A small conversation quickly escalated in the weirdest way this morning around the office. The topic is beef jerky and who makes the best. It's still a raging debate six hours later.

Two types of Jerky.

By and large, there are two distinct types of beef jerky in this world, and every person is either a fan of one or the other, or they don't like jerky at all.

I'm in the camp that enjoys actual jerky. It's thin, dry, tough, stringy, and chewy. The reward for working your way through such a tough piece of meat is the peppery and somewhat spicy taste of success. This is the type of jerky you likely won't find in the stores like Walmart and Target.

The opposition is a fan of the common jerky that is most common on the aisles of your preferred grocery store. They're meaty and chunky, moist, soft, and easy on the teeth.

That is not jerky.

There is absolutely nothing worse than reaching into a bag of beef jerky and realizing your hand feels wet. Moisture attracts bacteria, and while can't remember ever hearing a story about someone getting sick from eating contaminated store-bought jerky, I can't get over the humidity factor of lesser jerky.

It's totally a personal feeling. I'm not an expert on jerky. This is just my own personal corner of the internet where I can say whatever I want on such matters with impunity.

Oklahoma makes the best beef jerky in the world.

That's a bold statement, I realize it... but I've had jerky from everywhere and I keep coming back to our Sooner State brands. I'm not alone in this feeling either. I've had the jerky conversation with tons of people over the years and they agree, mostly. Some people don't like real beef jerky and that's OK. To each their own.

What does Oklahoma do differently?

That's almost always the common question when the conversation picks up, and to be honest, I don't know. I can't tell you that Oklahoma makes jerky differently than anyone else, I just know it's made the same in this state as it always has.

Lean cuts of meat, a little spice, dry all the moisture out of it, and done. Perfect jerky.

Who makes the best?



  • 5

    Flying G Jeryky

    This might be the youngest jerky company on this list, but it's mighty tasty. Started by a fellow beef jerky enthusiast that wondered why other companies poured sugar and corn syrup on jerky, he decided to just make it himself.

    What turned out as a DIY way to fix a craving turned into a legit business of really delicious jerky. I bought a bag once at a fish and tackle show, been ordering it from their website ever since. It's good.

  • 4

    Ralph's Circle R Brand

    If you've ever passed the time in line looking at the wares offered at most gas stations in Oklahoma, odds are you've seen a clear package of beef jerky sheets with a little yellow and red label on it.

    That's the jerky produced at Ralph's Packing House in Perkins, OK. While not a favorite personally, it absolutely hits the spot when your only other option is the moisture-packed meat candy varieties.

  • 3


    Yep, Jerky.com is the brand and website you'll find one of Oklahoma's finest jerky.

    While I love a good peppered variety, Jerky.com goes mild to wild with theirs. Offering the dry and tacky stuff jerky is supposed to be and the softer chewy type in flavors from plain beef to Carolina Reaper! I received one of their samplers as a gift one year, and I keep going back for more. It's good.

  • 2

    Hardtimes Beef Jerky

    Another brand straight out of every rural gas station in the state, Hardtimes Beef Jerky is a go-to if I can't locate my norm.

    It's tough, chewy, and spicy. Everything a person should want in a good jerky. Made in El Reno, they're the jerky company that puts toothpicks in every package because they too know the struggle in eating good jerky.

  • 1

    No Man's Land Jerky

    Way out in the panhandle, there was once a little beef jerky shop that grew into a worldwide steward of dried meat glory.

    Named for the location they reside in, No Man's Land makes the quintessential beef jerky. When you think of dry, hard, tough, and chewy, this is it my friend. A lot of people enjoy the hot variety, but the peppered is my preferred protein.

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