Delicious and protein rich, ready-to-eat meat snacks are one of the best gluten-free snacks to buy. But it can also be intimidating because of the infinite amount of choices in the marketplace. What types of jerky are gluten-free? And what kind of jerky is available for people who don’t eat red meat? With some careful research, gluten-free meat snacks are one of the best choices for gluten-free eating.
The most commonly available meat snack, classic beef jerky is a great option for anyone seeking gluten-free snacks. A huge benefit of beef jerky is the availability — it can be found everywhere from gas stations to supermarkets. Other great factors of beef jerky include the variety of flavors and its high protein content (9.4 grams per ounce), perfect for people looking for a tasty snack that’s also highly nutritious.
A style of South African dried meat, biltong is a delightful switch up to American style jerky. Although beef is the most common meat for biltong, red meat like buffalo is also popular. At first glance, biltong looks similar to beef jerky. However, the flavor and texture are very different. The meat for biltong is marinated in vinegar before being air dried and has a softer texture compared to standard beef jerky.
Besides beef, pork can also be made into a delicious gluten-free jerky. Because pork blends with different flavors, pork jerky can be uniquely flavored, ranging from sweet barbecue sauce to smoky peppers. An important fact to remember about keeping pork jerky gluten-free is to pay attention to the seasoning. For example, if the pork jerky is seasoned with soy sauce, be sure that it's its tamari, a gluten-free type of soy sauce.
For great pork jerky, try Tony Roma’s BBQ Pork Bites, which comes in flavors like Carolina Honeys, a perfect marriage of sweet and spicy. As a bonus, Tony Roma’s pork jerky is also smoked, bringing that patented Southern style barbecue flavor to jerky.
Red meat isn’t the only suitable animal protein for jerky — poultry can be a delicious alternative. Chicken, the most popular poultry, is awesome as a gluten-free snack. Since chicken is naturally lighter in taste, chicken jerky will have a cleaner flavor and be easier to digest. It’s also a blank canvas for flavors, including exciting combinations like Tony Roma’s Buffalo Chicken Jerky Bites. Because chicken has a mild flavor, any spices and seasonings will be heightened.
Besides chicken, turkey is another poultry option for jerky, possessing all the health benefits and protein of chicken. A key difference is the size — one turkey breast will produce a lot more jerky than a chicken breast. And don’t sleep on its taste, gluten-free turkey jerky is incredibly flavorsome. Turkey blends seamlessly with chilies, spices and smoke. This combination is demonstrated perfectly in Tony Roma’s Golden Serrano BBQ Turkey Bites. It’s also extremely nutritious — each serving contains 7g of protein, 15mg of calcium, and 160mg of potassium.
It might be surprising, but fish is a great alternative for meat jerky. For individuals who don’t eat meat, salmon rich with omega 3 fatty acids is a healthy and tasty jerky option. The flavors of salmon are just as enticing as any meat jerky, ranging from smoky cedar to sweet and spicy sriracha. Although salmon is naturally gluten-free, it’s important to pay attention to the seasonings to avoid any unnecessary gluten.
Like salmon, tuna is a meaty fish that can also be made into jerky. Tuna meat is large, free of small bones and firm, all great aspects for jerky. And like salmon, tuna tastes spectacular when smoked. Although a big challenge is that tuna jerky is one of the more niche gluten-free snacks online. But a bit of careful research and one can find a suitable brand to fit both dietary and taste needs.
An unconventional type of jerky, squid jerky can be found in most Asian supermarkets. Squid jerky will be available either in shreds (resembling pulled pork) or whole with a pleasantly chewy texture. For gluten-free concerns, pay careful attention to the seasonings. Squid jerky seasoned simply with salt will be your best bet.
Besides jerky, there are many other types of gluten-free meat snacks available. For instance, sausage sticks are a great beef jerky alternative. It's softer in texture than jerky while still packing all the meaty flavor. As a bonus, it’s also frequently cheaper than jerky. A great part about sausage sticks is the variety of flavors, ranging from pepperoni to Mexican chorizo. Meat lovers will be hard-pressed to not find a sausage stick that fits their tastes.
Crunchy and salty, pork rinds are a great gluten-free snack. Made from pork skin and fat, pork rinds are the gluten-free answer to chips. They are very addicting and are a great gluten-free snack replacement for pretzels or chips when crunch is desired. Pork rinds come in a variety of tasty flavors and can be found everywhere. Although some brands can be relatively high in sodium, there’s a huge variety of pork rind flavors. Simply choose the best one for your dietary needs.
Is Tony Roma’s Jerky gluten-free?
The answer is yes! Tony Roma’s has taken care to curate the tastiest, healthiest and most unique jerky experience. All of Tony Roma’s jerky bites are brushed with their famous barbecue sauce before being smoked, giving each bite that one-of-a-kind Southern barbecue flair. They also come individually wrapped for easy eating. For a distinctive hot jerky eating experience, pop one in the microwave for a quick taste of a summer cookout. To sample them for yourself, try the Tony Roma's BBQ Jerky Bites 2.5 oz (Mix Sampler) for a taste of all the flavors.