Meat lovers everywhere, rejoice! Brands introducing creative concoctions made of dried and dehydrated meats are making portable meat snacks the new thing. And we’re totally not beefin’ with that. Lean meats are an excellent low-calorie source of protein, omega-3s, anemia-fighting iron, energy-boosting vitamin B12, and even choline (the vitamin that can help cinch your waist).
And we’re not just talking beef-only meat snacks—there are pork and chicken and deer, oh my! Just remember to choose grass-fed over grain-fed since the former contains less fat and higher levels of omega-3s, which have been linked to a lower risk of heart disease. From bars and bites and little bits to jerky and sticks (and even trail mix!), we’ve rounded up a meaty list of our favorite high protein snacks. Sorry to all the vegans and vegetarians out there—this one’s not for you.
Field Trip Cracked Pepper Turkey Jerky
Nutrition: (1 oz serving) 70 calories, 0 g fat, 310 mg sodium, 3 g carbs, 0 g fiber, 2 g sugar, 12 g protein
This all-natural jerky is made of lean turkey marinated in cracked black pepper, smoky brown sugar, and apple—making it a finger-lickin’ snack. Plus, it’s naturally sweetened (with fruit juices) and without corn syrup, giving you the green light to munch on this between meals.
4.51 per 2.2 oz pack at Amazon.com
Epic Chicken Sriracha Bar
Nutrition: (1 bar, 43 g) 100 calories, 4 g fat, 0 g saturated fat, 290 mg sodium, 1 g carbs, 0 g fiber, 0 g sugar, 15 g protein.
Who knew a mere 100 calories can pack in 15 grams of wholesome, naturally raised chicken protein, and still be low in fat and carbs, and sugar-free? Apparently, Epic did. And its nutrition isn’t the only part we’re raving about. Seasoned with cumin, oregano, garlic, and spicy red pepper flakes, this bar is revolutionizing chicken as the health foodie’s holy grail. If the Sriracha part is what piqued your interest, then you’ll love our list of 20 Ways Sriracha Is Taking Over the World!
$24.47 per 12 pack at Amazon.com
Epic Lamb Currant Mint Bar
Nutrition: (1 bar, 43 g, 1.5 oz) 130 calories, 6 g fat, 2.5 g saturated fat, 290 mg sodium, 12 g carbs, 1 g fiber, 10 g sugar, 8 g protein
If you’re desperately craving a lamb gyro, but not really into getting your hands messy with tzatziki sauce, grab one of these bars on the way to work. The grass-fed ovis aries is paired with robust spices like basil, marjoram, and rosemary. It’s also seasoned with spearmint leaves and organic currants, which will totally get you daydreaming of a trip to Greece.
$25.99 per 12 pack at Amazon.com
Paleo Valley Beef Sticks
Nutrition: (1 oz) 70 calories, 5 g fat, 2.5 g saturated fat, 220 mg sodium, 0 g carbs, 0 g fiber, 0 g sugar, 6 g protein
These 100% grass-fed beef sticks were featured in Paleo Magazine‘s Best of 2014 list, and not without a good reason. This low-carb snack boasts high levels of B vitamins, vitamins A and E, and CLA, which is known for its cancer- and stomach fat-fighting properties. They also come in four taste bud pleasing flavors: original, jalapeno, summer sausage, and garlic summer sausage.
$20.99 per 10-count pack paleovalley.com
Nutrition: (1 oz) 70 calories, 2 g fat, 0.5 g saturated fat, 390 mg sodium, 0 g carbs, 0 g fiber, 0 g sugar, 12 g protein
You may be wondering what the heck is biltong. In simple terms, it’s beef jerky’s tender brother—AKA the one that’s not going to give your jaw muscles a workout. It’s made by hanging the grass-fed beef to dry in a drying box for 3-6 days, after which it is ready to be paired with Allspice, coriander, and black pepper. The brand even sells a 16 oz bag, which is perfect for sharing with your friends.
$34.99 per 16 oz pack at Walmart.com
Lorissa’s Kitchen Ginger Teriyaki Chicken
Nutrition: (1 oz) 80 calories, 1 g fat, 0 g saturated fat, 400 mg sodium, 6 g carbs, 0 g fiber, 6 g sugar, 11 g protein
Try saying chicken kitchen three times fast. Now, try it with a piece of chicken jerky in your mouth. Just kidding! But we’re definitely not joking about the jerky. These antibiotic-free chicken bits are doused with a marinade of fresh ginger, sesame seeds, sea salt, and cane and brown sugars, guaranteeing this pick taste bud-approved.
