The Best Jerky Gun

A jerky gun is a great addition to your kitchen toolbox, especially if you are looking for a simple way to prepare jerky in your oven or food dehydrator.

Traditional beef jerky is made from thinly slicing meat.  An easier way to get started with beef or venison jerky is to start with ground meat and a jerky gun.

In this article, I will review five popular jerky gun models.

If you’re in a hurry, check out our top pick, the LEM Products Jerky Cannon.

What is a Jerky Gun?

A jerky is a handheld kitchen tool that allows you to form ground meat into strips which can be used for making jerky.  In many ways, it resembles a caulking gun with different nozzles for forming different shapes.  Nozzle accessories are usually flat or round shapes for making meat sticks or jerky shaped pieces.

Jerky Guns Comparison

Image
LEM Products 468  Jerky Cannon
Beef Jerky Gun 2.7lb Capacity Pistol Maker Easy Clean Aluminum Cannon Beef Stick Attachment & Flat Strip Shooters
Nesco BJX-8 Jumbo Jerky Works Kit
Weston Original Jerky Gun (37-0111-W), Aluminum Tube Holds 1.5lbs of Ground Meat, Easy Squeeze Trigger
Sportsman MJG15 15-Inch Jerky Gun
Capacity
1.5 lbs
1.5 lbs
1 lb
1.5 lbs
15" cylinder (approx 1lb)
Construction
Aluminum
Aluminum
Plastic
Aluminum
Plastic
Size
19.6 x 8.4 x 2.9 inches
17.6 x 10.6 x 2.9 inches
11.4 x 8.1 x 3.4 inches
21 x 2.8 x 7.2 inches
22.5 x 3 x 9 inches
Nozzles
3/16" flat and 1/2" round
3/16" flat and 1/2" round
3, single and double strip plus round
2, dual flat and dual round
3/16" flat and 1/2" round
Accessories
Nozzles, 2 seasoning packets, cleaning brush, instructions
Extra canister, cleaning brush
5 seasoning and curing packets
seasoning packet, 2 piece cleaning brush
none
Image
LEM Products 468  Jerky Cannon
Capacity
1.5 lbs
Construction
Aluminum
Size
19.6 x 8.4 x 2.9 inches
Nozzles
3/16" flat and 1/2" round
Accessories
Nozzles, 2 seasoning packets, cleaning brush, instructions
Image
Beef Jerky Gun 2.7lb Capacity Pistol Maker Easy Clean Aluminum Cannon Beef Stick Attachment & Flat Strip Shooters
Capacity
1.5 lbs
Construction
Aluminum
Size
17.6 x 10.6 x 2.9 inches
Nozzles
3/16" flat and 1/2" round
Accessories
Extra canister, cleaning brush
Image
Nesco BJX-8 Jumbo Jerky Works Kit
Capacity
1 lb
Construction
Plastic
Size
11.4 x 8.1 x 3.4 inches
Nozzles
3, single and double strip plus round
Accessories
5 seasoning and curing packets
Image
Weston Original Jerky Gun (37-0111-W), Aluminum Tube Holds 1.5lbs of Ground Meat, Easy Squeeze Trigger
Capacity
1.5 lbs
Construction
Aluminum
Size
21 x 2.8 x 7.2 inches
Nozzles
2, dual flat and dual round
Accessories
seasoning packet, 2 piece cleaning brush
Image
Sportsman MJG15 15-Inch Jerky Gun
Capacity
15" cylinder (approx 1lb)
Construction
Plastic
Size
22.5 x 3 x 9 inches
Nozzles
3/16" flat and 1/2" round
Accessories
none

Prices and/or availability last updated on 2018-05-28 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Parts of a Jerky Gun

The main parts of a jerky gun are the barrel, plunger (or piston), nozzle and the handle.  Jerky guns are made out of either plastic or aluminum.  In some cases, they contain both plastic and metal parts.  Metal parts are more durable and will last longer, so I favor ones with aluminum and stainless steel parts.

The barrel is the main cylinder that the meat is loaded into.  Look for aluminum parts here, which will not deform when pressing out the jerky.

Capacity ranges from about 1 pound to 2 pounds.  A larger capacity will allow you to make more jerky without reloading.

