Jerky Facts

All Your Beef Sticks Questions, Answered

There’s no such thing as a stupid question when it comes to beef sticks. In fact, there’s quite a bit of confusion surrounding this delicious, filling, meaty snack.

We wanted to set the record straight and answer any and all questions related to beef sticks. Let’s dive right in.

Have your own beef stick question? Send us your questions here.

A meat stick is ground and seasoned meat that is stuffed into a casing.

What are meat sticks?

A meat stick is ground and seasoned meat that is stuffed into a casing, cooked, dried, and packaged. 

Meat sticks can be made with a variety of meat types such as beef, pork, turkey, chicken, or exotic meats such as elk, bison, and venison. Some meat sticks are made with a single protein source while others are made with a blend of proteins.

Meat sticks are similar to an encased sausage with a few key differences. 

First, a meat stick is non-perishable and shelf-stable. It can be safely stored at room temperature without any special handling or refrigeration. It is non-perishable which means when properly handled it will not spoil. Other common non-perishable foods include jerky, country hams, canned foods, flour, rice, pasta, oils, and spices.

Secondly, meat sticks are ready-to-eat, meaning they do not require any cooking. You can simply open the package and enjoy. This makes meat sticks a great on-the-go snack, ready for anything.

Lastly, meat sticks are typically smaller in circumference than a traditional sausage. The average diameter of a meat stick is ¼ inch to ½ inch.


What’s the difference between beef sticks and meat sticks?

Beef sticks are made with beef, where meat sticks are made with a blend of meats including but not limited to beef, pork, chicken, or other exotic meats.

All beef sticks are meat sticks, but not all beef sticks are meat sticks.

It’s important to check the ingredient list of your meat stick to make sure you are enjoying a quality product. Some less reputable makers of meat sticks will mix in lower grade cuts of meat such as mechanically-separated chicken and organ meats.

We use exclusively 100% premium USA beef in our beef sticks. There’s simply no comparison.  

What's the difference between beef jerky and beef sticks?

They are portable, high in protein, and packed with flavor. There are a few key differences between the two beloved meat snacks.

Beef jerky and beef sticks are two of the most popular meat snacks. They have shed their reputation as low-quality, gas station food as evidenced by their growing popularity in all types of stores. There are more beef jerky and beef sticks brands on the market than ever before.

They are portable, high in protein, and packed with flavor. There are a few key differences between the two beloved meat snacks.

First, beef jerky is made from a single piece of meat, where beef sticks are made from chopped meat stuffed into a casing.

Secondly, beef jerky tends to be leaner than beef sticks. To maintain a nice chew, beef sticks require slightly more fat in the mixture. Therefore, beef jerky has less overall calories than beef sticks, but both beef sticks and beef jerky are excellent sources of protein.

What are beef sticks made of?

If a stick is labelled specifically as a beef stick, then it must be made with100% beef. 

In addition to beef, beef sticks are made with seasonings such as salt, pepper, paprika, chile flakes, and liquid ingredients such as soy sauce, Worcestershire sauce, and water.

Sticks are stuffed into a casing. There is a wide variety of casing types from natural casings to collagen casings. 

Some beef sticks are fermented with a starter culture. This gives the beef sticks that classic acidic twang. 

Are beef sticks real meat?

Absolutely, beef sticks are made with real meat. The key is to find a quality producer that uses the best ingredients possible as some producers will sneak in lesser quality meat. It’s still real meat, just not the good stuff. 

Do beef sticks have pork in them?

If a stick is labelled specifically as a beef stick, it can only contain beef. A stick that is labelled as a meat stick or snack stick can contain beef and pork.

Always double check the ingredient list to confirm the ingredients. At People’s Choice Beef Jerky, we only craft meat sticks with 100% premium beef.

How do you eat beef sticks?

Eating a beef stick is as easy as tearing open a package and chomping away. But that’s not all. There are many creative ways to use a beef stick in a recipe.

Here are our top three favorite recipes that use beef sticks in the recipe.

