Sunday, July 26, 2015

Blank and Sons - Texas Spirit Beef Jerky

blank and sons jerky
Blank and Sons is a new brand of beef jerky that started up just over a year ago, based out of Nacogdoches, TX. It's run by Damon Blank and his wife Tammy, along with their sons Danton, Dalton, and Dagon. The family had been in the restaurant business from 1988 to 2002. They had wanted to remain in the food industry and opted to launch a jerky business.

Blank and Sons is themed after the State of Texas, and the flavors they offer are paired with various flags used throughout the Lone Star State's history. They claim their jerky is hand made in small batches, but is bold and big as their Texas-sized pride.

This "Texas Spirit Beef Jerky" is marketed as combining "one of the country's hottest peppers and black pepper", making it a "must for all heat seekers".

Friday, July 24, 2015

Why we are Grass-Fed Groupies – And Why it’s Time You Join the Movement

Jerky's Gourmet, Habamero Sculpin IPA beef jerky
The following is a message from Jerky's Gourmet of San Diego...

Let us start out by stating clearly: Grass-Fed Beef is the Better Beef

Sure, there are a variety of factors that go into making great tasting beef jerky. For us at Jerky’s Gourmet of San Diego, using grass-fed beef is first and foremost. Numero Uno. Grass-fed beef allows for the natural taste of the BEEF in beef jerky to take center stage. The health benefits of grass-fed beef are a welcomed bonus. When creating unique flavors like our Ballast Point Habanero Sculpin and Ghost Pepper beef jerky, we always start with quality ingredients, and of course that begins with grass-fed beef.

Grass-fed cows are on a natural diet of - you guessed it, grass - which is free from the antibiotic, hormone and additive rich diet that makes commercial beef so questionable for human consumption. And we’re not the only ones who think it tastes better too! A recent double-blind taste test confirmed that grass fed beef reigns as the best tasting of all the beef.

When cows eat grass, they are processing nutrients from natural grasses like wild onion or their very favorite - clover! Humans cannot digest these grasses. However, cows are able to break them down because of their complex digestive systems. By eating beef that has eaten its natural diet of clover and other grasses, humans can consume nutrients that they otherwise could not. For example, Beta-carotene, a precursor to the very important vitamin A, is found in plant pigments from natural grasses but not in the grain based corn feed. Cows gather more nutrients when they eat natural.

Grass-fed cattle roam freely on grass pastures; they are basically eating and exercising all day long. This in turn makes them much leaner. That is why there is typically less marbling of fat in cuts of grass-fed beef.

While on the topic of fat...

It is vital to mention the addition of good fats grass-fed beef provides. All fats are not created equal! Omega-3’s are probably the most popular and widely discussed health benefit of grass fed beef. Omega-3 fatty acids are important for normal metabolism and beneficial in prevention of coronary disease, cancer and diabetes. Increasing your Omega-3 intake is a common need for most Americans. Grass-fed beef contains up to three times as many Omega-3’s compared to other commercially processed grain-fed beef.

There are a lot of reasons why grass-fed cattle are healthier than their feedlot, corn-fed counterparts. Feedlots, or factory farming practices, cram cows into a dark confined space and load them up with a chemical bath of hormones and antibiotics. Cows gain much more weight on the heavy corn-based diet, which leads to more beef produced for human consumption. It is a drastically different feeding environment than what nature intended. Without a pasture the cows are essentially skipping the gym. This limited mobility is intended to fatten them up faster. This, of course, has been the appeal to business interests looking to make more with less. Feedlot conditions are horrific and simply focus on raising profits rather than quality cattle. Opposing what nature intended usually comes with dire consequences.

As the old saying goes, your body truly is the sum total of what you put in your mouth.

Bottom-line - grass-fed beef is about quality of life for both animal and human. A corn-based diet comes with antibiotics and growth hormones. Grass-fed beef comes with higher Omega-3 fatty acids, Beta Carotene (which our bodies convert to Vitamin A), Vitamin E, Potassium, Magnesium and Calcium. We are proud to offer a delicious and healthy beef jerky to our customers and hope you join the grass-fed movement.

Choose the better jerky!

