Who Makes Buc-ee’s Famous Beef Jerky?

As a road tripper and jerky enthusiast, I’m a huge fan of Buc-ee’s, the larger-than-life Texas convenience store chain. When I pass one of those giant beaver signs on the highway, I know it’s time to pull over and stock up on snacks for the road ahead. And one snack I always grab is Buc-ee’s incredible jerky.

With so many delicious flavors to choose from Buc-ee’s beef jerky has earned a cult following. Fans can’t get enough of it. But even though the jerky comes in Buc-ee’s branded bags, the stores aren’t actually making all that jerky themselves. So who is behind Buc-ee’s famous jerky? I decided to investigate.

A Quick Buc-ee’s History Lesson

Let’s start with a quick primer on Buc-ee’s for the uninitiated. Founded in 1982, Buc-ee’s is a Texas-based gas station and convenience store chain But calling it just a gas station doesn’t do it justice Buc-ee’s locations are absolutely massive, upwards of 60,000 square feet. They’re like the Walmart of gas stations.

Beyond tons of gas pumps, Buc-ee’s is known for its pristine bathrooms, wide array of food like brisket sandwiches and fudge, and general Texas kitsch. It’s a beloved stopping point for road trippers. Buc-ee’s has also expanded in recent years into other southern states.

Buc-ee’s Jerky Is Famous For Its Quality and Variety

Now onto the jerky. Buc-ee’s offers around 20 varieties of jerky, ranging from classic flavors like Original and Teriyaki to more unique options like Ghost Pepper and Orange Honey Glaze. The jerky comes in different textures too – the regular thin-cut jerky as well as thicker, chunkier jerky labeled Hill Country Brand.

What makes Buc-ee’s jerky so special is how high-quality it is compared to typical gas station jerky. It uses quality ingredients and real wood smoke flavoring. The jerky has gained a following for its tasty flavors and tender, marginally chewy texture. Fans stock up on it by the bagful.

But Buc-ee’s Doesn’t Actually Make All of Its Jerky

Here’s the surprising truth – while Buc-ee’s jerky is sold under the Buc-ee’s brand name, not all of it is made directly by Buc-ee’s. The convenience chain outsources some of its jerky production to other manufacturers.

This came to light in 2018 when 700 pounds of Buc-ee’s Teriyaki Beef Jerky was recalled due to possible metal contamination. The recall notice revealed the jerky came from a Texas company called Junior’s Smokehouse Processing Plant.

So it turns out Buc-ee’s sources at least some of its jerky from third-party producers like Junior’s Smokehouse. This isn’t unusual – many restaurants and food brands outsource production. Buc-ee’s has never hidden this fact.

Buc-ee’s Only Makes Jerky In-House at Some Locations

According to reports, only some Buc-ee’s locations actually make jerky on-site. Many source it from other producers. But a few of the larger flagship Buc-ee’s stores have their own smokehouses to make jerky in-house.

For example, the Buc-ee’s in New Braunfels, TX has a smokehouse where they smoke brisket, sausage, turkey, and jerky. So if you visit one of the massive Buc-ee’s with an on-site smokehouse, you can get house-made jerky.

Quality Standards Still Apply to Outsourced Jerky

Even though Buc-ee’s doesn’t produce all its own jerky, the company still maintains high standards when outsourcing to suppliers. All jerky sold under the Buc-ee’s name and branding must meet the company’s specifications.

Suppliers have to follow Buc-ee’s recipes and use approved ingredients and curing processes that align with Buc-ee’s standards. According to Buc-ee’s Support, they conduct extensive research to find suppliers who can maintain exceptional product quality.

This rigorous vetting of outside suppliers helps ensure the jerky you buy in a Buc-ee’s bag matches the taste and texture the brand is famous for, regardless of who produced it.

Texas Company Junior’s Makes Much of Buc-ee’s Jerky

So who exactly makes the outsourced Buc-ee’s jerky? The company has never publicly disclosed all their jerky producers. But Texas Monthly reported that much of Buc-ee’s jerky, as much as 80% by some estimates, comes from a company called Junior’s Smokehouse.

Based in Pendleton, TX, Junior’s Smokehouse is a family-owned meat processing and distribution company. They’ve produced jerky and smoked meats since 1969. Beyond Buc-ee’s, Junior’s manufactures jerky for various other brands and retailers.

Junior’s history and expertise with jerky makes them well-suited to be one of Buc-ee’s primary jerky suppliers. The company can deliver the quantity and quality Buc-ee’s demands.

Other Texas Companies Supply Jerky Too

Besides Junior’s Smokehouse, a few other Texas meat companies are reported to supply jerky to Buc-ee’s.

Milligan’s Smokehouse out of East Texas claims to be one of Buc-ee’s jerky producers. Daily Harvest is another Texas meat producer that has reportedly made Buc-ee’s jerky varieties like the Ghost Pepper flavor.

Smaller family-run smokehouses across Texas seem to be Buc-ee’s preferred partners for outsourcing jerky. They have the experience and regional authenticity Buc-ee’s wants.

Buc-ee’s Also Sells Branded Jerky From Other Brands

In addition to Buc-ee’s house brand jerky, the stores also sell pre-packaged jerky under other brand names:

  • Oberto – A well-known national jerky company whose products are sold at many retailers. Buc-ee’s sells several of their jerky varieties.

  • Krave – This gourmet jerky brand from California offers flavors like Chili Lime. You can find their jerky bags at Buc-ee’s.

  • Duke’s – A Texas-based meat company that produces smoked sausages, bacon, and jerky. Buc-ee’s carries a selection of their jerky products.

