Donate to help a homeless dog fine a forever home


5 Top Beef Cuts for Homemade Ground Beef

One of the easiest eating jerky snacks are jerky sticks.  These can be made using lean ground beef or buffalo purchased at the grocery store.  But, what would make them even better would be to use your own fresh ground meat.  A little extra work – but worth it because you know exactly what’s in your jerky sticks.

Shopping for Meat

The leanest meat you can use to make your own ground meat will make the best sticks.  In order to do this,  you need to know which cuts of beef are the leanest.   [1]

The top 5 cuts of beef – considered ‘extra lean [2]  – would be:

  1. Eye of round roast or steak
  2. Sirloin tip side steak
  3. Top round roast and steak
  4. Bottom round roast and steak
  5. Top sirloin steak

Note: When choosing beef, look for packages labeled ‘Choice’ or ‘Select’ vs. ‘Prime’ as they  will have less fat.  Also look for those cuts with the least amount of marbling . . . and don’t forget to trim fat as needed. 

While you may not have as wide a selection of buffalo cuts at your local store, look for cuts with minimal marbling.  Again, trim any fat as needed.

Shopping for a Meat Grinder

If you’re on a budget, you may want to skip the meat grinder and try using your food processor to ‘grind’ the meat. While it will get the job done, you may find it will take  longer to grind the meat and you’ll need to work with smaller quantities to get the amount of ground meat needed.  For more information on using a food processor to grind meat, visit this link

If you don’t have a meat grinder and are considering purchasing one, give some thought to buying a meat grinder that can be  a multi-purpose kitchen tool.   In other words, look for one that you can use for other purposes such as:

  • Grinding meat
  • Making pasta
  • Making sausage

Below are some multi-use meat grinders available on Amazon. Prices range from very affordable to pricey – depending on your budget and need.



When making your own ground meat for jerky, always be sure the equipment is clean from the last use and then either use the freshly ground meat immediately or keep refrigerated until ready to use.   In our opinion, freshly ground meat should be used for making jerky  within 24 hours of grinding.




[1] using a food processor

[2] lean cuts –

Jerky – More Than Just a Snack

Talked to my son the other day and he told me of how he and his wife were using jerky in other recipes.  Have to say that never crossed my mind – but after doing some searching found out that jerky can be used in many different recipes with many different types of dishes.

For some recipes the jerky was chopped to the consistency of bacon bits; other called for larger ‘bite-sized’ pieces.  How you were going to use it would determine the size.  Smaller pieces when used as a topper, larger pieces when used in a recipe where the jerky can be re-hydrated.

Some of the recipes we found for using jerky as an ingredient included:

  • Stews
  • Soups
  • Cornbread
  • Pasta Salads
  • Added into dips
  • Eggs
  • Sauces
  • As a topper for baked potatoes

To get you started, here are a few recipes we found on the Internet that sounded pretty good.

Beef Jerky with Eggs (Machacado con huevo) –   Get recipe here

Jerky Tomato Sauce –  Get recipe here

Ramen Noodle Dinner – Get recipe here

Fried Rice with Jerky – Get recipe here

Jerky Stew  – Get recipe here


Homemade Jerky – What’s New?

Making homemade jerky is pretty  basic in equipment and process.   However, sometimes there are new and different products that can make the process easier or better.

The following 5 products are some items we found interesting in making homemade jerky. We thought that the screens for smoking jerky on the BBQ or in the smoker might prove to be useful since it’s difficult to lay strips or sticks directly onto the grill itself. They tend to fall through.   (Read about making jerky on a grill or in the smoker.)

The jerky stick kit would be great for those who want to try their hand at making homemade jerky without investing a lot of $$$$ and then finding out – WHOA !!! Not my cup of tea!

And for those who want to take their skills to the next level, the sausage / cure book is just what you need for great sausage recipes and to learn more about the elusive ‘cure’.