The piston is the internal plunger that moves within the cylinder to press out the meat.  Again, metal parts are better here and will hold up better, especially when the ground jerky meat is thicker (harder to press).

The nozzle is attached to the end of the cylinder and forms the shape of the jerky as it is pressed through.  The most common shapes are round for jerky sticks and flat for traditional jerky strips.  Stainless steel nozzles will be easier to clean and are more rigid, so will make a more uniform jerky stick.

The handle is the part you squeeze to press on the cylinder, which in turn forces the meat out through the nozzle.  I look for a handle that is sturdy and nicely shaped so it is comfortable to use.

Cleaning

Since the jerky gun will be used with raw meat, ease of cleaning after use is important.  Here is where aluminum cylinders and stainless steel nozzles get the nod.  They tend to be easier to clean thoroughly.

A nice feature of some units is an included cleaning brush.  The brush is usually round and is sized based on the diameter of the cylinder.  It makes it easier to scrub the inside after use.

Jerky Gun Reviews

LEM Products Jerky Cannon


The LEM Products Jerky Cannon is our top pick.  The aluminum barrel and stainless steel nozzles are built to last.  The barrel is flared slightly at each end which makes it easy to load.

Included Accessories

Key Features

The Verdict

The LEM Jerky Cannon is my top choice.  It is solidly built and includes everything you need to get started.  With a capacity of 1.5 pounds is the right size for my needs.  I especially like its ease of cleaning with the included cleaning brush.  If you need a larger capacity, our next pick, the JerkySpot, is worth a look.

Check price on Amazon.

 

JerkySpot “The Judge” Jerky Gun

 

The JerkySpot Jerky Gun is a well built jerky gun, and is a solid performer.  The ergonomics of the handle are also good.

Included Accessories

Key Features

The Verdict

The JerkySpot would be my top choice if I needed the extra capacity.  It’s solidly built and included both the round and flat stainless steel nozzles.  Since I have limited kitchen space, don’t have a good place to store the extra barrel.  Otherwise, it would edge out the LEM.

Check price on Amazon.

 

Nesco BJX-8 Jumbo Jerky Works Kit

The Nesco BJX-8 is produced by a well know brand that also makes food dehydrators.

Included Accessories

Key Features

The Verdict

The Nesco has some interesting features.  The see-through chamber is a nice touch that makes it easy to see how much meat is left.  It comes with  3 tips, including a dual strip flat nozzle.  This allows you to press 2 strips of jerky at once.  Great if you like the narrower strips.

For me, the plastic construction is a slight negative.  It might be fine for occasional use, but for heavier use, check out the other top models.

Check price on Amazon.

 

Weston Original Jerky Gun

The Weston Jerky Gun has some interesting features that make it worth a look.  The aluminum barrel and stainless steel nozzles are solid.  It also includes some unique accessories.

Included Accessories

Key Features

The Verdict

The Weston uses metal parts similar to the top performers.  It is also the only jerky gun in this roundup that includes a sausage funnel as part of the package.  I like the handle design of the LEM and the JerkySpot better.

This unit might be worth a look if you are also interested experimenting with making sausage since it includes everything you need to get started.

Check price on Amazon.

 

Sportsman MJG15 Jerky Gun

The Sportsman MJG15 is a basic jerky gun model.  The construction is mostly plastic.

Included Accessories

Key Features

The Verdict

The Sportsman lacks some of the key features and accessories that other jerky guns include.  The handle is metal, but the cylinder and nozzles are made from plastic., This makes it acceptable for light-duty use, but I prefer the metal construction of other units in this review.  This one ranks lower on my list for those reasons.

One other negative of the Sportsman is lack of included accessories.  The package includes only the basics to get you started.

Check price on Amazon.

 

Conclusion

Making jerky at home is a great way to keep healthy convenient snacks on hand.  A jerky gun can help streamline the process.  Making jerky from ground meat using a jerky gun is the easiest way to get started.

The key features I look for are:

The top choice for me is the LEM Jerky Cannon, which is solidly built and includes everything you need to get started making your own jerky.

Check out the top pick on Amazon.

 

 


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