Archive | Beef Jerky RSS feed for this category

REVIEW: Blue Ox Beef Jerky (Original Smoked, Peppercorn, Honey BBQ, and Cherry Maple)

Written by | May 4, 2012

Topics: 5 Rating, 6 Rating, 8 Rating, Beef Jerky

Blue Ox Beef Jerky

Having spent the better part of eight years attempting to grow a massively intimidating if not Al Borland-esque mustache, I couldn’t help but release a manly grunt when Blue Ox Jerky Company offered to send me a box of their products to try. Promising to add three inches to my beard, the box of jerky also came with an affirmation that the smoky-sweet snacks are eaten by real men, and not, I should add, fanciful hairless woodland pixies. Seeing as though I live in perpetual fear of spontaneous woodland pixie transformation, this was quite welcomed, as was the bumper sticker included in my package that asks, “got balls?”

Blue Ox Beef Jerky Bumper Sticker

I guess they’re not exactly courting the females demographic, huh?

No bother. After a steady diet of Special K and Luna bars I’m entitled to a snack worthy of only the highest degree of chauvinism. Provided, of course, it actually delivers, and doesn’t taste like some soy-sauce laden, gas-station monstrosity that’s been pieced together from the remains of a dilapidated cow from Brazil. Fortunately, Blue Ox promises to punch said “gas station jerkys” in the face. Here’s a rundown of the results.

Original

Blue Ox Beef Jerky Original

The jerky looks impeccable right out of the package. There’s almost no fat and zero gristle to be seen, while a meaty aroma strikes you as unmistakably backwoods Americana (as opposed to, you know, gas station bathroom). Unfortunately, the texture is subpar for a small-batch jerky company. It’s chewy and dry, with the striations of muscle tissues splintering rather than cleanly tearing.

Blue Ox Beef Jerky Closeup 3

The taste is heavy of black and white pepper, and I find myself enjoying the kick on the back end, which intensifies to tickling proportions. But the sweetness is inconsistent, with some pieces displaying a more pronounced level of brown sugar than others. I don’t find myself missing the soy sauce on the ingredient label (something many beef jerky makers use in their marinade) but I don’t recognize the taste of honey either. The beef flavor is good, but it’s not exceptional. All things considered, it may punch gas station jerky in the face, but it’s more like the punch of your baby sister connecting every so often with a random uppercut than what you’d expect from a knockout fighter. 

Peppercorn

I normally prefer black pepper jerky, and judging by the coarse ground black pepper specks all over the jerky, I thought I’d be all for this flavor. The only problem is that in terms of black pepper flavor, it doesn’t just punch you in the face; it kicks you in the balls as well. It’s single and intense, far surpassing a slight tickle and reaching “make you run for a glass of water” variety. Nice if you like black pepper, but without balance of even a moderate sweetness, it’s just too intense for most people. That it doesn’t tear cleanly isn’t much help.

Blue Ox Beef Jerky Closeup 1

Honey BBQ

Now we’re talking. I liked this flavor best. It’s lighter and moister than the Original flavor, and the spices aren’t as prominent on the back notes. Still very lean, it has a light amber sweetness and a more assertive savory flavor to balance the sweetness. Finally, we’re connecting with a solid right, if not a Rock ‘Em Sock ‘Em Robot uppercut.

Maple Cherry

Blue Ox Beef Jerky Cherry Maple

A close second to Honey BBQ, this was another moist flavored jerky with a subtle smoke flavor and a hint of fruity sweetness. Again, fat and gristle is almost nonexistent, and the sweetness does well to cut the obviously salty taste. Even the beef jerky layman will recognize he’s eating only a prize-fighting cow here, and one which no doubt could have kicked those dilapidated Brazilian steers in the face. 

Blue Ox Beef Jerky Closeup 4

Did Blue Ox Jerky add three inches to me beard? Not exactly, but I did feel a touch of masculinity while chewing on the Honey BBQ and Cherry Maple flavors.  But judging by some of the beef jerky I’ve had from gas stations, the Blue Ox wouldn’t be able to last more than a few rounds in the ring. Still, it’s better than what you’ll find at the Dollar Store. Maybe they should change their slogan to “Punches Dollar Store Jerky in the Face.”

