The History of Jerky

beef jerky in bowl on chalkboard

Before becoming one of the most celebrated snacks of all time, jerky has experienced a long and storied history. A form of meat preservation, the earliest jerky was created to prevent meat from spoiling too quickly without the modern conveniences of refrigeration. In this article, we will look at the history of jerky and some of the ways production has changed over time.


The earliest known practice of creating jerky can be traced as far back as 1550 to a South American tribe called The Quechua. To make their jerky, the Quechua would cut, bone and defat the meat of llamas or alpacas and then sun dry it or smoke it over an open fire. Once Spanish Conquistadors were able to try this meat, they called it Charqui, which was soon after adopted by the Quechua and accented to become known as “jerky”


More commonly known as a staple food product for trappers and early pioneers, jerky was made more flavorful by incorporating new types of meats and spices. Not only did this improve the quality of the meat, but the spices also provided new ways to further prolong spoilage. Over time, the practice of marinating meats and dehydrating them to create jerky became more popular to provide a great snack option instead of a necessary source of food.


Most modern jerky products are created through a dehydration process that operates at a low temperature using heater elements and fans. To remove moisture, exhaust ports are integrated into the system to speed up the process and complete the jerky creation in a matter of hours. While smoking is the traditional method, many modern jerky manufacturers use salt to not only preserve the meat but also provide additional flavor.


In an effort to create the perfect, high-protein snack Luther Brown meats using inside rounds from locally raised and processed beef. This allows us to provide a great nutritional profile while relying on the great flavor of the meat instead of trying to mask it. We encourage you to celebrate the history of jerky with us and experience the difference a premium, boutique beef jerky can make.

Posted in