How Many Pieces of Beef Jerky is One Serving? A Snacker’s Guide to Portion Control

Beef jerky is one of the world’s greatest snacks. Its perfect balance of savory and sweet flavors satisfies cravings and delivers a hearty dose of protein to keep you going. However with its addictive taste and conveniently lightweight, snack-size packaging it can be easy to get carried away when noshing on jerky. So an important question for any beef jerky enthusiast is “how many pieces of beef jerky is one serving?”

As a dedicated jerky lover myself, I totally get the temptation to reach for “just one more piece” from the bag. But for better health and portion control, it’s good to keep an eye on suggested serving sizes. In this article, I’ll break down how many pieces of beef jerky generally make up a single serving. I’ll also look at how you can practice mindful snacking, so you can keep enjoying this tasty and protein-packed snack.

Serving Sizes Vary Between Brands

There’s no universal rule across all beef jerky products for how many pieces make a serving. Looking at popular brands you’ll find a range of answers

  • Jack Link’s defines a serving of their Original Beef Jerky as 1 oz or about 5 pieces.

  • For Krave Jerky, they consider 2 pieces as a single serving size.

  • Old Trapper Beef Jerky uses 28 grams or 1 oz as their serving size, which works out to around 3-4 medium strips.

So as you can see, serving sizes aren’t standardized across the board even though the general weight of a serving (about 1 ounce) stays relatively consistent. Whenever trying a new brand, check the nutrition label to see their exact serving definition.

Serving Size Depends on the Cut

Another factor in determining serving size is the style of jerky you choose. The number of pieces that make up an ounce can vary quite a bit between different cuts:

  • For whole muscle jerky cut from steak, a serving may only be 1-2 pieces since these strips tend to be larger and weigh more.

  • With sliced or chopped jerky made from ground beef, you’ll get a lot more, smaller pieces per ounce. A serving size could be around 4-6 pieces.

  • For something like jerky sticks or nuggets, 1-3 pieces is generally considered a single serving.

So opting for whole muscle cuts over ground options will normally mean fewer total pieces per serving, though the calorie and protein content should be roughly the same by weight.

Read the Nutrition Facts for Your Specific Product

Because serving sizes differ so much across brands and cuts, your best move is to always check the nutrition label of the exact beef jerky package you’re eating. There you’ll find the serving size clearly listed in both grams and typical number of pieces.

For instance, if I’m eating Old Trapper peppered jerky, I’ll see a serving is 28 grams, equal to around 3-4 pieces. This takes all the guesswork out and lets me easily portion out servings as I snack directly from the bag.

Mindful Snacking Tips

Armed with the serving size knowledge from the nutrition facts, you can be more mindful about your jerky consumption. Here are some tips to keep your snacking under control:

  • Portion out servings – Instead of eating from the bag, pre-portion your jerky into snack-size bags or bowls based on the serving info.

  • Slow down – Avoid mindlessly grabbing piece after piece. Put the bag away between servings and take a short break before getting another.

  • Drink water – Staying hydrated and sipping water between servings can help you refrain from oversnacking.

  • Track servings – Make a tally mark on the bag each time you eat a serving so you stay aware of how much you’ve consumed.

  • Watch calories – Be extra conscious of serving sizes if also eating high calorie foods or drinking sugary beverages with your jerky.

The Serving Size Isn’t a Limit

Now I don’t want to discourage beef jerky enthusiasm here! Remember, the listed serving on the package is not a hard limit or nutritional directive. It’s perfectly fine to eat more pieces in a sitting if that amount leaves you satisfied. Serving sizes are just a baseline reference for planning out a healthy diet.

So take the time to see how many pieces of jerky make a serving in your favorite brand. But don’t stress about sticking to that exact amount every time if more feels right for your appetite. Just be conscious of portions, listen to your body’s hunger cues, and keep an eye on your overall consumption as part of a balanced diet.

With a little bit of awareness and planning, you can keep enjoying the smoky satisfaction of beef jerky without going overboard. Because at the end of the day, jerky is an incredibly tasty snack we all want to make sure we can keep savoring for years to come!

Day in the life at a beef jerky factory


How many pieces of beef jerky is a serving?

Generally, a serving of beef jerky is 1 oz. or 28 grams. That means my 1/4 Lb. Big Bag contains four servings of beef jerky.

How much beef jerky should I eat a day?

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 many calories are in 2 pieces of jerky?

There are 164 calories in 2 pieces of large Beef Jerky. * The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a serving of food contributes to a daily diet.

Is jerky a junk food?

In short, though beef jerky is a healthy snack, its best consumed in moderation. Most of your diet should come from whole, unprocessed foods. Though beef jerky is healthy, avoid eating too much of it, as it’s high in sodium and may come with the same health risks that are linked to eating processed meats.

How much beef jerky is in a serving?

So when you ask, “how much beef jerky is in a serving,” you can simply consult the box to find out. Generally, a serving of beef jerky is 1 oz. or 28 grams. That means my 1/4 Lb. Big Bag contains four servings of beef jerky. Using the transitive property (I think), one can also deduce that my 10 oz. bags contain 10 servings.

Can you consider beef jerky a healthy snack?

No, as this is high in salt and other preservatives to main both its structure, taste and longevity. As a processed meat, beef jerky is also higher in saturated fat. All the salt, preservatives and saturated fat can be harmful to primarily your heart health. It is best to swap this out for some chicken breasts that have been cubed or homemade turkey balls.

How many servings of beef jerky are in a big bag?

Generally, a serving of beef jerky is 1 oz. or 28 grams. That means my 1/4 Lb. Big Bag contains four servings of beef jerky. Using the transitive property (I think), one can also deduce that my 10 oz. bags contain 10 servings. Different products have different serving sizes.

How many people eat beef jerky?

As reported by the Simmons National Consumer Survey (NHCS) and the U.S. Census, approximately 50.0% of the U.S. population, which is nearly 160 million people, eat meat snacks and beef jerky regularly In U.S., jerky is one of the most popular meat appetizers.

Leave a Comment