I’m sure you’ve experienced this a million times: You want a quick snack that is light and easy to carry on the go. You’re looking for something with enough protein to keep you going for the afternoon, so you head to the beef jerky aisle. You look at every jerky bag in the store, searching for just one or two gluten-free jerky brands to choose from. Unfortunately, jerky is often full of gluten, so you leave empty-handed and frustrated.
Finding gluten-free jerky in the store has been such a disappointing undertaking that I got to the point where I stopped trying to buy it. Instead, I started looking into how to make homemade gluten-free jerky. However, after researching this article, I now know which gluten-free jerky brands and products to look for when I go shopping.
Top Gluten-Free Jerky Brands
The days of getting worked up while looking for gluten-free beef jerky is past us now, thank heavens. We’ve put together this list of companies that have gluten-free jerky options (including gluten-free, sugar-free jerky) so that you can snack without stress.
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Baja Jerky is one of the only brands on this list to exclusively sell gluten-free jerky, which means you can trust anything they make. They also boast zero-sugar and lower-sodium options, and their products are free from nitrates/nitrites and MSG.
Here’s a list of Baja Jerky options that are gluten-free:
- Salsa Fresca
- Lime & Serrano Pepper
- Sweet Orange
Cross-Contact: Baja Jerky has a stringent gluten cross-contact policy that includes separating the gluten-free ingredients and cleansing and inspecting the facilities daily. Production employees wear gloves, face masks, hairnets, and other protective gear that never comes in contact with gluten-containing products. Baja Jerky does use a plant that processes products with gluten, but those products are processed under the same guidelines to reduce the possibility of cross-contact with gluten. (Source: Baja Jerky; Email from Baja Jerky)
Bricktown Jerky appears to be a brand made by Jerky.com, which offers a diverse line of products and brands.
Here’s a list of gluten-free beef jerky that you can get from Brickton Jerky:
- Soft and Tender Style Beef Jerky – Sweet BBQ
- Soft and Tender Style Beef Jerky – Honey Pepper
- Soft and Tender Style Beef Jerky – Spicy
Cross-Contact: There wasn’t any information on their page about how they avoid gluten cross-contact, so we emailed them. We will update this article if they respond.
EPIC focuses on using thoughtfully sourced meats, such as grass-fed beef and cage-free chicken. Even their salon is wild-caught. Some of EPIC’s products are Non-GMO Project verified, but not all of them are. In addition to offering gluten-free bars, snack strips, and bites, EPIC also has options for people with other dietary restrictions, such as keto, paleo, and Whole 30.
Here’s a list of gluten-free jerky and meat that EPIC offers:
- Beef Liver Bites
- Bison Bacon Chia
- Chicken Sriracha Traditional Jerky
- Traditional Pork Carnitas Jerky
- Salmon Bites
- Spicy Traditional Beef Jerky
- Sweet & Savory Traditional Beef Jerky
- Sweet & Spicy Sriracha Beef Bites
- Venison With Beef
- Wagyu Beef Steak Strip
Cross-Contact: Epic jerky is certified gluten free (there aren’t many fully certified gluten-free jerky brands out there). They state, “All EPIC products are now officially recognized by the Gluten-Free Certification Organization and The Gluten Intolerance Group!”
Additionally, any Epic jerky product that could potentially come into contact with wheat or any of the other top allergens will have a statement on the label stating that. However, to prevent cross-contact with gluten, Epic adheres to a strict allergy management policy that follows the jerky from the raw materials stage all the way to the finished product. (Source: Epic)
Jack Link’s jerky is probably the most commercially accessible brand on this list. You can find their products in just about any convenience store and grocery store.
Here’s a list of Jack Link’s gluten-free jerky and beef bites:
- Zero Sugar Original Beef Jerky
- Blackberry BBQ Beef Strip Bars
- Original Rotisserie Chicken Strip Bar
- Peppered Beef Strips (Note: Their Peppered Beef Jerky is not the same and is not safe.)
- Habenero Beef Strip Bars
- Spicy Chicken Strip Bars
- Extra Tender Peppered Beef Steak Strips
- Extra Tender Original Beef Steak Strips
- Teriyaki Beef Tender Bites
- Original Beef Tender Bites
- Original Beef Prime Rib Tender Cuts
Important Note: Jack’s Links Original Beef Jerky contains wheat in its soy sauce and is not gluten-free. Don’t mistake that for their other Original options, though! Not all of Jack’s “Original” products are unsafe. Use this list to guide you, but always check their ingredients before eating. Fortunately, they have started labeling many of their products as gluten-free to help guide you.
Cross-Contact: Jack Link’s gluten-free jerky products have their ingredients reviewed, follow special production policies and have safeguards in place to prevent gluten cross-contact. Regarding additional allergens, their website says, “We recognize the nine major allergens – eggs, fish, crustacean/shellfish, milk, peanuts, soy, tree nuts, wheat, and sesame – and they will be listed in the ingredient statement found on the package label.” (Source: Jack Link’s)
Jerky.com is known for its gluten-free venison jerky and other all-natural beef jerky products, but many of their products are not safe for people who need to eat GF. Make sure to look at their labels before buying.