Keto Cauliflower Fried Rice

Flamin’ Hot Nacho Fries

Keto Egg Roll in a Bowl

Are snack sticks healthy?

Snack sticks are an excellent snack food that is high in protein, low carb, and a good source of minerals including choline, zinc, and iron.

When enjoyed in moderation as part of a well-rounded diet, snack sticks are an excellent snack food that is high in protein, low carb, and a good source of minerals including choline, zinc, and iron.

Choosing the right snack stick is essential, however, as some commercial snack sticks are high in sodium, sugar, and artificial ingredients.

Shop Sugar-Free Snack Sticks

Are beef sticks bad for you?

It depends on the beef stick. Some meat sticks are filled with artificial ingredients, preservatives, and low quality cuts of beef.

The right beef stick—minimally processed with high quality ingredients—is not bad for you and can be enjoyed as part of a well balanced diet.

Are beef sticks good for weight loss?

Absolutely, beef sticks can be used as a healthy snack to aid in weight loss. Many people on Ketogenic Diets, Low Carb Diets, and Atkins Diets have enjoyed low-carb, high protein beef sticks as a way of staying full and fueled.

Shop Sugar-Free Beef Sticks

Are beef sticks low carb?

Yes, when made without added sugar or artificial ingredients, beef sticks are an excellent low-carb snack. Be careful, though, not all beef sticks are low carb. Always double-check the ingredient list and nutrition label to make sure the beef stick meets your dietary needs. 

Beef sticks can be enjoyed on a variety of low-carb diets such as the Paleo Diet, Atkins Diet, Keto Diet, and AIP Diet.

Shop Low Carb Beef Sticks

Are Turkey beef sticks healthy?

Yes, turkey sticks are a healthy snack option.

Beef sticks and turkey sticks are both healthy snack options that are high in protein, low in fat, convenient, and delicious. Beef sticks and turkey sticks are made in the same way. The meat is ground, marinated, stuffed, cooked, dehydrated, and packaged.

When compared to beef sticks, turkey sticks have slightly less calories, fat, and protein. For those looking to eat less red meat, turkey sticks are a fantastic option. 

How long do beef sticks last?

Unopened beef sticks should last for up to one year from the date of production.

Unopened beef sticks should last for up to one year from the date of production. All beef sticks made in the USA should have a best by date printed on the package for reference.

Once opened, beef sticks are best consumed within three days.

Do beef sticks need to be refrigerated?

Unopened beef sticks do not require refrigeration. Once opened, however, it’s best to store them in the refrigerator to prevent mold. Beef sticks are best enjoyed within three days of opening the package.

How long will smoked beef sticks last in the fridge?

Unopened, commercial beef sticks will last for up to one year from the date of production. When left unopened, they do not require refrigeration and are perfectly safe to store at room temperature.

Opened beef sticks, however, should be refrigerated and are best enjoyed within three days. They should last longer, but the sooner you eat them the better.

How can you tell if beef sticks are bad?

When compared to beef jerky, beef sticks are slightly more difficult to tell if they’ve gone bad. There could be mold or other spoilage on the inside of the stick. Here are a few tips to tell if beef sticks have gone bad.

  • Check the best by date, printed on the outside of the package.
  • Check for any damages in the packaging, things like rips, tears, or punctures.
  • Check for any off colors or smells.
  • Cut the stick open and check the inside of the stick for potential spoilage.

When in doubt, throw it out.

Why do beef sticks turn white?

White substances on the outside of a beef stick can be a variety of things. Common types of white material on a beef stick include mold, fat, or excessive salt. There are specific ways to determine the proper substance and if the stick is safe to consume.

You can read our article, Mold on Beef Jerky, to learn everything you need to know about mold and white substances on the outside of a beef stick.

Why are beef sticks so good?

Healthy, easy-to-chew, convenient, portable, and packed with flavor, beef sticks are a fantastic snack.

Healthy, easy-to-chew, convenient, portable, and packed with flavor, beef sticks are a fantastic snack.

Shop All Beef Sticks