How Many Pieces of Beef Jerky is an Ounce? The Complete Breakdown

Beef jerky is one of my favorite high-protein snacks It’s portable, tasty, and packed with protein – perfect for an on-the-go pick-me-up But as a beef jerky enthusiast, I’ve often wondered exactly how many pieces make up an ounce.

With so many brands and cuts available, it can be tricky to pin down an exact number. So I decided to do some investigating and find a definitive answer to this beefy question

In this article, we’ll break down everything you need to know about serving sizes, weights, and portions when it comes to America’s favorite protein snack Let’s beef up our jerky knowledge!

What is Considered a Serving of Beef Jerky?

To understand how many pieces are in an ounce of beef jerky, we first need to know the standard serving size.

According to the USDA, the recommended serving size for beef jerky is 1 ounce or 28 grams. This is regardless of the brand or type of jerky.

On most nutrition labels, you’ll see the serving size listed as “About 1 ounce” or “Around 28g”. This gives a bit of wiggle room for natural variations in the weight and size of each piece.

So the USDA standard gives us a baseline: 1 ounce or 28 grams is considered one serving of beef jerky.

How Many Pieces are in 1 Ounce of Beef Jerky?

Now that we know the serving size, we can look at approximately how many pieces make up an ounce.

This can vary slightly depending on a few factors:

  • Cut of beef used: Jerky made from flank steak tends to have bigger pieces than jerky from round or sirloin cuts.

  • Slice thickness: Thinner slices mean more pieces per ounce. Thicker slices mean fewer pieces in an ounce.

  • Brand: Different brands may have slightly different slice sizes and dimensions.

However, most beef jerky varies within a similar range. Here’s a general breakdown:

  • 1 ounce of very thinly sliced beef jerky contains around 8-12 small pieces

  • 1 ounce of standard sliced jerky contains 5-7 medium sized pieces

  • 1 ounce of thick sliced jerky contains 3-5 large pieces

So if you took the average, most 1 ounce servings contain about 6-8 pieces of jerky. Obviously, the thinner the slices, the more pieces per ounce you’ll get.

Comparing Popular Beef Jerky Brands

To give a more concrete idea, I compared some popular brands of beef jerky and counted out how many pieces were in an ounce. Here were my findings:

  • Jack Link’s Original: 7 medium sized pieces

  • Krave Sweet Chipotle: 8 small, thin pieces

  • Duke’s Original Smoked Shorty Sausages: 5 large sausage sticks

  • Oberto Original: 6 medium strips

  • Slim Jim Original Stick: 1 extra large stick

So you can see there’s some variation between brands, but the range is usually 5-8 pieces per ounce. Slim Jim is an outlier with just one big stick per serving.

I’d recommend taking a few brands you eat and counting out an ounce to see the average pieces per serving. This can help you visualize proper portions.

What Does 1 Ounce of Beef Jerky Look Like?

If you don’t have a scale on hand, you can also estimate an ounce of beef jerky using some common household objects for comparison:

  • A 3 ounce piece is about the size of a standard deck of cards

  • 1 ounce is about 1/3 the size of a deck of cards

  • An ounce is also close to the size of 3 standard dice stacked together

  • Another visual is a bar of soap – 1 ounce would be around 1/4th of a typical bath soap bar

So while it varies based on the slices, an ounce is roughly the size of 3 dice, or a quarter of a deck of cards. Keep these visuals in mind when portioning out servings.

Typical Nutrition Facts for 1 Ounce of Jerky

Now that we know approximate piece counts, let’s look at the nutrition facts for a typical 1 ounce serving of beef jerky:

  • Calories: Around 80-100 calories

  • Protein: 7-15g

  • Fat: Usually 2g or less

  • Carbs: Around 1-5g

  • Sodium: 500-800mg

Keep in mind that nutrition varies by brand and flavor. Teriyaki jerky often has more sugar, for example. But most brands stick within these nutrition ranges for a standard serving size.

Serving Sizes for Jerky Packages and Bags

When you buy beef jerky, the total package size and number of servings can impact the pieces per ounce as well. Here are some common package sizes:

  • 1 ounce bag: Contains 1 serving

  • 2 ounce bag: Contains about 2 servings

  • 3-4 ounce bag: Contains 3-4 servings

  • 8 ounce bag: Contains around 6-8 servings

  • 16 ounce bag: Contains 12-16 servings

Larger bags usually contain multiple individual 1 ounce packets. Pay attention to the total ounces or gram weight on the packaging to determine total servings.

I like getting larger bags since they generally offer the best value. But I portion out servings into snack bags at home to make it easier to control portions.

