You know the dilemma: You walk into a gas station and suddenly, you’re eye-fucking the beef jerky next to the sour gummy worms. Unfortunately, that $6.99 price tag for a 3 oz bag isn’t something you’re going to take lightly. 70 percent of the time, you end up walking away, grumbling and wondering why they charge so much for a tiny bag of dried up, mouth-watering meat.
Jerky requires very lean cuts of meat (which is more expensive than pork or chicken), as fat causes the jerky to spoil faster. For example, a 30 g (approx. 1 oz) portion of meat contains 7 g of protein. When the meat is dehydrated, 15 g of water gets removed from the meat and the protein ratio doubles to 14 g of protein for every 30 g portion. This means that you can get a 1 lb slab of steak reduced to a few ounces. This high protein-per-serving ration, plus the labor, time, and (mostly) quality ingredients it takes to make a single bag of jerky leads to the high cost you see at the store.
Solution: Make your own beef jerky at home and experiment with spices tailored to your personal taste. That, or wait until it gets marked down at CVS.