The best cuts of meat for jerky are Top Round, Bottom Round, Lifter and Pectoral, but a variety of cuts can be used, such as flank steak and brisket steak. These cuts of meat meet all the requirements for dry meat to be economical, lean and full of flavor. Cowboys made their jerky by cutting the beef into thin strips. While flank steak is the main cut of meat used today for commercially made jerky, in the 19th century cowboys were much less discriminatory with respect to the cut of meat they used.
If it was edible, they used it. A lean cut is required to make jerky because fat doesn't dehydrate as well as muscle tissue. Many restaurants that serve this roasted meat use a seasoned spice dressing in addition to the drying process. The red juice that spills from a packaged beef may not be real blood, according to specialists (most of the time).
Cuts of meat that have an extremely hard texture or are too fine-grained and oily are not the best option for producing dried meat. When it was time to bring the animals to the market after the spring raid, the cowboys carried out long cattle drives and took the animals to the Midwest railroad stations so that they could be shipped to markets in eastern New York, Philadelphia and Boston. As a result, people have started making jerky and biltong at home by drying them in ovens. However, knowing the process also reveals how some cuts of meat are more practical for making jerky than others.
When dried, the vast majority of that water evaporates, leaving us between 30 and 50% of the initial weight of the meat. The most commonly used cuts of beef are those that are manufactured commercially, and homemade beef jerky is, as expected, the ones that balance thinness and cost most effectively. Red foods, such as beef, include a protein called “myoglobin”, which is responsible for the color of the meat. According to the most conservative estimates we've covered, every pound of live cattle translates to 0.8 ounces of high-quality jerky.
The most generous estimates result in 1.6 ounces of jerky per pound of cattle if only the leanest cuts are used for jerky. Another distinction is the long shelf life of roasted meat compared to the short shelf life of the steak. Steaks can have a bone and are thick slices of meat that are quickly roasted on a grill at high temperatures, while roasted meat is dried at low temperatures and then turned into jerky. If you don't want to worry about those things, there are many online businesses where you can buy ready-made biltongs and jerky and eat them whenever you want.