$4.99 per 2.25 oz pack at Amazon.com
Epic Bison Bacon Cranberry Bar
Nutrition: (1 bar, 43 g) 140 calories, 8 g fat, 3.5 g saturated fat, 250 g sodium, 10 g carbs, < 1 g fiber, 7 g sugar, 8 g protein
Bison and bacon pair up perfectly well in this delectable snack. This is Epic’s modern take on pemmican, a survival superfood that is comprised mainly of dried meat and fruit, as well as rendered fat that lends the meat its long shelf life. This portable snack packs a substantial source of omega-3s, iron, and vitamin B12, making it a go-to pick when you’re craving a meaty snack.
$24.69 per 12 pack at Amazon.com
The New Primal Cilantro Lime Turkey Sticks
Nutrition: (1 oz) 50 calories, 1.5 g fat, 0 g saturated fat, 200 mg sodium, 2 g carbs, 0 g fiber, 1 g sugar, 7 g protein
These free-range, antibiotic- and hormone-free turkey sticks provide a whopping seven grams of protein for only 50 calories. These meat snacks are individually packaged, making them perfect to throw in a bag and enjoy whenever. Bright flavor notes like cilantro, parsley, and lime prove that this bird’s not just for Thanksgiving.
$37.95 per 20 pack at Amazon.com
Epic Coconut Carnivore Mix
Nutrition: (1 oz) 130 calories, 7 g fat, 5 g saturated fat, 230 mg sodium, 9 g carbs, 0 g fiber, 4 g sugar, 7 g protein
Crafted with grass-fed beef jerky and toasted coconut, this sweet-salty combo is one to try! Plus, with only 4 grams of sugar from the organic coconut flakes and wildflower honey, this bag has far less grams of the succulent carb than most sugar-laden trail mixes. We can’t wait to bring this one on our next hike.
$4.11 per 2 oz pack at Amazon.com
Bubba’s Carolina Honey BBQ Chicken Jerky
Nutrition: (1 oz) 60 calories, 1.5 g fat, 0 g saturated fat, 65 mg sodium, 1 g carbs, 0 g fiber, 1 g sugar, 10 g protein
This chicken jerky is not only super low in sodium, it’s also packed with vitamin B6, niacin, and tryptophan (an amino acid that works to increase serotonin levels in the brain, therefore improving sleep latency). So, whether you want to enjoy it as a midday or midnight snack, the choice is yours! Speaking of getting your shuteye, though, don’t miss our report on the 17 Rumors About Sleep—Myth or Fact?
$6.99 per 3 oz pack at BubbasCarolinaJerky.com
The New Primal Spicy Beef Jerky
Nutrition: (1 oz) 90 calories, 2.5 g fat, 1 g saturated fat, 250 mg sodium, 5 g carbs, 0 g fiber, 3 g sugar, 12 g protein
This yummy jerky is made of 100% grass-fed beef that’s spiced with smoked paprika, packing in a punch from cayenne and jalapeno peppers added to the mix. It’s low in carbs and high in protein, making it a perfect Atkins-approved snack. Plus, the jerky is free of artificial preservatives, added sugars, soy, and gluten—so feel free to indulge all of your carnivorous cravings.
$6.08 per 2 oz pack at Walmart.com
Grassfed Beef Crisps
Nutrition: (1 oz) 100 calories, 1 g fat, 0 g saturated fat, 280 mg sodium, 4 g carbs, 1 g fiber, 0 g sugar, 19 g protein
Put down the Lay’s and grab a bag of these beef crisps. This low carb snack comes in two flavors—smoked sea salt and black pepper—and is packed with 19 grams of muscle-building protein from 100% grass-fed and humanely raised beef. This jerky’s low fat content and light and crispy texture are bound to kill any potato chip craving you’ve had.
Currently backordered at GrassFedBeefCrisps.com
Aidells Cajun Style Andouille Minis
Nutrition: (5 links, 55 g/1.94 oz) 100 calories, 6 g fat, 2 g saturated fat, 490 mg sodium, 1 g carbs, 1 g fiber, 0 g sugar, 11 g protein
If you’re craving a kick, opt for these delectable Cajun chicken sausage minis. The hormone-free meat is double-smoked and marinated in a Creole spice blend that’ll get you counting down the days to Mardi Gras. Just grill or bake these dogs for 10 minutes and then bag ’em up to bring them along with your next adventure.
$7.99 per pack at Aidells.com
Epic Venison Sea Salt Pepper Bar
Nutrition: (1 bar, 43 g) 80 calories, 3 g fat, 2.5 g saturated fat, 390 mg sodium, 2 g carbs, 0 g fiber, 0 g sugar, 12 g protein
Epic keeps it simple, sprinkling only salt, pepper, and vegetable powders on the grass-fed and free-range deer bar, staying true to the venison’s gamey flavor. With 12 whopping grams of protein, alongside being gluten- and sugar-free, we are totally digging this as our next mid-afternoon snack. And with only 80 calories, this one is our lowest-calorie protein-packed pick. Looking for more meat snacks? Then check out our exclusive report on The Best and Worst Beef Jerky—Ranked!
2.95 per 1.5 oz bar on Amazon.com