Beef Jerky vs. Turkey Jerky

I like beef jerky. I know I like it. When I go to the store and I see beef jerky, turkey jerky, ostrich, venison, buffalo … I get flustered and buy the beef jerky.

I was thinking “I wish someone would explain to me the difference between all these types of jerky” (other than that, you know, they supposedly come from different animals), and then I thought “oh wait, that’s my job.” So, I tried out some Beef Jerky and Turkey Jerky from and did some research on the health aspects for a little compare and contrast.

Obviously, all jerky is great for travel. It’s light, compact, and high in protein. It’s great for hikes, the car, the airplane, and anywhere where you know you might not be able to eat when you want to. When I don’t eat, I get cranky. And you know what? So do you.

Here at right you see the teriyaki beef (below) and teriyaki turkey (above) jerky. I rated them on their heaviness of flavor, chewiness, and nutritional benefits (/pitfalls).

Let’s start with the Teriyaki Beef Jerky. It’s very tough to chew. On a chewiness scale of 1-10, I’d give this a 3. The flavor is very rich and you can definitely tell it’s beef. As for the nutritional values, a 4 oz package contains 356 calories and 4 grams of fat (none saturated), a meager 16 carbohydrates, and a whopping 48 grams of protein! Holy awesome, no wonder this stuff gives you so much energy. It also contains 32% of your daily recommended iron. Hear that, women? Jerky is not just for men. I find the teriyaki flavoring a bit heavily sweet, but overall, I’d have no problem recommending this jerky to you, your mother, or your dog. I should add that it has no preservatives, MSG, or nitrites, and is made from “Grass Fed Beef.”

The Teriyaki Turkey Jerky also has no preservatives, MSG, or nitrites. It’s slightly chewier than the beef (I’d give it a 4 — it’s still tough jerky), and as it turns out, I like the flavor much better! I’m still not in love with teriyaki, but the fact that this is made from turkey makes it much lighter-tasting and less like a serious protein blast. That said, it actually has more protein than the beef jerky, 52 grams in the 4 oz package! Also, it contains only half the fat. The sacrifice here is that it also contains on ly half the iron, and if you’re like me and avoid carbs, you won’t like that it has twice as many of those. The calorie count is the same, and I totally took down the whole bag in one sitting.

Overall, the turkey wins in my book. And though both are very healthy, the thing to remember when choosing between beef and turkey is that the beef has more iron and fewer carbs, and the turkey has more protein and less fat.

The reviewed Teriyaki Beef Jerky and Teriyaki Turkey Jerky are available from for $9.99 per 3 oz bag with free shipping from