. There’s a reason it’s loved by outdoor enthusiasts, busy moms, athletes, and foodies alike. It can be enjoyed for a surprising number of usages and occasions. Plus, it can fit a variety of diets and nutritional needs. 

Let’s take a deep dive into how beef jerky stacks up with other snacks, supplements, and meal replacements.   

Beef Jerky vs Beef Sticks

Beef Jerky vs. Beef Sticks

Beef jerky and beef sticks are in the same family of meat snacks, but have different features and benefits.

Beef jerky is made from whole-muscle, lean cuts of beef that are cooked and dehydrated. Most of the fat is removed from the meat before the cooking process to extend the shelf-life. Beef sticks, on the other hand, are made with chopped and mixed meat that is pushed into a casing. Think of a smaller sausage that is pre-cooked and ready to eat.

Both beef jerky and beef sticks are made with different flavors. The most common flavors are Original, Hot & Spicy, and Teriyaki, but there are many new and interesting flavors on the market.

Shop People’s Choice Beef Sticks

Because beef sticks are made in a casing with chopped meat, they are softer than beef jerky. They are a great alternative for people looking for an easier to chew meat snack.

Product 

(1 ounce serving)

Calories

Fat

Carb

Protein

Sugar

Sodium

Beef Jerky

90

2.5g

0g

16g

0g

490mg

Beef Stick

90

7g

0g

6g

0g

420mg

From a nutritional standpoint, beef jerky tends to have higher protein (15g vs 9g) and less fat (1-2g vs 5-6g) per serving. The calories for beef sticks and beef jerky are close. Both beef jerky and beef sticks can be a healthy snack. The key is to select the right brand. 

We have the same approach to beef jerky and beef sticks. We make everything by hand with a dedication to high quality ingredients. You can shop our beef jerky and beef sticks with 100% confidence.

Some of the Best Beef Jerky

I buy both beef jerky and beef sticks from People’s Choice and let me tell you. The quality is there. The flavors are delicious and the customer service is always top notch. Can’t recommend enough.

Briana P, Portland, Oregon

Shop People’s Choice Beef Jerky

Beef Jerky vs Protein Bar

Beef Jerky vs. Protein Bar

Protein bars are a popular snack choice formulated to be a convenient source of nutrition. Many people enjoy a protein bar because they are a quick, easy, and convenient way to add protein to a busy schedule.

A protein bar is a great option to throw in a bag and consume on-the-go.

Product 

(1 ounce serving)

Calories

Fat

Carb

Protein

Sugar

Sodium

Beef Jerky

90

2.5g

0g

16g

0g

490mg

Protein Bar

200

6g

16g

20g

2g

200mg

Beef jerky is a great alternative to a protein bar because it offers the same convenience and nutritional value.

Some argue that beef jerky is superior to a protein bar because it’s a natural source of protein. Beef offers a much richer profile of amino acids which are important for muscle building. 

Additionally, some protein bars are loaded with artificial ingredients, sugar, and unhealthy sweeteners like high fructose corn syrup. It’s important to read the label of a protein bar before consuming it as part of your healthy diet.

Beef Jerky vs Turkey Jerky

Beef Jerky vs. Turkey Jerky

Beef jerky and turkey jerky are both excellent jerky options that are high in protein, low in fat, convenient, and delicious. Beef jerky and turkey jerky are made in the same way. The meat is sliced, marinated, cooked, dehydrated, and packaged. 

Generally, beef jerky and turkey jerky come in similar flavors. The most common flavors are Teriyaki, Original, and Hot & Spicy. Turkey tends to do better with more mild flavors versus beef which can stand up to stronger more assertive flavors.

The flavor and texture differences really come down to personal preference. Beef jerky can be slightly tougher and chewier, where turkey jerky is slightly softer and easier to chew. Both offer incredible flavor.

Turkey jerky has slightly less calories, fat, and protein than beef jerky.

Product 

(1 ounce serving)

Calories

Fat

Carb

Protein

Sugar

Sodium

Beef Jerky

90

2.5g

0g

16g

0g

490mg

Turkey Jerky

80

0.5g

16g

10g

7g

350mg

For those looking to reduce red meat consumption, turkey jerky is a great option. Additionally, those that have trouble digesting beef can turn to turkey to enjoy jerky.

Regardless of the jerky you prefer, both beef jerky and turkey jerky are the perfect snack for outdoor activities, travel, and a snack for the whole family.

Beef Jerky vs Steak

Beef Jerky vs. Steak

Some say that beef jerky is the best way to enjoy steak on the go! 

Beef jerky and steak are both made from beef. The main difference is the moisture. Beef jerky is almost completely dried, where steak retains most of its moisture. For that reason, beef jerky is shelf-stable and requires no refrigeration. That’s the reason it’s a great option for hiking, camping, and on-the-go activities.  

Steak on the other hand is best consumed freshly-cooked and requires almost immediate refrigeration to prevent spoilage.

