Boutique Jerky: Tasty Treats for Your Next Hike


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Calling all connoisseurs of fine foods. Just because you're camping, hiking, skiing, riding or otherwise adventuring doesn't mean you have to suffer terrible treats. Leave the Slim Jims behind on your next outing and snack on one of these tasty boutique jerkies instead.

Slantshack Jerky, which scored high on the charts for tastiness, texture and for using Vermont-raised grass fed beef, has numerous delicious, hot and smoky flavors. And the company allows you to make your own treats online using Slantshack's jerky customization program. Use the program to choose your base, your seasoning, your rub, and your glaze. “Delicious and surprisingly tender, with just the right amount of spice,” reported testers. Gluten-free jerky is also available. Available now, $13.50 for a 4 oz. bag, $43 for a 12-ounce sampler pack with three flavors.

If you're looking for more of a boost from your dried beef than the cow can provide, Perky Jerky makes decaffeinated jerky. Peppered with Guarana, a little berry from the Amazon that has more caffeine than your traditional coffee, this nitrate-free beef will kick you into high gear. Perky's latest and greatest? Turkey Perky Jerky. Available now, $5 for a 2.2-ounce bag,

Leave it to a jerky maker from Sonoma County to come up with flavors like pineapple orange, lemon garlic, and basil citrus for their beef and turkey jerkies. “Moist and tender,” and “some of the best jerky we've ever tasted,” raved testers. Krave has flavors that will satisfy every palate, and, just because, recommendations for proper pairings with beer, wine and spirits.

—Berne Broudy