National Craft Jerky Day – November 27th

Welcome to the world of craft jerky, where flavor, quality, and creativity intertwine to create a snack worth celebrating. National Craft Jerky Day serves as a tribute to the artisans and entrepreneurs who meticulously craft this beloved cured meat delicacy.

This article delves into the origins and significance of this special day, explores the rise of craft jerky as a growing trend, highlights the diverse types of craft jerky available, and delves into the health benefits it offers. Join us as we journey through the world of craft jerky, discover the artisans behind it, and uncover the delicious possibilities that await.

1. The Origins of National Craft Jerky Day

Recognizing the Need for a Dedicated Day

Craft jerky lovers rejoice! National Craft Jerky Day honors the mouthwatering treat that has become a favorite among snack enthusiasts. With its growing popularity and unique flavors, craft jerky has its own special day to celebrate and cherish.

How National Craft Jerky Day Came to Be

Long Beach Jerky Co. established National Craft Jerky Day to pay tribute to all the small-batch jerky makers out there. This glorious day of satisfying carnivorous cravings was inspired by Alex Naticchioni, the founder of Long Beach Jerky Co. The day reminds his cherished memories of making jerky with his grandfather, Albert (AKA Gramps), on Christmas day. The craft of jerky-making truly began for Alex during those special moments.

In fact, November 27th was chosen as the date for this celebration to honor Gramps’ birthday. The day is a reminder that his legacy lives on through the love and inspiration he shared with his family. For Long Beach Jerky Co. and numerous other jerky enthusiasts, what initially started as a family tradition has transformed into a burning passion. It is now an unwavering drive to create a thriving market for all kinds of jerky.

2. The Rise of Craft Jerky: A Growing Trend

Shifting Consumer Preferences

Gone are the days when jerky was considered a gas station snack reserved for road trips. In recent years, consumers have embraced craft jerky as a healthier and more satisfying alternative to traditional processed snacks. With its high protein content and low sugar and fat levels, craft jerky has become the go-to choice for those seeking a convenient and nutritious snack.

The Influence of Artisanal Food Movement

Craft jerky’s rise in popularity can be attributed to the larger artisanal food movement, where consumers place a premium on locally sourced, small-batch products made with care and attention to detail. Craft jerky fits perfectly into this trend, as it is often made by dedicated artisans who use premium cuts of meat, unique flavor combinations, and traditional or innovative techniques to create their delicious creations.

3. Exploring the Variety: Different Types of Craft Jerky

Beef Jerky: Traditional and Beyond

Traditional beef jerky is undoubtedly the most well-known variety, but craft jerky producers have taken it to a whole new level. From smoky barbeque to fiery habanero, craft beef jerky now offers an array of mouthwatering flavors that cater to all taste preferences.

Alternative Protein Sources: Poultry, and More

Craft jerky doesn’t stop at beef. Poultry enthusiasts can indulge in savory turkey or chicken jerky, while pork lovers can savor the rich flavors of artisanal pork jerky. For those looking to explore even further, craft jerky made from delicious proteins like venison, bison, or even salmon is also available, offering a unique and adventurous snacking experience.

Vegan and Plant-based Options for Jerky Enthusiasts

Craft jerky has expanded its horizons to include vegan and plant-based options that cater to those with dietary restrictions or personal preferences. Made from ingredients such as mushrooms, tofu, or seitan, these plant-based jerkies offer a flavorful and guilt-free snack alternative for everyone to enjoy.

4. Homemade Craft Jerky Recipe

Crafting your own jerky at home can be a rewarding and delicious experience. Here’s a fantastic recipe for homemade craft jerky:


  • 2 lbs (about 0.9 kg) lean beef (flank steak or sirloin work well)
  • 1/2 cup soy sauce
  • 1/4 cup Worcestershire sauce
  • 2 tablespoons honey or maple syrup
  • 2 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 teaspoons onion powder
  • 2 teaspoons garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika (optional for a smoky flavor)
  • 1 teaspoon red pepper flakes (adjust to taste for spice)
  • 1/4 teaspoon curing salt (optional for food safety; omit if preferred)
  • Optional: Liquid smoke (if you don’t have a smoker)


