Gearing up for a final summer road trip, we road-tested artisan beef (and elk and deer and buffalo) jerky; here are the sticks that go the extra mile.
Oakland-based Oaktown Jerk uses grass-fed, hormone-free beef for its world-inspired jerky. The Chili Lime Cilantro has south-of-the-border spice and heat, while the Thai Basil has a sweet, leafy Eastern taste.
Pearson Ranch is an elk, bison and cattle ranch in Horse Springs, New Mexico, that’s been around since 1959; today, it’s known for churning out its lean Elk Hickory Smoked and Bison Hickory Smoked jerky. The bison is big, meaty and robust, while the lighter elk is also saltier and sweeter.
The folks at Jerky Tracks make Deer Tracks Jerky from white tail deer. The sugary coating is an unexpectedly tasty addition to the gamey, spicy meat.
Road Trip: Get this Jerky Cocktail
At the Salish Lodge & Spa in Snoqualmie, Wash., bartenders do a meaty twist on a Manhattan: The Mole Manhattan, a blend of whiskey, vermouth and bitters, sports a house-smoked beef jerky garnish.
MAKE YOUR OWN: All road-tripped out? Stay at home and make your own jerky. Here’s a tutorial!