Didn’t know jerky contained sugar? or gluten? Well, technically guess you might say it doesn’t since it is a meat product. But, depending on the ingredients used to marinate or the seasonings added in when making jerky sticks, you may be getting sugar and/or gluten and not know it. Those on restricted diets can enjoy jerky by monitoring ingredients used . . . both store bought and homemade.
What is Sugar Free?
First, most foods should probably not be labeled ‘sugar free’ but rather ‘no sugar added’ since sugar can be found naturally in many foods. For those who adhere to a sugar free diet you can visit our webpage – I Can’t Believe It’s Sugar Free – to read more about the difference between sucrose (table sugar) and fructose, visit this link.
What is Gluten?
Now for gluten. This has been a hot topic lately with many foods now being offered as ‘gluten free’. Gluten is a family of proteins found in grains, ie., wheat, rye and barley. Therefore, if you are wanting to remove gluten from your diet, check the ingredients on products used for your homemade jerky – or store bought – to see if any wheat or other grain products are listed. To see other grains with gluten, visit this link.
If you are gluten intolerant, check all product ingredients for gluten. Wheat products used in some products, ie., worcestershire sauce  may not list wheat products used. Soy sauce is debatable regarding gluten content with some brands registering minute amounts. Check on line or call the manufacturer to confirm gluten content for the brand used.
Sugar Free | Gluten Free Low Salt Marinade Recipes
To get you started on sugar free / gluten free jerky options, we’ve placed a couple of recipes below that we found on line.
Marinade No. 1 
- 1 tablespoon ground black pepper
- 2 teaspoons of sea salt
- 3/4 teaspoon onion powder
- 1-1/2 teaspoon chili powder
- 1 teaspoon of dried, ground chipolte peppers (optional – makes it spicy!)
- 1 tablespoon Stevia (or honey)
- 2 teaspoons liquid smoke
- 5 cloves garlic (crushed)
- 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
- 1 cup water
Marinade No. 2 
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 clove garlic crushed (or 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder)
- 1/4 teaspoon onion powder
- 2 sage leaves
- 1/4 teaspoon thyme leaves crushed
- 1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
- 1 cup pineapple juice
Each marinade recipe should be good for about three (3) pounds of sliced jerky meat.