  1. Prepare the Beef: Trim any visible fat from the beef and slice it against the grain into thin strips, around 1/4 inch thick.
  2. Marinate the Beef: In a mixing bowl, combine the soy sauce, Worcestershire sauce, honey/maple syrup, black pepper, onion powder, garlic powder, smoked paprika (if using), red pepper flakes, and curing salt (if using). Mix well to thoroughly combine all ingredients.
  3. Marination Time: Place the beef strips into a resealable plastic bag or a shallow dish and pour the marinade over them to coat all pieces. Seal the bag or cover the dish and refrigerate for at least 4 hours, or ideally overnight.
  4. Prepare the Jerky: Preheat your oven to the lowest possible setting (usually around 175°F/80°C). You can also use a food dehydrator or smoker, but according to the manufacturer’s instructions for jerky-making.
  5. Drain and Dry: Remove the marinated beef from the fridge and drain off any excess marinade. Pat the beef strips dry with paper towels to remove surface moisture.
  6. Drying Process: Arrange the beef strips on wire racks or directly on oven racks lined with foil (to catch drips). Keep space between each strip for air circulation. Place the racks in the preheated oven and leave the door slightly ajar to allow moisture to escape. Dry the beef for 3-4 hours or until it reaches your desired level of dryness and toughness, turning the strips halfway through.
  7. Check for Doneness: The jerky is done when it’s firm and dry but still pliable. If you prefer a drier texture, leave it in the oven for longer.
  8. Cool and Store: Once done, let the jerky cool completely. Store it in airtight containers or resealable bags. Properly dried jerky can last for several weeks when stored in a cool, dry place.

Enjoy your homemade craft jerky!

Safety Note

Using curing salt can help ensure food safety by inhibiting bacteria growth. However, it’s optional and should be used carefully according to package instructions. Always follow proper food safety guidelines when making jerky.

5. Supporting Local Artisans: Celebrating Craft Jerky Producers

Small-Batch vs. Commercial Brands

One of the joys of craft jerky is supporting local artisans who pour their passion into creating exceptional products. Unlike commercial brands that prioritize mass production, craft jerky producers focus on quality over quantity, ensuring every bite is a delectable experience. So, next time you’re in the mood for jerky, consider supporting these small-batch producers and taste the difference for yourself.

Highlighting Regional Flavors and Techniques

Craft jerky reflects not only the artisan’s skill but also the region’s culinary influences. Each producer brings their unique flair to the table, incorporating local flavors, spices, and techniques that represent their specific area. From the smoky flavors of the Southwest to the sweet and tangy profiles of the Pacific Northwest, craft jerky allows us to explore the diverse tastes and traditions of different regions, one bite at a time.

So, mark your calendars for National Craft Jerky Day and celebrate this delicious snack that has captured the hearts and taste buds of snack enthusiasts everywhere. Whether you’re a beef lover, a poultry enthusiast, or a veggie aficionado, there’s a craft jerky out there just waiting to be savored. Support local artisans, try new flavors, and enjoy the irresistible journey that is craft jerky!

6. Health Benefits of Craft Jerky: A Nutritious Snack Option

High Protein Content and Its Benefits

Craft jerky is not just a delicious snack; it also offers several health benefits. One of the key advantages is its high protein content. Protein is essential for building and repairing tissues, supporting muscle growth, and maintaining a healthy immune system. Craft jerky packs a protein punch, making it a great option for athletes, individuals looking to build muscle, or anyone who wants to boost their protein intake.

Low Fat and Calorie Profile

If you’re watching your fat and calorie intake, craft jerky is a snack you can enjoy guilt-free. Unlike many other processed snacks, craft jerky has a low fat and calorie profile. This makes it an excellent alternative to traditional high-fat snacks like chips or cookies. So, if you’re looking for a satisfying snack that won’t derail your fitness goals, craft jerky is the way to go.

Rich Source of Essential Nutrients

Craft jerky isn’t just protein-rich; it also contains essential nutrients. It’s often made from high-quality meat, which provides important vitamins and minerals like iron, zinc, and B vitamins. These nutrients play a crucial role in maintaining optimal health, supporting brain function, and boosting energy levels. So, when you reach for craft jerky, you’re not just satisfying a craving, you’re also giving your body a nutrient boost.

7. Pairing Craft Jerky with Beverages: Enhancing the Flavors

Beer and Jerky: A Classic Combination

When it comes to pairing craft jerky with beverages, beer is a classic choice. The salty and savory flavors of craft jerky complement the hoppy and refreshing qualities of beer. Whether you prefer a pale ale, lager, or a hoppy IPA, a cold beer served with a side of craft jerky can elevate your snacking experience to a whole new level.

Wine and Jerky: Unconventional yet Delightful

While wine and jerky might sound like an unconventional pairing, it can be surprisingly delightful. The complex flavors of certain wines, such as a bold red or a dry white, can create an interesting contrast with the savory and chewy texture of craft jerky. So, the next time you’re enjoying a glass of your favorite wine, consider reaching for some craft jerky as a tasty accompaniment.

