The beef jerky market is booming. With food trends like Whole 30 and keto driving people to protein-dense snacks, this is the golden age of dry, chewy beef, says Alex Pope, owner of Local Pig (20 E. Fifth St., Kansas City, Mo. 816-200-1639, thelocalpig.com).
Pope discovered this when his shop, which recently relocated to the River Market, made a one-off batch of jerky that “sold out instantly.”
Those customers were the first to experience the best beef jerky we’ve ever had — paper-thin slices of tender, tearable flesh that offer layered flavors of beef and smoke with incomparable richness. It’s everything great about barbecue brisket condensed into a little $5 cup you can carry around the market.
Local Pig buys whole animals and turns them into steaks, roasts and charcuterie. The meat from the hind legs of a cow is one of the tougher parts to use — but it makes great jerky.
Local Pig’s jerky, added this spring, is made by carefully trimming the meat then putting it through a rigorous process that involves freezing, half-thawing, drying, a multi-day marinade and, finally, smoking in an extended low-temperature hot smoke until it’s packed with flavor.