(Editor’s Note/Disclaimer: We received these samples for free from Blue Ox Beef Jerky in order to review them.)

(Nutrition Facts – 1 ounce – Original – 50 calories, 0.5 grams of fat, 0 grams of saturated fat, 480 milligrams of sodium, 5 grams of carbohydrates, 3 grams of sugar, and 6 grams of protein. Peppercorn – 50 calories, 0.5 grams of fat, 0 grams of saturated fat, 470 milligrams of sodium, 5 grams of carbohydrates, 3 grams of sugar, and 6 grams of protein. Honey BBQ – 60 calories, 0.5 grams of fat, 0 grams of saturated fat, 260 milligrams of sodium, 8 grams of carbohydrates, 5 grams of sugar, and 6 grams of protein. Cherry Maple – 70 calories, 0.5 grams of fat, 0 grams of saturated fat, 430 milligrams of sodium, 5 grams of carbohydrates, 5 grams of sugar, and 6 grams of protein.)

Other Blue Ox Beef Jerky reviews:
Scott Roberts Web
Best Beef Jerky

Item: Blue Ox Beef Jerky (Original Smoked, Peppercorn, Honey BBQ, Cherry Maple Smoked)
Price: FREE ($6.50 for a 4 oz. package online)
Size: 2 oz. samples
Purchased at: Sample provided from Manly, non-pixie marketing team
Rating: 6 out of 10 (Original Smoked)
Rating: 5 out of 10 (Peppercorn)
Rating: 8 out of 10 (Honey Barbeque)
Rating: 8 out of 10 (Cherry Maple Smoked)
Pros: Honey Barbeque and Cherry Maple flavors have nice, subtle sweetness that compliments meat. Both flavors are moist and tear easily. No fat and little gristle to be seen. ‘Meaty’ smelling hands. Free bumper stickers. Unabashed chauvinism. Dominating Brazil.
Cons: Original Smoked and Peppercorn don’t taste particularly smoky. Inconsistent tearing. Meat isn’t tender. Death by black peppercorn. Free bumper sticker I’ll never use. Facial hair inadequacy.

Permalink | 3 Comments

NEWS: Zombie Jerky May Be Green But It Still Looks More Edible Than A Slim Jim

Written by | February 3, 2011

Topics: Beef Jerky

How to Survive a Zombie Attack, by Acey Duecy

Harcos Laboratories, the same company that brought us Zombie Blood Energy Potion and Blood Energy Potion, recently released their first chewable product — Zombie Jerky.

Sadly, it’s also their first non-caffeinated product.

The slimy green beef jerky (yes, slimy green) comes in an orange biohazard bag and is teriyaki flavored. Hmm…teriyaki flavored? I always imagined zombie flesh would taste like roadkill marinated in radioactive sludge with a hint of maggots.

A serving of Zombie Jerky contains only one gram of fat and 13 grams of protein. It’s currently available via the Harcos Labs website and a 1.25 ounce bag retails for $4.99.

Source: Harcos Labs Blog

Click here to buy some Harcos Labs Zombie Jerky

Permalink | 9 Comments

REVIEW: Slim Jim Premium Beef Jerky Tabasco Spiced

Written by | November 4, 2010

Topics: 5 Rating, Beef Jerky, Slim Jim, Tabasco

Slim Jim Tabasco Beef Jerky

I love Slim Jims. I love beef jerky. I also love Tabasco sauce. These things said, reviewing Slim Jim’s Premium Beef Jerky Tabasco Spiced was a no-brainer for me.

I’m rather finicky about my beef jerky. Growing up, my dad used to get beef jerky from the Meat Shop around the corner. Not a butcher shop, not “Big John’s Meat Shop,” just Meat Shop. Located in a dingy strip mall, sandwiched between a liquor store and a laundromat, you know Meat Shop was quality.

The beef jerky from Meat Shop was perfectly seasoned and perfectly peppered. You could chew it as long as a piece of Fruit Stripe, but it wasn’t tough or gristly. It was magical beef jerky. Then one day, Meat Shop went out of business. Even as a child, I had an old woman’s resistance to change. I remember getting unreasonably upset when the Lucky’s grocery store down the street changed into an Albertson’s. I was ten years old at the time; I didn’t even go grocery shopping. But the sign change alone was enough to send me into tantrums and tears. Okay, maybe it wasn’t that bad, but you get the point.

