It’s tough to say if there is truly a single best cut of beef for making jerky out there, but if one exists then it must be the top round!
The top round, aka the inside round or the “London broil”, is a cut from the inside of the rear leg. It’s lean, flavorful, inexpensive, and comes in large cuts perfect for making jerky at home. While there are other cuts that work just fine, none hits all the right notes the way this cut does.
Even though marbled fat is perfect for our steaks, it’s not what we want in our jerky. Fat spoils quickly and turns rancid in a few days, so it’s important to select a cut that’s low in fat content so the jerky will have a long shelf-life.
If you plan on wolfing down the jerky quickly or simply prefer jerky that’s a tad fattier, eye of round and bottom round are also terrific options for making jerky at home that you simply can’t go wrong with.
When you get to the store to buy some top round, you want the freshest meat with the longest expiration date. Make sure that the meat is free of dark spots and connective tissue, ask your butcher to pre-slice it for you, and you’re on your way to making premium, homemade jerky!