Saturday, April 26, 2008

Smokey's Beef Jerky - Hickory

Smokey's Beef JerkySmokey's Beef Jerky is a little jerky business in Big Bear Lake, CA, located right on Big Bear Lake Blvd inside a little house. They also sell candies and coffee blends.

All their jerky is presented inside a display case, it's not sealed in plastic bags like so much other jerky is. But that only means you have to eat it right away, or otherwise it dries out and loses its freshness. They don't use any preservatives and is made 100% all natural ingredients.

This "Hickory" variety is what I presume to be Smokey's "regular" or "original" variety. It's actually slightly seasoned with black pepper.


Because I don't have a package label, I can't give you an ingredients list.

Mostly what I taste right away is a combination of black pepper and soy sauce. There is a nice smokey flavor as well, and it's rather salty.

There is a good taste of the natural beef flavors.

Meat Consistency

These are made with real slices of beef, sliced very thin, and cut into large pieces.

This review piece is very dry, but sliced so thin that it tears apart and chews very easy. It has a crispness to it, reminiscent of eating a fresh piece of "nori", dried seaweed.

It also contains some fat marbilization, which I always find adds to the natural meat flavors.

Product Value

I paid $16.50 for 8 ounces of mixed variety. That works out to $2.06 per ounce, putting this into the expensive category. Note that the company's website shows a price of $15.00 for 8 ounces, which would put it at $1.88 per ounce, just barely into the "average" ballpark.

As a beef jerky, this Hickory variety offers great value for providing a nice jerky experience being easy to tear apart and chew. It also offers plenty of flavor in both spices and natural meat taste. The crisp consistency is actually quite pleasant with an ultra-thin slice, making for great snackability.

Smokey's Beef Jerky - Hickory

Smokey's Beef Jerky - Hickory


I'm giving this variety a "good" rating.

I found myself wanting more and more of this variety. While I prefer soft and moist beef jerky, I actually enjoyed this dry jerky, mainly because it was sliced so thin, that it tore apart and chewed very easily. It makes for a pleasant experience being crisp when sliced this thin.

What would have pushed it up to a higher rating is if it could have offered some additional flavor enhancer, like a faint spiciness of chili, or maybe a bit more sweetness, and if it could cut down on the salt.

Rating: Good

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