Tips for Portioning Beef Jerky

When eating jerky, proper portion control is important for both health and your wallet. Here are some of my tips:

  • Read the nutrition label carefully and measure servings using a scale when possible.

  • Count out pieces – around 5-8 pieces per ounce is a good goal.

  • Portion into snack bags so you aren’t tempted to overeat from a big package.

  • Estimate serving sizes using hand measurements or household objects.

  • Stick to just one serving for a protein-packed snack, not the whole bag!

  • Drink water with jerky to help you feel full and avoid overeating.

  • Choose low-sodium options to limit your sodium intake.

Following basic portion guidelines will ensure you get the protein benefits without going overboard on calories or sodium.

Choosing Healthy Beef Jerky Brands

To make the most of jerky’s nutrition, I also recommend choosing brands made with quality ingredients. Here are some things I look for:

  • Lean cuts of meat like flank, round, or sirloin. These are lower in fat.

  • Minimal added sugars. Teriyaki and sweet flavors often have extra sugars.

  • Low or no preservatives. Look for all-natural options without artificial ingredients.

  • Grass-fed or organic meat when possible for higher quality.

  • Minimal processing. Some brands over-process jerky, destroying nutrients.

Stick to simple ingredients and you’ll get the most nutritional bang for your buck from jerky. Brands like Krave, Duke’s, and Perky Jerky are good mass market options.

Making Your Own Healthy Beef Jerky

For the highest quality ingredients, I love to DIY beef jerky at home. It takes some time but isn’t too hard with a good dehydrator or oven setup.

Making it yourself allows you to control the cut of meat, spices, sweeteners, and sodium levels. Plus you can use very lean cuts for a healthier snack.

I recommend top round, eye of round, or flank steak for DIY jerky. Trim off any visible fat before slicing the meat thinly and marinating.

Look up some recipes online and get creative with your own flavors and ingredients! Homemade jerky also makes a great gift for family and friends.

The Takeaway: Enjoy Beef Jerky in Moderation

Beef jerky can be a tasty and protein-packed snack, but it’s important not to overdo your portions. While serving sizes vary slightly by brand and cut, an ounce of jerky generally contains 5-8 pieces.

Keep an eye on serving sizes, control portions, and choose high quality products. Pair your jerky with fruits and veggies for a balanced snack.

Most importantly, enjoy your jerky! Just be sure to listen to your body, eat mindfully, and incorporating jerky as part of an overall healthy diet. With some mindfulness, beef jerky can be part of a tasty, protein-fueled lifestyle.

How It’s Made : Beef Jerky


How many Oz is a piece of jerky?

Generally, a serving of beef jerky is 1 oz. or 28 grams.

How many pieces of jerky is a serving?

On average, a serving size of beef jerky is about one ounce (28 grams). For plain, traditional beef jerky without any added sugars or flavorings, you’re typically looking at around 80 to 100 calories per serving.

How much does one piece of jerky weigh?

Individual pieces range from approximately 1 to 2 ounces each.

How much jerky should you eat?

The American Cancer Society recommends limiting your intake of red and processed meats like beef jerky. That’s because the World Health Organization has concluded that eating 50 grams of processed meat every day (about 2 to 3 large pieces of jerky) increases your risk for colon cancer by 18%.

How much jerky is 1 oz?

Good, so if you divide the jerky into 4 equal portions each one should be about 1 oz. 4 cbrooks66Posts: 65Member January 2009 1 oz = 1/8c or 2 tbsp. Not a lot to play with, but its not suppose to be a meal 3 specklePosts: 40Member January 2009 1 oz = 1/8c or 2 tbsp. Not a lot to play with, but its not suppose to be a meal

How much jerky is in a pound of beef?

In other words, there’s an approximate 2:1 to 3:1 ratio of raw beef to finished jerky. One pound of beef will net you between ⅓ and ½ of a pound of jerky, and five pounds of beef will make 1.75 to 2.5 pounds of jerky. Beef shrinks so much during dehydration because it’s about 60% water by weight, with leaner cuts being as much as 75% water.

How much jerky should I buy?

Purchase the correct amount of meat. After drying, jerky will lose about 2/3 of its weight. If you buy 3lbs, you will end up with a little over 1lb of dried jerky. Ask the butcher to slice the meat for you – Many butchers will slice the meat to your specified thickness at no cost.

How many calories are in a serving of beef jerky?

However, other environmental and genetic factors are also likely to be at play. Because of this, most experts recommend limiting eating processed foods like beef jerky, hot dogs, and lunch meats. A standard serving size of beef jerky may be 1 ounce (28 grams). This is about 100 calories per serving.

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