Beef Jerky Then And Now

Beef Jerky Then And Now

From food preservation for long journeys to fuel for awesomeness. Let’s see how it all came to be…

The oldest evidence of jerky appears in Egypt[1] with imagery depicting the practise of air-drying meat in the tomb of Tutnefer (3500 years ago).

Some say aliens built the pyramids… We reckon it was a whole lot of jerky fuelled manpower.


500 years ago, the jerky that we know, and love came to be in the Americas. In fact, the word “jerky” comes from the indigenous American word “ch’arki” meaning dried meat. Meat would be smoked and air dried – removing any unwanted funk and adding that classic smokey taste (Check out our Original Beef Jerky – Slow cooked and smoked).

The indigenous “ch’arki” method was then shared with arriving Europeans popularising the food among pioneering circles. Jerky became a staple among explorers, providing essential nutrients along their journeys.

150 years ago, nomadic cowboys adopted jerky into their arsenal. These guys had to work on the American Great Plains which were often desolate and lacking natural sources of food. When they weren’t dodging bullets they were getting creative, mixing spices into jerky which would be consumed dry while on the move or boiled into stews (Check out our Pepper Beef Jerky – Seasoned with cracked pepper).

Fast forward to modern day and beef jerky is experiencing a new renaissance. A popular favourite among us regular folk, jerky is also fuelling some pretty awesome people doing pretty awesome stuff.

From elite athletes pushing the limits of human capability

to supercross prodigies hurtling through the air

even astronauts fuel up with beef jerky[2].


Why? For the same reason people have been eating jerky for thousands of years. It’s a delicious and nutritious on-the-go snack that feeds your wild side.

[1] Ancient Egyptian Materials and Technology


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