Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Bridgford Beef Jerky - Sweet & Hot

Bridgford beef jerkyThe Bridgford brand of beef jerky is the nation's third largest brand in terms of market share, behind Oh Boy Oberto! and Jack Link's. Yet, it's probably one of the most obscure of all the top selling jerky brands. That's perhaps a testament to their expertise in getting their products in the most visible places.

The Sweet & Hot variety is a flavor sensation that many beef jerky brands are picking up on. It's actually been around for awhile, but it seemingly is becoming more mainstream in recent years. I've always preferred spicy beef jerky, but I do enjoy a jerky that swims in sticky, gooey, finger-licking, sugary goodness.


Beef, Water, Salt, Sugar, Flavoring, Monosodium Glutamate, Sodium Erythorbate, Sodium Nitrite


Despite being labeled as a "Sweet & Hot" variety, I can't taste much in terms of sweet. In fact, this variety doesn't taste any more sweet than an "original" or "plain" variety of jerky. While the ingredients list does list sugar, you can certainly taste a slight bit of sweetness, but again, it's nothing more than what you'd expect to taste in a regular variety of beef jerky.

As for being "hot", this a joke. I don't taste any hot at all. There is indeed a fair amount of black pepper, but if that's what they classify as "hot", then I've been ripped-off. Even after finishing the whole bag, I'm not even reaching for a bottle of water.

Most of what I taste in this is a slight sense of natural meat flavors, black pepper, and some salt.

This jerky doesn't taste bad on the other hand. It has a decent taste, and is enjoyable. If Bridgford called this "peppered", I'd be somewhat more satisfied. However, the taste that this jerky offers doesn't really strike me as being unique. It tastes like regular, plain old jerky, with some black pepper on it.

Meat Consistency

These appear to be made from real cuts of beef muscle, sliced to an average thickness, and in medium to small pieces.

For the most part, these pieces are on the dry side, with a few pieces being somewhat more moist. They are somewhat easy to tear apart and chew.

I found one piece with quite a bit of fat, which most people probably would not like, but is something I happen to enjoy. I didn't find much in the way of tendon or gristle.

Overall, the meat consistency provides an enjoyable beef jerky experience.

sweet and hot beef jerky

sweet and hot jerky

Product Value

I bought this at a Walgreens store in Menifee, CA and had a price of $3.99 per 3 ounce bag. That works out to $1.33 per ounce, putting it into the average ballpark, but at the lower end. Walgreens has a deal where if you buy two bags, you get them at $3.50 per bag, making it $1.17 per ounce. Either way, it's priced at the lower echelon of average.

As a beef jerky, it provides good value. It's for the most part easy to eat, and provides some good taste. But as a "Sweet & Hot" variety, it's a rip-off. If you crave a beef jerky that burns your mouth and satisfies your sweet-tooth at the same time, you'll be disappointed by Bridgford's offering.

I found the jerky to have good snackability, keeping me reaching for more. Even as I composed this review, I found myself satisfied eating this at the same time. As low-priced as it was, you might find this good as a snack while you're busy something else.


Bridgford beef jerky nutrition factsI'm giving this a "fair" rating.

It's mostly because it falls flat on its face as a "Sweet & Hot" variety. If they had labeled this simply as a "Peppered" variety, I would have given it a higher rating, at "average".

It's still a decent beef jerky just for snacking. But otherwise, it doesn't stand out as offering you something unique and exceptional. It's largely what you'd expect to get from the nation's third largest brand of beef jerky.

Rating: Fair

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