Product 

(1 ounce serving)

Calories

Fat

Carb

Protein

Sugar

Sodium

Beef Jerky

90

2.5g

0g

16g

0g

490mg

Rib Eye Steak

66

3.6g

0g

8g

0g

50mg

Both options are great for meat lovers! 

Beef Jerky vs Pork Jerky

Beef Jerky vs Pork Jerky

Pork jerky and beef jerky are made exactly the same way. The meat is sliced, marinated, cooked, dehydrated, and packaged. The main difference between the two is that beef jerky is made from cow and pork jerky is made from pig.

The flavor and texture differences really come down to personal preference. Beef jerky is softer and slightly easier to chew, where pork jerky can be a little tougher. From a flavor perspective, each jerky features the flavor of the protein source. Pork jerky has a strong pork flavor.

Nutritionally, beef jerky and pork jerky are very similar.

Product 

(1 ounce serving)

Calories

Fat

Carb

Protein

Sugar

Sodium

Beef Jerky

90

2.5g

0g

16g

0g

490mg

Pork Jerky

90

2g

10g

8g

10g

360mg

Beef Jerky vs Dried Beef

Beef Jerky vs. Dried Beef

Beef jerky and dried beef are almost the exact same thing. The only difference is that beef jerky often has added ingredients like salt, seasoning, and liquid marinades, where dried beef is just that — beef that has been dried.

So is beef jerky the same as dried beef? Not quite. Dried beef is exactly as the name suggests, meat that has been dried, where beef jerky features other ingredients.

Beef Jerky vs Protein Powder

Beef Jerky vs Protein Powder

Protein powders are concentrated sources of protein that can come from a variety of sources such as animal or plant foods, dairy, eggs, rice, or peas. Protein powder is an effective way to get more protein in your diet. Protein powders are commonly mixed with a liquid (such as water, milk, or almond milk) or blended into a protein shake.

Beef jerky is a great alternative to protein powder. It delivers 10-15g grams of natural protein in a compact, convenient package. Our Old Fashioned Original has 16g of protein per serving and 40g of protein per 2.5 ounce bag. 

Talk about a protein punch!

Beef Jerky vs Biltong

Beef Jerky vs. Biltong

Biltong and beef jerky are both dried meat snacks that are nutrient dense, full of protein and great for on-the-go snacking. But the similarities end there. 

Biltong is cured in vinegar, air dried whole, and sliced. Beef jerky is sliced, marinated with spices and flavorings, then cooked with heat. The difference in process makes Biltong softer, saltier, and thinner than beef jerky which tends to be drier, smokier, and chewier.

Want to learn more? Read our article Beef Jerky vs Biltong to get the full scoop.

Beef Jerky vs Carne Seca

Beef Jerky vs. Carne Seca

The name says it all—carne seca translates to “dried meat.”

Carne seca is a type of dried beef product that is commonly found in Mexican and Southwestern cuisine. It is very similar to beef jerky with a few key differences. Carne seca tends to be thinner and drier than traditional beef jerky. Traditionally, carne seca is air-dried in the sun where beef jerky is smoked in an oven or smoker. 

In addition to texture, carne seca typically features unique ingredients and seasoning such as salt, lime, and chile peppers. Our Limón con Chile Carne Seca is one of our most popular flavors and features lemon, guajillo peppers, and salt.

Interested in trying the two flavors? We offer both beef jerky and carne seca.

Beef Jerky vs Deer Jerky

Beef Jerky vs Venison

The difference between beef jerky and deer jerky is all in the name. 

Beef jerky is made with meat from cows, where deer jerky is made from venison (otherwise known as deer). Beef jerky is more commonly found as a commercial product, where deer jerky is made at home by hunters and outdoor aficionados.

Product 

(1 ounce serving)

Calories

Fat

Carb

Protein

Sugar

Sodium

Beef Jerky

90

2.5g

0g

16g

0g

490mg

Deer Jerky

72

0.8g

2.2g

13g

0.5g

477mg

Venison is one of the healthier meats used for jerky. Venison jerky has 40 percent fewer calories and 50 percent less fat than beef jerky. Because it has less fat, venison jerky can be slightly tougher than beef jerky.

Beef Jerky vs Protein Shake

Beef Jerky vs. Protein Shake

Protein shakes are commonly used as a post-workout supplement or meal replacement to promote muscle gain, improve performance, and aid in recovery. There are many different sources of protein for a protein shake that include whey, casein, and plant-based. Protein shakes come in a variety of flavors and are convenient, delicious, and highly nutritious.

Beef jerky also makes for a great post-workout supplement or meal replacement. A healthy beef jerky option offers all the benefits of a protein shake: high in protein, full of electrolytes, rich blend of amino acids, and healthy carbohydrates to aid in muscle recovery.

Beef jerky is an excellent alternative to a protein shake. Here are some of our top flavors and the amount of protein per bag.