Cocktail and Jerky Pairings to Explore

If you’re feeling adventurous, why not explore the world of cocktail and jerky pairings? Craft jerky can add a unique twist to your favorite cocktails. For example, a spicy margarita paired with a spicy craft jerky can create a delightful balance of flavors. So, get creative with your mixology skills and discover exciting new combinations with craft jerky.

8. Activities and Events for National Craft Jerky Day

Tasting Events and Jerky Festivals

National Craft Jerky Day is the perfect time to immerse yourself in the world of craft jerky. Look out for local tasting events and jerky festivals happening in your area. These events offer the opportunity to sample a wide variety of craft jerky flavors from different brands while enjoying live music and entertainment. It’s a fun and flavorful way to spend the day.

Craft Jerky Making Workshops

If you want to take your craft jerky appreciation to the next level, consider attending a craft jerky-making workshop. These workshops provide hands-on experience in the jerky-making process, allowing you to learn the techniques and secrets behind crafting your own delicious jerky. Plus, you get to take home a batch of your homemade jerky to enjoy.

Partnering with Jerky Brands and Retailers

National Craft Jerky Day is also an excellent opportunity to support local jerky brands and retailers. Reach out to your favorite craft jerky brands or visit local specialty stores that carry a wide selection of jerky. By partnering with these brands or retailers, you can organize special promotions, tastings, or giveaways to celebrate the day and spread the joy of craft jerky.

9. Innovations and Exciting Developments

Emerging Flavor Profiles and Alluring Ingredients

Craft jerky is continuously evolving, with jerky makers exploring new flavor profiles and ingredients to excite our taste buds. From unique spice blends to incorporating fascinating meats like bison or elk, the future holds endless possibilities for craft jerky flavors. So, get ready to embark on a flavorful journey as craft jerky continues to surprise and delight us.

New Techniques and Drying Methods

Innovation doesn’t stop at flavors; jerky makers are also experimenting with new techniques and drying methods. From traditional air-drying to using modern dehydrators, different approaches can influence the texture and taste of craft jerky. So, keep an eye out for jerky makers who push the boundaries and try out their creations for a unique snacking experience.

Exploring Sustainability in Craft Jerky Production

As consumers become more conscious of their environmental impact, sustainability is becoming an important aspect of craft jerky production. Many jerky brands are now sourcing their ingredients from sustainable and ethically-raised sources. Additionally, packaging innovations, such as compostable or recyclable materials, are being explored to reduce waste. By supporting these sustainable practices, we can enjoy our craft jerky guilt-free, knowing that we’re contributing to a greener future.

In Short

As National Craft Jerky Day comes to a close, we hope this article has ignited your appreciation for the artistry and flavor that craft jerky brings to the table. From supporting local artisans to exploring new and exciting flavor profiles, craft jerky offers a snack experience like no other. So next time you reach for a bag of jerky, take a moment to savor the craftsmanship and passion that goes into each bite. Let’s continue to celebrate and support the world of craft jerky, not just on this special day, but every day.

Image by Racool_studio on Freepik

Frequently Asked Questions

1. When is National Craft Jerky Day?

National Craft Jerky Day is celebrated on [insert date here]. It’s a day dedicated to recognizing and celebrating the artisans and craft jerky producers who bring this delicious snack to our tables.

2. Can craft jerky be enjoyed by vegetarians or vegans?

Yes! Craft jerky is not limited to just beef. There are a variety of plant-based and vegan options available for those who follow a vegetarian or vegan lifestyle. These alternatives are often made with ingredients such as soy, seitan, or mushrooms, and offer a tasty alternative for jerky enthusiasts.

3. Where can I find craft jerky?

Craft jerky can be found in various places, including specialty food stores, farmer’s markets, online retailers, and even directly from the producers themselves. Many craft jerky brands have their own websites where you can browse and order their products, making it convenient to explore and support different artisans and flavors.

4. Is craft jerky a healthy snack option?

Craft jerky can be a nutritious snack choice when consumed in moderation. It is typically high in protein, low in fat, and offers a range of essential nutrients. However, it’s important to be mindful of the sodium content, as some jerky products may have higher sodium levels. As with any food, it’s best to read the labels and choose options that align with your individual dietary needs and goals.

Urza Omar
  • Urza Omar
  • The writer has a proven track as a mentor, motivational trainer, blogger, and social activist. She is the founder of a blog intended for avid readers.