Tim & Dria - Owners - Jerky’s Gourmet of San Diego

Visit Jerky's Gourmet of San Diego online at: https://www.jerkysgourmet.com/

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Chef Craig's Beef Jerky - Original

chef craigs jerky
Note: Chef Craig's is a sponsor of this website, but has no effect on our ratings and reviews.

One the newest jerky brands on the market is Chef Craig's Beef Jerky. A product of CJM Products, it's based out of West Kingston, RI.

It's the idea of Craig Mitchell, who a few years ago, had sent me samples of his own homemade jerky, with the intent of launching a business someday. Mitchell received his Culinary Arts degree from Johnson & Wales University, and has been cooking professionally since 1978.

As of this review, the only flavor Chef Craig's offers is this Original.

Sunday, July 19, 2015

Blank and Sons - Texas Heat Jerky

blank and sons
Blank and Sons is a new brand of beef jerky that started up just over a year ago, based out of Nacogdoches, TX. It's run by Damon Blank and his wife Tammy, along with their sons Danton, Dalton, and Dagon. The family had been in the restaurant business from 1988 to 2002. They had wanted to remain in the food industry and opted to launch a jerky business.

Blank and Sons is themed after the State of Texas, and the flavors they offer are paired with various flags used throughout the Lone Star State's history. They claim their jerky is hand made in small batches, but is bold and big as their Texas-sized pride.

This "Texas Heat Jerky" is marketed by the company as putting the hot Texas sun into each bag of jerky, offering the, "perfect amount of pepper and spices".

Friday, July 17, 2015

Hole In One Jerky - Ghost Chili

hole in one jerky
Hole In One Jerky is a new brand of meat snacks launched by Bud Ott and Crystal Ott based out of Corona, CA. The brand started in October 2014.

Bud had been working as a professional golf caddie for several years and relied on snacks of various sorts to keep his energy up. His wife Crystal finally developed the recipe that would become the company's Original variety, and Bud liked it so much, that they decided to start offering it on the golf course. By Christmas 2013, Crystal had come up with several flavors, including the logo that is used today on the packaging.

Hole In One Jerky is handmade from USDA Choice London Broil, and comes in numerous flavors. They currently sell online, as well as a small brick-n-mortar, and six beer breweries.

Wednesday, July 15, 2015

People's Choice Beef Jerky - Old Fashioned

People's Choice Beef Jerky is a brand of Peoples Sausage Company, Inc. based out of Los Angeles, CA. It's a family-run business that's been around since 1929. See our previous reviews of their jerky.

Recently the company relaunched its Old Fashioned line of jerky using an old recipe that hadn't been packaged before, and based on our previous reviews, it looks to be a different cut of meat as well. The relaunched Old Fashioned line is meant to be simple, preservative free, gluten-free, and to highlight the natural meat flavor.

The two varieties in this line are Original and Hot & Spicy.

Monday, July 13, 2015

Think Jerky Launches New Flavors on Kickstarter

Think Jerky, a new jerky brand, brings you the following message...

Introducing Think Jerky - famous chefs making jerky!

Think Jerky’s Chefs include:

  1. Laurent Gras – Three-Star Michelin Chef (there are only 12 in the country)
  2. Gale Gand – Food Network Host
  3. Matt Troost – Farm-to-Table Expert

Think Jerky is the first jerky company to use sustainably-raised proteins, with restaurant quality ingredients, in recipes crafted by famous chefs!

With unique flavors, sourcing only grass-fed beef and free-range turkey, Think Jerky is changing the game!

Our jerky flavors are:

Sriracha Honey – Made with real honey, free-range turkey, and a custom sriracha spice mix

Ginger Orange – Made with real orange peel, grass-fed beef, and fresh ginger

Sweet Chipotle – Made with real raspberries, grass-fed beef, and a custom spicy pepper blend

Thanksgiving – Made with real cranberries, free-range turkey, and a custom herb & spice mix

Think Jerky just launched on Kickstarter at www.ThinkJerky.com and we're looking for support within the jerky community to help back our project and spread the word.

Please check out and support our Kickstarter page at www.ThinkJerky.com and share our project with your social media so that we can hit our goal and make this innovative product. We can’t wait to try it!

