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Beef Jerky for Everyone


We make sweet and savory beef jerky, inspired by traditional Southeast Asian recipes. With taste and texture unlike any jerky you've tried before, Cool Jerk is a snack in a league of its own. Try some today!

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Beef Jerky for Everyone


We make sweet and savory beef jerky, inspired by traditional Southeast Asian recipes. With taste and texture unlike any jerky you've tried before, Cool Jerk is a snack in a league of its own. Try some today!

Cool Jerk's Original Beef Jerky

Cool Jerk's Original Beef Jerky

Original Flavor

Sweet, savory, and unlike any beef jerky you've ever tried! Some call it "Meat Candy" and we love the sound of it! Gluten free, no nitrates / nitrites, low fat, low sodium. Made in Minnesota.

Lemongrass Beef Jerky

Lemongrass Beef Jerky

Lemongrass

A one-of-a-kind flavor made with fresh lemongrass for a truly unique beef jerky taste. You won't find another one like it anywhere! Gluten free, no nitrates / nitrites, low fat, low sodium. Made in Minnesota.

Sweet & Spicy Beef Jerky

Sweet & Spicy Beef Jerky

Sweet & Spicy

Just as sweet as our Original flavor beef jerky but with a hint of spice to wake up your taste buds. Gluten free, no nitrates / nitrites, low fat, low sodium. Made in Minnesota.

Native Lao Hot

Native Lao Hot

Native Lao Hot

Not for the faint of heart! We use the elusive ghost peppers to spice up this jerky. Gluten free, no nitrates / nitrites, low fat, low sodium. Made in Minnesota.

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Our Story


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Our Story


In 2010, Mali Kouanchao and Mike Davis began noticing an increasing number of their friends asking where they could find more of that delicious beef jerky that Mali's Aunt Thaipet would bring over for birthday parties and family get-togethers. This sweet and crisp jerky was Thaipet's original creation, based on traditional jerky recipes from her home country of Laos. Mali and Mike decided to start selling the jerky and learning to make it themselves.

After carefully studying the jerky-making process with Aunt Thai, Mali had mastered the Original flavor and began developing three other flavors with unique Southeast Asian flair: Lemongrass, Sweet & Spicy, and Native Lao Hot.

WHAT IS COOL JERK? →

To keep up with demand, Mali and Mike decided to expand Cool Jerk's output by enlisting the production help of Big Steer Meats. Based in Saint Paul, this family-run butcher shop has been in business since 1978. Working closely with Mali, Mike, and Thaipet, Big Steer's big bossman Charlie Cory soon learned the unique recipes and techniques that make Cool Jerk so special. Since 2013, all of our jerky has been produced by the hardworking team at Big Steer in their MDA-certified facilities.

Cool Jerk is dedicated to bringing you a unique, delicious, and wholesome snacking experience with exciting flavors that you'll want to share with friends and family.

Photo by Rolf Hagberg Photography and
Tommy Ellis Photography

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Meet the Team


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Meet the Team


Mali Kouanchao

Founder / Owner

Malichansouk (Mali) Kouanchao is a designer and artist born in Savannakhet, Laos and grew up in Minneapolis, MN. An avid traveler, Mali loves globetrotting to discover new places and new foods. Starting with her Aunt Thaipet's jerky recipe, Mali developed the vision for Cool Jerk.

Mike Davis

Co-Founder / Co-Owner

Mike is an accomplished graphic artist and DJ. When he met Mali, he didn't just fall for her, he also fell for her family's Lao cooking. Mike creates all of Cool Jerk's branding and graphics.

Thaipet Phongsavath

Co-Owner

Born and raised in Savannakhet Laos, Mali's Aunt Thaipet brought her traditional beef jerky recipe along when her family moved to Minnesota in the early 1980s. Sweet, savory, and crisp, this Lao treat is known as "sien savanh," or "heavenly beef."

Our beef jerky on display at Surdyk's Cheese Shop

Cool Jerk's beef bosses, from left to right: Mani, Nak, Mali, Mike, Chanda, and Minny.