Not all meat sticks are created equal.
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Meat sticks are a keto or low-carb dieter’s dream snack. They’re (usually) low in calories, carbs, and sugar, and pretty high in protein. And after trying a half-dozen different types of meat sticks, I am convinced there’s a brand and flavor out there for everyone.

You can find jerky made from beef, kangaroo, pork, turkey, elk, bison, boar, and even salmon in a variety of flavors ranging from “Maple Bacon” to “Mexican.” Thankfully, during our blind taste test, Chris Michel and I stayed away from munching on exotic animals (even though we had to “guess” which animal we were eating—did I mention our co-workers love us?)

Chris and I are both meat eaters, and we were excited going into the taste test. How naive and optimistic we were back then…

Some of the bars and sticks were just not to our taste. Some were too dry or chewy, while one in particular had a flavor that, well, you can see from the video, neither of us cared for.

And, guys, we were not exaggerating for the camera. It was really that bad. The taste lingered in my mouth for a solid 20 minutes—and three glasses of water—later. I won’t name the bar’s brand, but if you see a beef bar with a “Mexican” flavor, back away slowly.

Thankfully the taste test had its high points as well. Chris and I each found a jerky that was delicious and fit within our health guidelines. His pick? Epic Sweet Maple Uncured Bacon and Pork Bites. Each 6-piece serving has 110 calories, 7 grams of fat, 2.5 grams of sat fat, 180 mg of sodium, and 5 grams of protein.

I personally liked Simms Snack Sticks Turkey Sausage. Each of the snappy sticks has 45 calories, 3 grams of fat, 160mg of sodium, and 4 grams of protein—plus, they remind me of the old school jerky sticks you get at the convenience store on long road trips.