The Top 8 Road Trip Beef Jerky Brands of 2016

Updated March, 16, 2018

If you are working on planning your end-of-fall road trip, then you will be excited to learn more about 8 of the top beef jerky choices to take on your trip. There are thousands of beef jerky recipes to choose from and we recognize that we only have a small sampling, but after testing, we feel that these are some of the best out there. We know that being on the road just gives you that little craving for some tasty, salty meats. We evaluated these jerky brands on an 18-hour road trip from Ohio to Maine, we took them in the car, on our hikes, in our cabin and even deep sea fishing. We thoroughly evaluated and taste tested the meats amongst 8 different individuals and here is what we found. 

Brands that made the top 8 cut:  

Top Beef Jerky Brand No. 8 - Krave 

Krave sent us an amazing pack of jerky, which we opened without hesitation and immediately began chowing down. Krave made the list for two reasons. One, their cuts of meat were a great tenderness level. Two, their flavors were some of the most unique out there. They literally have something for everyone, even those who don't think they like jerky! They have blueberry, black cherry, mango jalapeno and garlic chili pepper to name a few of their awesome flavors. They certainly offer amazing pieces of jerky for your trip. The only caveat is that you need to try these out carefully. The flavors are not all normal to the mouth of a jerky connoisseur. You may be surprised, delighted or even potentially a little yucked out at some of the flavors. We are sure you will like them, but some may be a bit different than what you expect! 

Flavor to try: Basil Citrus

Top Beef Jerky Brand No. 7 - Chef's Cut 

Chef's Cut offered some impeccable jerky. Out of all the jerkies we tried, Chef's Cut stood out in that they offered a seemingly higher protein-packed jerky than others. This made it excellent for the ravenous explorer who just wants to go go go. Chef's Cut also stood above the crowd with their original flavor. Most jerky companies have some crazy sweet flavors and focus on those rather than their original. Chef's Cut made a jam packed flavorful original and really got into the top 8 with that. We would certainly recommend Chef's Cut to the hardcore explorer as it just fits and it's great tasting stuff. We would have loved to try out some of their real bacon jerkies, but that will be for another time and trip. 

Flavor to try: The Original

Top Beef Jerky Bran No. 6 - Jonty Jacobs 

Though they would hate to be categorized under jerky, the "Dried meat" aspect of this brand holds similarly to that of jerky, Biltong as they like to call it. Jonty has made our list because of a few things. One, their flavor is different than expected but incredible. Two, the cut of the meat, small and thin, makes it easy to grab in small bites or luscious bunches. And three, they use grass fed meat! How awesome is that! So Jonty Jacobs is well worth your time and if you are going to buy a thin, small cut, dried meat product, it might as well be theirs because you won't want to put it down after opening it (Which is good because you have to refrigerate it if you put it down.)

Flavor to try: Biltong Slices, Lean Cut, Grass Fed

Top Beef Jerky Bran No. 5 - Perky Jerky

Perky Jerky is a fantastic brand that once tasted, felt right coming in at the number 5 spot. The real way that Perky Jerky finds it's way onto the list is due to their interesting flavors and incredibly marinated meat. Their meat is different in that once you get past the outer layer, you still get the flavor because it feels like it was marinated for ages. The one downfall of this is it can feel pretty slimy, but once it hits your jerky taste buds (Yes, these are real) who even cares!? You'll certainly want to try Perky Jerky out on your road trips as it has a lot to offer. Plus! Their tasty morsels are nitrite free, preservative free, and gluten free. Can't beat that! 

Flavor to try: Pale Ale

Top Beef Jerky Bran No. 4 - Camouflage Dave's Beef Jerky

Camouflage Dave's Jerky is near the top of our rating and it is so because of their Signature Black Pepper blend. It was well liked by all and won in both the consistency and flavor. One of the good parts of Camouflage Dave's as well, is that you know that they aren't some massive company churning out mass quantities of over processed crud. These are real people making fantastic jerky right down in Florida! 

Flavor to try: Signature Black Pepper Blend

Top Beef Jerky Bran No. 3 - Pap's Beef Jerky 

Pap's Beef Jerky was a close runner-up to Dried and True and People's Choice. It stood out with both flavor and texture, but the big winner on Pap's Beef Jerky was the thin texture that melted in your mouth with just the right amount of chew level for those liking a bit less chew overall. You certainly won't be breaking your jaw over this jerky. We really loved the barbecue blend that Pap's offers and it even had a touch of heat that made everyone in the car fight over it, until it was gone seconds later. Though Pap's may be a lesser known brand, they are certainly worth your time and a quick order before packing up your vehicle for that upcoming trip. 

Flavor to try: Pitmaster's Barbecue

Top Beef Jerky Bran No. 2 - Dried and True

Dried and True's beef jerky is one of those jerky brands you just don't forget. We tried three types of their jerky and each one surprised us with a powerful flavor. The one thing that stood out about Dried and True is their perfect level of chew. The amount of chew in beef jerky is an important piece to factor in, though some prefer amount of chew in varying levels, there is that perfect level that suits almost everyone and Dried and True hits that on the mark. 

Flavor to try: The Original 

Top Beef Jerky Bran No. 1 - People's Choice Beef Jerky

People's Choice Beef Jerky is what we landed on as the quintessential jerky for your road trip to be successful. They offer perfectly chewable varieties along with amazing flavors that aren't too overpowering. One of the things we found in this test is that while some of the flavors that jerky brands come up with may sound good in concept, they taste awful in reality. We didn't run into this issue with our number one jerky choice. People's Choice had a great level of flavor variety, while still keeping it mild enough to enjoy. Another great aspect of this jerky is not only their abundant flavor profiles but also the differing types they offer. It's almost like having different brands under one roof, but with all the same great style and taste. We would certainly recommend People's Choice as your top choice in grabbing a pack of jerky for your road trip!

Flavor to try: The Hot and Spicy 

We hope that these jerky brands will help expand your horizons from your average supermarket salty meats. These brands all have uniquenesses to offer and you likely will want to buy a bag of each. Trust us, it is truly worth it, though we don't suggest it as your sole source of nutrients. Road trip away!