Beef Jerky vs. Meat Sticks - Everything You Need to Know
Beef Jerky, Meat Sticks (snack sticks, beef sticks, jerky sticks, or whatever else you call those delicious stick-shaped jerkies) - they're both delicious. Beef jerky and meat sticks are both a dried meat snack full of salty, savory flavor and lots of protein. Most jerkies of both types have very similar ingredients. But what is the difference between the two, aside from the obvious difference in shape? Let's break it down, Beef Jerky vs. Meat Sticks.
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Beef Jerky vs. Meat Sticks: What Is Beef Jerky?
Let's start with breaking down what beef jerky and meat sticks/snack sticks are. Beef Jerky is made from strips of beef that are dried and flavored to make a chewy, dried strip of meat that makes for a delicious snack. Sometimes beef jerky is tough, sometimes it's soft and tender beef jerky (like ours)! The texture and flavor vary, but beef jerky is strips of dried meat that are salted and seasoned.
Beef Jerky vs. Meat Sticks: What Are Meat Sticks?
Meat sticks, often called snack sticks, beef sticks, jerky sticks, or jerky snack sticks, are made a little differently from regular beef jerky. Meat sticks are made by grinding, cooking, drying meat and putting it into a casing to create the stick shape (source). They are usually made with beef and/or pork, and often both. Meat sticks can also be made with other meats including turkey. Some types and flavors of meat sticks, such as pepperoni snack sticks, may be more likely to be made with pork. Our meat sticks are made with beef and pork, always with our locally-raised beef as the first ingredient.
The Difference Between Beef Jerky and Meat Sticks
For explaining the differences between beef jerky and meat sticks, we're going to use our products for examples as it varies from brand to brand.
Let's look at the nutritional differences between beef jerky and meat sticks first:
Sugar: Beef Jerky has on average 9 grams of sugar per 1-oz. serving, while Meat Sticks have almost none. Of course, some varieties of jerky have more sugar (such as teriyaki, hot & sweet, and original ranch cut beef jerky) while others have none at all (such as our dill pickle and pepper dill pickle meat sticks).
Fat Content: While meat sticks might be sounding really good right now if you're trying to cut out sugar, a look at the fat content in beef jerky vs. meat sticks leans in favor of beef jerky if you're trying to go low-fat. In each serving, our traditional ranch cut beef jerky has just 1 gram of fat that comes naturally with the beef we use. Our meat sticks on the other hand have anywhere from 4.5-9 grams of total fat per serving. This is partly because, as we'll mention next, our meat sticks are made with both beef and pork while the beef jerky is made from 100% beef.
What beef jerky vs. meat sticks are made of: Well, we just said it. But another difference between our beef jerky and meat sticks is what types of meat the jerky is made of. Our ranch cut beef jerky is made from 100% beef, fresh from our local feedlots just a few minutes away from where the beef jerky is made and sold. Our jerky meat sticks are also made from meat that is locally-grown by local ranchers, but instead of being made of 100% beef, our meat sticks are made of both beef and pork. Our fresh, local beef is always the first ingredient, though! We use both beef and pork in our meat sticks to provide the texture and flavor of a perfect smoked snack stick.
What Beef Jerky and Meat Sticks Have in Common
One common difference with beef jerky vs. beef sticks is that beef jerky is tough and hard to chew, while meat sticks are an easier-to-chew, soft and tender snack. However, here at Top Notch Jerky, ALL our jerky is soft, tender, and easy-to-chew. Both our ranch cut beef jerky and our jerky snack sticks are a soft, tender snack that anyone can eat.
Another thing that's the same between our ranch cut beef jerky and meat sticks is the protein content. As you may know, beef jerky is known for its high protein content per serving, and both beef jerky and meat sticks live up to that expectation! Beef jerky and meat sticks have between 7-9 grams of protein per 1-oz serving, providing an energy-packed snack.
Of course, the most important similarity between beef jerky and meat sticks is that they're both delicious and are sure to provide satisfaction and enjoyment to all who eat them!
Beef Jerky or Meat Sticks? You Decide
Now that we've told you some of the differences between beef jerky and meat sticks/beef sticks/snack sticks, we'll ask you - what do you prefer? Is beef jerky or meat sticks your go-to snack? Do you prefer the low-sugar meat sticks or the low-fat beef jerky? What do you look for in your jerky? Let us know in the comments. Then head over to our online store and check out both our ranch cut beef jerky and jerky meat sticks!