National Jerky Day on June 12th each year celebrates the rich history, immense popularity, and nutritional benefits of dried meat snacks.

This nutrient-dense meat is made lightweight by drying. A pound of meat or poultry will weigh only about four ounces after transforming it into jerky. Properly prepared jerky can be stored for months without refrigeration because the drying process removes most of the moisture. Salt added to the meat before the drying process begins helps to prevent bacteria from developing. 

The word “jerky” is derived from the Spanish word charqui, which came from the Quechua (a Native South American language) word ch’arki, which means to burn (meat).   

Convenience stores, gas stations, supermarkets and variety shops all across the United States offer traditional jerky in individual servings and in larger packages, too. They also offer it in a variety of flavors and add spices for additional heat. 

While on road trips, camping, or even long-distance flights, jerky staves off hunger until the next meal. It’s easy to pack, too. So easy, in fact, that due to its lightweight and high level of nutrition, it’s even been to space. Since 1996, astronauts have selected jerky as space food several times for space flights. 

HOW TO OBSERVE #NationalJerkyDay

Snack on your favorite jerky. If you make your own, give a shout-out. The process is satisfying and the results often bring friends and family clamoring for more. Jerky can serve as more than a snack food. Use it as an ingredient in your cooking, especially when your camping or exploring the great outdoors. Experiment with sauces, soups, and stews using jerky. We have one recipe for you to try, too. 

Homemade Tomato Sauce With Jerky

Share your favorite jerky using #NationalJerkyDay to post on social media.

Are you looking for #NationalJerkyDay deals? We’ve got ’em! Check out our Celebration Deals page. If your business is celebrating the day with an offer, send us a message through our Contact Us link, and we’ll get it added.


Jack Link’s Beef Jerky and the Wisconsin Beef Council founded National Jerky Day in 2012. Check out these other easy road trip snack days:

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