So if you want a wider jerky selection, look beyond just the Buc-ee’s branded bags. You can find some other excellent jerky brands at Buc-ee’s stores as well.

Buc-ee’s Jerky Makers Must Follow Strict Recipes

To ensure consistency across suppliers, every company making jerky for Buc-ee’s must strictly follow Buc-ee’s own jerky recipes. They can’t deviate from the prescribed ingredients, seasonings, smoking process, and other protocols.

Buc-ee’s provides each jerky producer with detailed instructions to replicate their signature flavors and textures precisely. All suppliers use the same seasonings sourced by Buc-ee’s to guarantee uniformity.

This level of control means that whether Buc-ee’s or Junior’s or another company makes a particular jerky flavor, it will always taste the same to customers. The jerky recipe standards enable a consistent experience.

You Can Find Some Recipe Details Online

While Buc-ee’s doesn’t publicly share its proprietary jerky recipes, some supplier websites provide limited details about which ingredients they use in certain Buc-ee’s flavors:

  • The Bohemian Garlic recipe contains soy sauce, brown sugar, and fresh garlic.

  • Ghost Pepper jerky is made with a blend of habanero and ghost peppers.

  • Teriyaki jerky features traditional Asian teriyaki flavors like ginger, garlic, and mirin wine.

So you can find snippets about seasoning blends for some varieties online. But full recipes remain classified to protect Buc-ee’s trademark flavors.

Buc-ee’s Carefully Vets Any New Jerky Supplier

With jerky being one of its most famous offerings, Buc-ee’s doesn’t take choosing suppliers lightly. Any producer wanting to make jerky for Buc-ee’s must go through an extensive review and trial process.

Potential suppliers first have to submit an application showing they meet Buc-ee’s criteria for scale, capabilities, and quality certifications. Approved applicants are sent sample recipes to test and replicate.

Buc-ee’s then thoroughly evaluates the samples against benchmarks for ingredients, texture, smoke flavor, moisture content, and other metrics. Only suppliers consistently meeting Buc-ee’s stringent quality standards earn business.

This rigorous onboarding process minimizes any risk of new suppliers compromising the jerky’s taste or reputation. It ensures only those who can match Buc-ee’s standards join their supply chain.

Pre-Packaged vs. Jerky Counter Jerky

There’s one more jerky production distinction at Buc-ee’s. Not all in-store jerky is pre-packaged – you can also get custom jerky bundles from the jerky counter.

Pre-packaged jerky bags are made by suppliers. But jerky counter staff slice, weigh, and package the jerky themselves. Some Buc-ee’s locations with on-site smokehouses may produce their own jerky counter offerings.

So for the freshest jerky experience, go to the counter. But rest assured even the pre-packed jerky comes from approved sources adhering to Buc-ee’s recipes and methods.

Buc-ee’s Stands By Its Jerky Quality

Wherever Buc-ee’s jerky originates from, the company seems confident in the product’s quality. On the Buc-ee’s website, they boldly declare:

“We believe we make the best jerky you’ll find anywhere. Tender and moist, and hand-cut in our own kitchens.”

The “hand-cut in our own kitchens” part may only apply to some locations, but the satisfaction with their jerky is clear. By managing suppliers closely, Buc-ee’s ensures its jerky reputation inspires cravings across state lines.

So next road trip when I see that Buc-ee’s beaver sign, I know I’m in for some darn good jerky. And now I have a better idea of who’s behind the delicious jerky I’ve come to love. Buc-ee’s may not make it all, but they do make sure it’s made right.

Irish People Try Buc-ee’s Beef Jerky


Where does Buc EE’s beef jerky come from?

Buc-ee’s jerky originates from New Braunfels Smokehouse.

Does bucees make their own snacks?

Crunchy Snacks My other favorite is the potato chips, made fresh in-house. There’s nothing quite like freshly made potato chips and, since they are way better than anything you can buy in a bag off the shelf, I always bring some home with me.

Does bucees make their own products?

The company has produced many of its own original snack foods, the most notable of which is “Beaver Nuggets” (flavored corn puff snacks), the company’s best-selling product.

What are the ingredients in Buc EE’s beef jerky?

BEEF, WATER. SALT, GARLIC POWDER,MONOSODIUM GLUTAMATE, SPICES, SUGAR, SOY SAUCE POWDER (WHEAT, SOYBEANS, SALT, MALTODEXTRIN), YELLOW MUSTARD SEED, SODIUM NITRATE, SOYBEAN OIL. Find out how your wellness data and product content can elevate the customer experience and convert more shoppers!

Where is Buc-EE’s jerky made?

A precautionary recall of one type of Buc-ee’s jerky revealed that at least some of its signature jerky is made by Texas-based Junior’s Smokehouse Processing Plant, per CSP Daily News. But Buc-ee’s makes no secret that it outsources the production of many of its offerings.

What kind of jerky does Buc EE have?

The traditional peppered jerky (either turkey or beef — both are solid) are among Buc-ee’s most popular. If a less-traditional flavor profile is what you seek, the funky, flavor-packed Bohemian Garlic flavor is the chain’s top seller, and for a good reason.

Does Buc-EE’s make beef jerky?

Some Buc-ee’s travel centers have jerky counters that are more than twenty feet long. “That’s part of our DNA, really good beef jerky. That’s a real Texas thing. A lot of it starts back to the roots of the company.” Just the classics, made to order: “We make a lot of breakfast tacos. Brisket tacos, egg and bacon.

Does Buc-EE’s jerky come in bags?

But while Buc-ee’s jerky is one of its most famous and sought-after food offerings, and all of its pre-packaged jerky comes in bags with the Buc-ee’s logo and branding, the chain outsources at least some of its jerky production.

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