Here’s a list of Jerky.com gluten-free jerky options:
- All-Natural Chicken Jerky – Buffalo Wing
- All-Natural Beef Jerky – Cajun Boil
- All-Natural Beef Jerky – Montreal Style
- All-Natural Beef Biltong Jerky – Original
- All-Natural Beef Jerky – Raspberry Jalapeno
- All-Natural Beef Biltong Jerky – Peri Peri
- All-Natural Beef Biltong Jerky – Mesquite BBQ
- All-Natural Beef Biltong Jerky – Cajun
- All-Natural Beef Jerky – Pastrami
- All-Natural Beef Biltong Jerky – Garlic
- All-Natural Beef Biltong Jerky – Barbecue
- All-Natural Beef Biltong Jerky – Honey Sriracha
- All-Natural Beef Biltong Jerky – Sriracha
- All-Natural Beef Biltong Jerky – Teriyaki
- All-Natural Beef Biltong Jerky – Hickory
- Cajun Boil Beef Jerky
- Venison Jerky Strips
- Bison Jerky Strips
- Elk Jerky Strips
Cross-Contact: We reached out to Jerky.com because we couldn’t find any information about allergen cross-contact on their page. We will update this article if we hear back from them.
Krave makes snack food that isn’t junk food. Krave beef jerky comes from 100% grass-fed beef that is free from nitrites. They marinate and slow-cook their meat to create the most tender jerky possible.
Here’s a full list of Krave gluten-free beef jerky:
- Cracked Peppercorn Beef Jerky
- Garlic Chili Pepper Beef Jerky
- Black Cherry Barbecue Pork Jerky
- Grilled Teriyaki Pork Jerky
- Lemon Garlic Jerky
- Sweet Chipotle Beef Jerky
- Chili Lime Beef Jerky
- Sea Salt Original Beef Jerky
- Honey Habanero Jerky
- Korean BBQ Plant-Based Jerky
- Smoked Chipotle Plant-Based Jerky
Cross-Contact: Krave jerky is always gluten-free (yay for so many dedicated gluten-free jerky brands!), but we aren’t sure about their facilities. We sent Krave a request for more information, and we’ll update this article if they get back to us. (Source: Krave)
Lorissa’s jerky is free from gluten and preservatives, and they have no added MSG, nitrates or nitrites (except what is naturally occurring). Their beef is raised without added growth hormones or antibiotics.
Here’s a list of Lorrisa’s Kitchen gluten-free jerky:
- Original Beef Sticks
- Original Mini Beef Sticks Snack Packs
- Jalapeno Mini Beef Sticks Snack Packs
- Original & Jalapeño Stick Variety Pack
- Ginger Teriyaki Chicken Breast Cuts
- Jalapeno Beef Sticks
- Korean Barbecue Beef Steak Strips
Cross-Contact: Lorissa’s doesn’t indicate how they avoid gluten cross-contact in their facilities. However, their protein snacks are all gluten-free and clearly labeled as such. (Source: Lorissa’s Kitchen)
Mountain America Jerky
You may not immediately recognize the name Mountain America Jerky, but you have likely seen their product, especially out West. It’s a brand that is popular for offering exotic cuts of meat, including alligator and kangaroo.
While they offer over 40 jerky options, most of them have gluten. However, there is a small list of Mountain America Jerky that is free from gluten:
- Gluten Free Buffalo Jerky
- Gluten Free Elk Jerky
- Original Salmon Jerky
- Peppered Salmon Jerky
Cross-Contact: Mountain America Jerky offers a handful of gluten-free jerky options. However, the company doesn’t mention anything about how they ensure that these products are safe for gluten-free eaters. We emailed MAJ with our questions and will update this if we ever hear back. (Source: Mountain America Jerky)
Oklahoma Jerky Company
Oklahoma Jerky Company offers old-fashion style beef jerky, which means it’s dryer and tougher to chew (on purpose!). Their products are preservative-free and all-natural.
- Old Fashioned Style Beef Jerky – Hickory
- Old Fashioned Style Beef Jerky – Peppered
- Old Fashioned Style Beef Jerky – Hot
- Old Fashioned Style Beef Jerky – Teriyaki
- Old Fashioned Style Beef Jerky – Garlic
- Old Fashioned Style Beef Jerky – Jalapeno
Cross-Contact: Unfortunately, we couldn’t find any information about how Oklahoma Jerky Company keeps their consumers safe from allergen cross-contact. We reached out to them with our questions and will update this if they answer us.
Oberto is a specialty meat company established in Seattle. They are big on quality, flavor, and heritage. Like many of the other brands on this list, it is important to Oberto to make sure their products have no artificial ingredients and no nitrates.
