How To Include Jerky in Your Game Day Snacks
Even with the football season winding down, there are plenty of weekends left for making delicious game day spreads with friends and family. The most significant football events of the year, the college playoffs and the Super Bowl are quickly approaching, so it’s a great time to start planning out your food selection.
One item of food that is often overlooked at these watch parties is quality jerky. Jerky is an excellent addition to any spread and is often a crowd favorite. For your convenience, here are some tips on how to include jerky in your game day snacks for your next watch party or tailgate.
Serve Jerky on Its Own
First and foremost, you can keep your game day snack selection simple by adding jerky on its own in easy-to-grab sizes for your guests’ convenience. Delicious cuts of jerky get scooped up like wildfire at any watch party or tailgate, meaning you don’t have to get super creative with your arrangement of food. Opt for quality strips of meat, and vary the kinds of animals—big-game jerky such as elk and buffalo add a robust taste to your spread and are sure to please any crowd.
Make a Special Charcuterie Board
If you’re looking to get creative when implementing jerky into your game day food spread, consider making an excellent charcuterie board that stars jerky. Construct your board with staples like cheese (soft, medium, hard), fruit, savory items (pickles, olives), some bread, dips, and nuts. Include jerky with your standard cuts of salami, prosciutto, and ham.
You’ll find your guests reaching for the jerky more often. Remember that a clean arrangement is key with any charcuterie board, so pay attention to how you construct your platter. Once again, cut the jerky so that it’s easy for others to grab.
Replace Other Meats With Jerky
What kinds of meat will you typically find on a game day spread? Most likely cuts of ham, roast beef, pepperoni, and thick turkey. These meats are usually used for making sandwiches or pairing with various cheeses.
However, you’ve probably had a thousand combinations of these meats at various tailgates, so it’s time to up your food game! Switch out different meats with jerky, as it pairs well with other snack foods like crackers, cheese, and nuts. Consider different animals and find which flavor you prefer the most.
Throw It in Other Dishes
Nothing beats a bacon mac and cheese, buffalo chicken dip, or beef sliders at a watch party. However, jerky works excellent with these meals as well, as it actually adds a distinct, exciting flavor to a classic dish. Jerky mac and cheese, specifically, is a hearty, robust meal that goes well with other snacks.
Find a great recipe in a book or online and substitute jerky for bacon. Cook up a “jerky in a blanket” dish for a fresh take on traditional finger food. Alternatively, you can wrap some sticks of jerky with bacon to create a savory snack that’s sure to impress.
Pair With Great Dips
Jerky pairs well with game-day dips like artichoke or buffalo chicken dips, so ensure you place the jerky near these items. Hearty spreads with veggies and cream are the best for dunking beef jerky sticks. Or, you can make a jerky dip that’s great for scooping with crackers, veggies, and chips instead. Here are two fantastic jerky dip recipes:
- Mix cream cheese, sour cream, Worcestershire sauce, and green onions.
- Combine with chopped beef jerky and mix thoroughly.
- Let the dip chill overnight in the fridge.
- Mix cream cheese, sour cream, mayonnaise, mustard, and a smoky sauce in a bowl.
- Toss in chopped jerky and shredded cheese (preferred Mexican cheese blends).
- Top off with salt, pepper, and green onions.
- Let the dip chill overnight and serve with veggies and chips.
Yup, making a jerky dip is extremely easy, and guests always seem to enjoy the snack! The best dips feature quality meat, so Lee’s Market proudly offers superior products with the convenience of being able to buy beef jerky online.
Give Out Bags of It
There’s no denying that making your jerky small and easy to snack on is preferred when featuring it for game day. However, there is another more bountiful way to include jerky that’s also fun for guests! Purchase a nice collection of bags of jerky, depending on the number of guests, so that they may take home leftovers when the game ends.
Additionally, this reduces the amount of contact with shared food items between others. You can leave the jerky in its original bag or create small baskets of various meats and cheeses for guests to grab. Get creative with your presentation.
Get Healthy With It
Jerky is actually considered a superfood, thanks to its high amounts of healthy vitamins and minerals. As such, it’s pretty easy to make light snacks with this meat for a more health-conscious crowd.
For starters, jerky crumbles over a salad are delicious, easy to serve, and a friendly alternative to heavier snacks. Throw in hardboiled eggs and nuts such as almonds for extra flavor. Jerky pairs really well with nearly any veggie, especially a brussel sprouts dish with balsamic vinegar, red onions, and parmesan cheese. Lastly, throw some jerky bits into a light soup for a tried-and-true crowd-pleasing dish!
Early Morning Snacks
Sometimes game day falls in the morning, meaning your snacks must adjust to the early morning time. Kegs and eggs, anyone? Jerky is an excellent complement to omelets, so throw together an omelet bar with plenty of finely chopped beef jerky and other fresh foods. Use extra crumbles for breakfast potatoes in place of bacon for a heartier flavor.
Don’t forget your morning drinks when whipping up a delicious spread! Bloody Marys are really popular at breakfast, and they go great with robust meats. Garnish your bloody with spicy jerky, along with celery and onions. Throw in a generous amount of hot sauce to create a kickin’ cocktail.
Understanding how to include jerky in your game day snacks ultimately comes down to the needs of your event. With a bit of creativity, you can substitute or add quality cuts of jerky into various dishes—or all on its own. For all your hearty meat needs, check out our extensive selection of beef, poultry, big game, and exotic jerky.