Old Fashioned Original 2.5 Ounce Bag - 40g Protein 

Carne Seca Limón con Chile 2.5 Ounce Bag - 40g of Protein

Classic Hot & Spicy 3 Ounce Bag - 27g of Protein

Beef Jerky vs Chips

Beef Jerky vs. Potato Chips

Both beef jerky and chips are both salty, savory, and delicious snacks. 

Beef jerky, however, is a much healthier option than chips with less calories, less fat, less carbs, and more protein.

Product 

(1 ounce serving)

Calories

Fat

Carb

Protein

Sugar

Sodium

Beef Jerky

90

2.5g

0g

16g

0g

490mg

Potato Chips

160

10g

15g

2g

1g

170mg

When trying to eat a healthy lifestyle, making small changes can have a big impact. One small change is replacing chips with a healthier snack option such as jerky. They both satisfy the same desire for salty, savory, and delicious snacks — the main difference is beef jerky is much healthier and more filling. 

Beef Jerky vs Bacon

Beef Jerky vs. Bacon

There are few things in this world more beloved than beef jerky and bacon. 

Both have their very own International and National day—September 3rd for Bacon and June 12 for beef jerky. 

Bacon is one of the oldest preserved meats, the Chinese have been salting pork belly as early as 1500 BC. Beef jerky on the other hand dates back to the ancient Incans who made a dried meat snack called ch’arki.

Learn more about the History of Beef Jerky.

From a nutritional perspective, both beef jerky and bacon are high in protein. Beef jerky is slightly healthier than bacon which is high in fat and sodium.

Product 

(1 ounce serving)

Calories

Fat

Carb

Protein

Sugar

Sodium

Beef Jerky

90

2.5g

0g

16g

0g

490mg

Bacon

161

12g

0.6g

12g

0g

581mg

Another advantage of beef jerky over bacon is the portability. Beef jerky is shelf-stable which means that it does not require refrigeration. You can easily throw a bag in your and enjoy on the go where bacon requires cooking and refrigeration.

Either way, both are delicious meat snacks!

Beef Jerky vs Dog Treats

Beef Jerky vs. Dog Treats

Jerky made for dogs is very different from beef jerky made for humans. Both are made in a similar fashion—the meat is sliced, marinated, cooked, dried, and packaged. The primary difference between the two relates to the ingredients. Jerky made for pets is formulated with ingredients specifically for dogs, who have different nutritional needs than humans.

For example, beef jerky contains higher levels of sodium which ranges from 150-500mg per serving. While that’s perfectly safe for human consumption, dogs that weigh 33 pounds should consume no more than 100 mg of sodium per day. Additionally, dog treats are formulated without potentially toxic ingredients such as onion and garlic.

It’s best to avoid feeding your dog beef jerky for humans. If your dog does accidentally consume human jerky, they should be fine, but should be closely monitored. If you’re concerned, take your pet to a veterinarian for an expert opinion. 

Click here to learn more by reading our article: Can I Feed My Dog Beef Jerky?

Beef Jerky vs Dried Meat

Beef Jerky vs Dried Meat

Beef jerky is dried meat, but dried meat is not necessarily beef jerky. Dried meat can be made with a variety of protein sources from poultry and pork to venison and buffalo. Most often dried meat refers to a simple dried meat product that contains minimal seasoning and most times just salt. 

Beef Jerky vs Steak Strips

Beef Jerky vs. Steak Strips

A steak strip is a thicker, moister version of beef jerky. Because steak strips are not as dehydrated as beef jerky, they tend to have a lower concentration of key nutrients (lower calories, lower protein).

Product Type 

(Serving Size 1 Ounce)

Calories

Fat

Carbohydrate

Protein

Beef Jerky

90g

2.5g

0g

16g

Steak Strip

90

0.5g

5g

9g

Beef Jerky vs Whey Protein

Beef Jerky vs. Whey Protein

Whey protein is commonly used alongside resistance exercise to improve muscle protein synthesis and promote the growth of lean muscle mass.

Those looking for a great source of natural protein, and a potential alternative to whey protein, should consider healthy beef jerky. Beef Jerky is packed with high-quality protein. Beef and beef jerky are considered a complete protein because it contains all the essential amino acids required for muscle recovery after strenuous workouts. It can also aid in healthy weight management.

A standard serving of whey protein, normally in powder supplement form, contains 20-24g of protein. A standard serving of beef jerky, normally a handful of pieces, contains 10-16g of protein. 

Product 

(1 ounce serving)

Calories

Fat

Carb

Protein

Sugar

Sodium

Beef Jerky

90

2.5g

0g

16g

0g

490mg

Whey Protein

120

1.5g

3g

24g

1g

50mg

People that are allergic to milk and potentially whey, but still want the benefit of protein, can turn to beef jerky. 

Our Old Fashioned Original Beef Jerky has 16g of protein per serving. With no sugar and no carbs, it’s a great vehicle for lean, healthy protein.