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The Rising Tide

By Michael Trojnar | | 1 Comments

I’ve been around jerky for as long as I can remember. Making it, eating it, talking about it - heck, just the thought of this magical dried meat packed with flavor gets me all excited!


My family enjoys traveling - road trips, beach vacations, national parks, hiking, we’re here for all of it. As excited as I get for these new adventures, I’m equally as excited to walk into a local store wherever we’re at and head straight to the salty snack aisle. 


Exploring the local beef jerky offerings for me is like a 10-year-old boy walking into an arcade in the 1990s, a tail-wagging dog realizing he’s going to a dog park to play with his friends, or my wife walking into Target without kids and nowhere to be for another couple hours…GAME ON!


MMJ is all about supporting craft jerky makers because we share the same passion and are all rebelling against the plastic-like jerky you find at every gas station (PSA: don’t buy this preservative-laden, tasteless cardboard meat!)


I think about the jerky community like President John F. Kennedy thought about the economy in general - “A rising tide lifts all boats.” There is plenty of room for others to succeed and the people need to experience the many flavors, textures and varieties of the magic that is beef jerky.


This isn’t a traditional “Top Ten” list by any means and are in no particular order, but I want to highlight several other beef jerky makers that have made an impression on me and have continued to inspire my journey and fuel my passion for high quality beef jerky.


  • Unique Flavor - Philly Jerks Jerky. The Korean BBQ/Chili Lime flavor is unlike anything else I’ve ever tasted. The texture is just perfect, it’s sweet but not really, it’s spicy but not really. What it does is always make me want just one more bite! Kudos to Bob for creating such a unique flavor profile!
  • Crispy Texture - RJ’s Beef Jerky. Think Beef Jerky in Potato Chip form. RJ nailed this texture and I’ve tried just about all of the flavors. He makes a S’mores jerky that my girls love and he even makes a “Christmas” flavor - you just have to try it!
  • Flavor and Tenderness - Matt Hat Jerky. How cool is it that an 11-year-old started his own jerky company?!! Not to mention that Guy Fieri and Andrew Zimmern have tried and said great things about your jerky!! The Black Truffle is my go-to flavor and Matt-Hat does an excellent job of marketing and promoting his brand and products. A MUST TRY!
  • Giving Back - Bearded Jerky. Sweet Thang is in my regular rotation of jerky. The coolest part of Bearded Jerky is their mission to give back - to the homeless, kids in need or veterans. They have a goal of donating 1 Million bags of jerky to those less fortunate…how amazing?!!! This reminds me, time to order more Sweet Thang!
  • Ground Jerky + Variety of Flavors - Nate’s Beef Jerky. The Dill Pickle flavor is solid and the Prime Rib flavor is a must try. Love that Nate offers so many flavors and he is based in the Hoosier state.
  • MEGA SLAB + Mission - Hero Snacks. HUGE bag of beef jerky as big as my head ✅. Supporting Firefighters ✅. Crazy good flavor ✅. Found this brand recently on a trip to Phoenix and shared this 1 lb. bag with a bunch of friends on an off-road Humvee tour through the desert. Had the Cracked Black Pepper which was surprisingly sweet (and delicious) Can’t wait to try more flavors. See pictures above to believe how BIG this bag was!

This list can go on and on - heck, maybe I’ll make another one in the future, who knows?


There are things I love about all 6 of these and while they all make beef jerky, they are all so unique! Let’s build a community. A REAL community centered around Jerky where everyone wins!


Let's rise the tide for jerky makers everywhere. Who’s with me??

By Michael Trojnar

1 comment to show

Michelle / Reply

Cardboard meat! 😂😂😂

Cheers to your first meaty blog post!

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