Here’s Oberto’s list of gluten-free jerky options:
- Original Beef Jerky
- Peppered Beef Jerky
- Applewood Smoked Bacon Jerky
- Smoky BBQ
- Butcher’s Cut Uncured Bacon Jerky
- Texas Style BBQ Pulled Pork Jerky
- Spicy Sweet Beef Jerky
- Original Steak Strips
- Classic Recipe Turkey Tenders
Cross-Contact: All Oberto jerky is gluten free, except for the two teriyaki flavors. We were curious if they produce their gluten-free jerky separately from their gluten-containing options, so we contacted Oberto to find out more. We’ll let you know if they respond. (Source: Oberto)
People’s Choice Beef Jerky
People’s Choice Beef Jerky offers handcrafted products with “no junk, no fillers.” They have options for people on various diets, including people who need to avoid gluten, carbs, sugar, nitrates, and soy.
Here’s a list of gluten-free beef sticks and beef jerky offered by People’s Choice:
- Carne Seca – Limon Con Chile Beef Jerky
- Carne Seca – Hatch Green Chile Beef Jerky
- Carne Seca – Machaca – Jerky Chew
- Old Fashioned Original Beef Jerky
- Old Fashioned Hot & Spicy Beef Jerky
- Tasting Kitchen – Nashville Hot Beef Jerky
- Tasting Kitchen – Maple Brown Sugar Beef Jerky
- Test Kitchen – Dill Pickle Beef Jerky
- Mini Sticks – Sea Salt & Pepper Beef Sticks
- Mini Sticks – Flamin’ Hot Beef Sticks
Cross-Contact: We had questions about how People’s Choice accounts for cross-contact with gluten in their factories, so we contacted them. PC said that they follow strict food safety standards, which are comprised of a long checklist of cleaning and sanitizing duties that prevents gluten cross-contact in their products. (Source: People’s Choice)
Tillamook Country Smoker
Is Tillamook jerky gluten free? Yes! They make beef jerky and meat sticks for gluten-free and sugar-free diets.
Here’s a list of Tillamook Country Smoker gluten-free beef jerky:
- Zero Sugar Beef Jerky Original
- Zero Sugar Beef Jerky Black Pepper
- Zero Sugar Beef Teriyaki
- Simply Crafted Beef Jerky Old Fashioned
- Simply Crafted Beef Jerky Teriyaki
- Simply Crafted Beef Jerky Sea Salt & Cracked Pepper
- Simply Crafted Beef Jerky Honey Glazed
- Simply Crafted Beef Jerky Spicy & Sweet
Cross-Contact: All Tillamook jerky is gluten free, and it’s nice to see that they offer multiple gluten-free, sugar-free beef jerky options. However, the company doesn’t share their gluten cross-contact policy. We’ll update this article if they answer the questions we contacted them with.
What To Watch for When Shopping for Gluten-Free Jerky
Jerky is one of those products that people (especially those who don’t practice a gluten-free diet) might assume is always gluten free, but that’s not the case, unfortunately. Here’s what to watch out for.
I’d confidently say that 95% of the time (or more) soy sauce is the reason why a jerky brand is not gluten free. With the prevalence of tamari and other gluten-free soy sauces, you’d think that more jerky brands would make the switch, but I understand that traditional soy sauce is cheaper. (The almighty dollar still reigns supreme!) It makes me grateful for beef jerky companies that choose to use gluten-free soy sauce in all their products. We appreciate you!
Teriyaki beef jerky is a flavor that is made with soy sauce, so definitely put your peepers on the ingredients list the next time you pick up a bag of teriyaki beef jerky. Soy sauce is made from wheat, so wheat will always show up in the allergens list if traditional soy sauce is used.
Remember, however, that searching the allergen list for wheat is not a fail-safe if you’re trying to avoid gluten. Only the top allergens will show up in that list, which doesn’t include rye, barley, or triticale. Always check the full ingredients list to stay informed.
Also note that many flavors you don’t even expect to contain soy sauce do. For example, Baja Jerky’s Churro Beef Jerky has cinnamon, sugar and tamari in the ingredients. Never make assumptions when it comes to gluten-free eating!
When a jerky brand discloses that its products are manufactured in a facility that processes wheat, be alert. Does that mean the products aren’t going to be safe? No! Just be aware that you may have a gluten reaction if you’re very sensitive. In those cases, you’re better off sticking with certified gluten-free jerky brands (which also might be manufactured in a shared facility, by the way). The certification requires testing of the product to ensure that it contains 10 ppm of gluten or less.
Choose Gluten-Free Jerky Brands With Confidence
Gluten-free beef jerky is a delicious snack that people with wheat allergies, celiac disease and non-celiac gluten sensitivity can enjoy. It’s nice to know that we do have a lot of options and no longer have to waste time searching for products that are safe.
Do you have a favorite gluten-free jerky brand? Share with us in the comments!
Go get your grub on!