Ever since Meat Shop closed, I’ve been chasing the jerky dragon. Jack Link’s didn’t satisfy. Pemmican’s made me want to give their racist Injun mascot a comfy blanket infected with smallpox. Oberto’s had me saying “Oh Noes” instead of “Oh Boy!” I could go on, but I’ve already stretched the joke too thin.

It seems like anyone over the age of 17 finds it gauche to say they like Slim Jims. There’s a good reason for that – they are greasy, salty, and you can tell it’s the epitome of unhealthy food from a hundred feet away. Don’t tell that to Macho Man Randy Savage though; he’ll yell at you to snap into one until you go deaf. Mr. Savage aside, let’s be real, here: if you’re eating something that contains mechanically-separated chicken and sodium nitrite, you are either young and foolish or old and self-destructive. Guess which category I fall under.

Beef jerky is actually a little more healthy, and it’s more acceptable to eat in public, especially if you are on a road trip rolling in a 1965 Sunbeam Tiger Mk1. If there’s not at least one pouch of beef jerky and one bag of sunflower seeds bought at a truck stop convenience store during your road trip, you’re doing it wrong. Slim Jim’s beef jerky doesn’t taste like a Slim Jim, but that’s fine, as I’m sure that wasn’t their intention. Slim Jim is just the name that gets the jerky out there.

As for the Tabasco, it’s definitely prominent; even just opening up the pouch, you are hit with that familiar smell of capsaicin and vinegar. The hot sauce does indeed spice up the beef jerky, as promised in the name of the product. The spice builds up as you eat each piece, culminating in a burn coating the inside of your mouth that would be unacceptable to sissies but just hot enough to satisfy someone who douses their eggs in Tabasco. You can also strongly taste the vinegar, which I enjoyed, but I think others may not like their beef jerky having a vinegar flavor to it.

Slim Jim Beef Jerky Tabasco 2

As for the texture, it’s hit-and-miss. The smaller, thinner pieces are soft and juicy, causing a pleasant burst of saliva as you chew. The larger pieces are too tough and dry, resulting in Beef Jerky Sore Jaw Syndrome. I hate BJSJS. Unfortunately, my bag was mostly full of big pieces that broke off into jerky splinters rather than breaking down into a flavorful jerky chew.

While Slim Jim Premium Beef Jerky Tabasco Spiced delivered on the Tabasco flavor, that may be a double-edged sword, as the hot sauce’s signature burst of vinegar flavor may be a turn-off for some jerky lovers. I would actually like to see a jerky spiced with chipotle Tabasco; the chipotle version tones down the vinegar and delivers a great smoky flavor that I think would work much better with beef jerky. The small pieces were spot-on in flavor and texture, but the big pieces were dry and difficult to chew, and it’s disappointing that my bag was almost all big pieces.

If Slim Jim could refine their jerky-making process to avoid BJSJS, I’d be much more of a fan of Slim Jim Premium Beef Jerky Tabasco Spiced. As it stands, I enjoyed the flavor, but the good pieces were too few and far between. Maybe the next time I see this product, I’ll take the time to be a total jerk (hurrr) in the store and spend ten minutes trying to find a bag with more of the small pieces.

(Nutrition Facts – 1 package/51 grams) — 150 calories, 25 calories from fat, 2.5 grams of total fat, 1 gram of saturated fat, 0 grams of trans fat, 0 grams of polyunsaturated fat, 1 gram of monounsaturated fat, 55 milligrams of cholesterol, 810 milligrams of sodium, 10 grams of total carbohydrates, less than 1 gram of dietary fiber, 7 grams of sugars, 21 grams of protein and 20% iron.)

Item: Slim Jim Premium Beef Jerky Tabasco Spiced
Price: $1.99
Size: 1.8 oz.
Purchased at: Circle K
Rating: 5 out of 10
Pros: Strong, authentic Tabasco flavor. Road trips in cool cars. Small pieces were juicy and delicious. “Meat Shop.” Nice spicy burn. Macho Man Randy Savage.
Cons: Mostly big pieces, which were tough and dry. BJSJS. Vinegar taste may be off-putting to some. Change of any kind. Serious lack of the small, tasty pieces.

Permalink | 10 Comments