Saturday, July 11, 2015

Don Beto' - Pork Jerky, Soy Free

don beto jerky
Don Beto' Beef Jerky is a brand owned and operated by Bob Otwell, based out of Corona, CA. The brand launched in March 2013.

We ran a review of their other beef jerky varieties last year, and since then Otwell has continued to tweak his recipes. The Don Beto' Jerky currently retails from eBay, and I believe Otwell still does some sales mano a mano.

This soy free "pork jerky" is claimed to be made from pork loin and smoked using Applewood chips, and just recently started selling Otwell's eBay store. He goes on to claim it's free of preservatives, MSG, gluten, sugar, soy, and other stuff the health food world seems to be distancing itself from.

Friday, July 10, 2015

Blank and Sons - Black Peppered Beef Jerky

blank and sons
Blank and Sons is a new brand of beef jerky that started up just over a year ago, based out of Nacogdoches, TX. It's run by Damon Blank and his wife Tammy, along with their sons Danton, Dalton, and Dagon. The family had been in the restaurant business from 1988 to 2002. They had wanted to remain in the food industry and opted to launch a jerky business.

Blank and Sons is themed after the State of Texas, and the flavors they offer are paired with various flags used throughout the Lone Star State's history. They claim their jerky is hand made in small batches, but is bold and big as their Texas-sized pride.

This "Black Peppered Beef Jerky" is marketed by the company as having a flavor, "as bold as the men who fought at the Alamo", offering a fresh cracked black pepper and a mild heat.

Wednesday, July 8, 2015

Alien Fresh Jerky - Sweet & Spicy Premium

Alien Fresh Jerky - Sweet & Spicy PremiumAlien Fresh Jerky is a brand that you might be familiar with if you've driven along Interstate 15 between Baker, CA and Las Vegas, NV. There are billboards along the desert highway with its alien cowboy brand, beckoning you to stop in Baker to buy some meat snacks.

To best of my knowledge, you can only buy this from their tiny store in Baker, or buy it online.

The Alien Fresh Brand comes in two series, the "regular" series of flavors, and then the "premium" series. The difference is that the premium line is made from beef brisket, while the regular is made from some other cut of beef. This Sweet & Spicy variety is apparently their top seller in the premium series.


Taste

The ingredients list shows the following: beef brisket, red chile, fructose, vinegar, orange peel, water, orange juice, garlic onion, spices, pectin, salt, cracked pepper, cayenne, paprika, ground oregano, thyme and spices. To their credit, they've used no artificial flavorings and preservatives.

The main thing I taste is sweet and spicy. The red chile flavor comes through very well, as does the cayenne and paprika, as well as the sweetness. I can also taste a slight orange in this. When Alien Fresh Jerky says this is "sweet & spicy" they really mean it.

The "hot" factor in this is exactly that "hot". Eating some pieces, I'm breaking a sweat and feeling the tingling in my scalp, and I can feel my tongue burning.

There is still some natural beef flavors that come through despite the thick flavoring. You won't notice it if you chew it and swallow right away. You have to chew it slightly, keep it in your mouth for about 10-15 seconds and extract the juices.

Meat Consistency

The package says this is made from beef brisket, and it appears to be so.

Each piece is soft and moist.

The meat is sticky due to its thick sweetness. Each piece I pick up I end up licking the stickiness from my fingers. But it's not so sticky like syrup. I actually find it enjoyable.

This jerky is sliced thin, and is not chewy, and very easy to tear apart. It still feels like beef when I chew it.

There is some marbling of fat, which I'd expect to find in beef brisket.


Alien Fresh Jerky - Sweet & Spicy Premium

Alien Fresh Jerky - Sweet & Spicy Premium

Rating

I'm giving this a "best" rating.

It's got everything a jerky lover can ask for, tons of taste, soft and moist, easy to eat, no artificial flavorings and preservatives, still retains some natural beef flavors, offers some fat marblization, makes you keep reaching for more, and offers a fresh taste that lives up to its name.

I tried to find something wrong with this brand and variety and couldn't do it. I can't even say that it's too salty, which many brands often are.

More importantly, you're getting a sweet & spicy variety that actually lives up to that claim; something you don't always get from other brands.

Rating: Best

Buy this online: