Sunday, July 13, 2008

Double B Beef Jerky - Applewood Smoked

Double B Beef Jerky - Applewood SmokedThe Double B brand of beef jerky is owned by Jerky Snack Brands, Inc. of Minong, WI. Jerky Snack Brands is owned by Jay Link, the eldest son of "Jack Link", of the Jack Link's jerky fame.

Double B began in 1971 as a maker of meat snacks, based in Schulenberg, TX. In 2003, the company acquired Estrada Foods of Pueblo, CO, a frozen mexican food maker, in an attempt to expand itself into the frozen food market. Double B moved the frozen food manufacturing operations to its processing plant in Meridian, TX.

Then in March of 2007, the company divested itself from its roots as a meat snack maker, and sold all of its jerky manufacturing to Jerky Snack Brands, and continues to this day selling frozen foods, mostly to schools.

The Double B brand continues on as a line of "all natural", and "preservative free" beef jerky, found in many natural food shops.


Beef, worcestershire sauce, water, tamari soy sauce, turbinado brown sugar, sea salt, natural flavor, pepper.


The first piece I put into my mouth gives off a salty taste that quickly turns into a soy sauce taste. There is a smokiness that is easily detected. Finally, the natural meat flavors start showing through with the first few chews.

But if I were to name any particular flavor that stands out the most, it's "salty".

Being that worcestershire sauce has second highest weight on the ingredients list, it seems to be overshadowed by the soy sauce. But I can taste the worcestershire sauce after several chews, extracting out the juices.

There is also a peppery aftertaste that builds up over several pieces. You don't really taste the pepper in the pieces themselves.

So does this taste like an "applewood smoked" jerky? Well, it does have a good amount of smokiness, but I can't really say that I can detect recognize it as applewood smoke, since I don't believe I've had any jerky that marketed itself as being applewood smoked. Most jerkies I've had don't even mention what kind of wood it was smoked with, aside from all those that use liquid smoke.

However, I also bought the "Pecan Smoked" from Double B, and ate a couple pieces in comparison, and the pecan smoked variety has much more mild smokiness. So who knows.

The natural meat flavors are there after several chews, but can't be detected right away largely because of the overpowering presence of salt and soy sauce flavoring. But being this is preservative free, it still retains a fresh taste.

Overall, this has good flavor, but just too salty for my preference. If you like salty jerky, this might be something for you.

Meat Consistency

These are made from real cuts of meat, sliced medium and thick, and in small to medium sized pieces.

I'd say this is a dry jerky, but rather soft and tender. It tears apart pretty easily, and is easy to chew. Further into the chew, the meat fibers tend to get somewhat mushy.

I found small amounts of tendon in most pieces, which I didn't enjoy, though I could swallow easily. Otherwise no gristle. I also found some small streaks of fat on one piece.

Overall, I found the meat consistency to be good, offering an ease in tearing and chewing, though presence of chewy tendon in most pieces.

Double B Beef Jerky - Applewood Smoked

Double B Beef Jerky - Applewood Smoked

Product Value

I paid $6.59 for this 3.5oz bag at a Henry's Market in Temecula, CA. That works out to $1.88 per oz, making this an average priced buy, but on the higher-end of average.

I'd say this has an average-to-good value. For that price, the taste is nothing superior, but indeed packed with a lot of taste. However, much of that taste is salt. But it is a soft and tender variety.

As an applewood smoked variety, I'm not sure if you're getting anything spectacular. While this does have a good amount of smokiness, it doesn't really stand out from most of the jerkies I've had that didn't explain what kind of smoke they used. Perhaps most of these other brands were also applewood smoked? I don't know. I'm not sure you'll get any return on your dollar if you bought this specifically as an applewood smoked variety.


Double B Beef Jerky - Applewood SmokedI'm giving this an average rating.

What this jerky is great for, is snacking. It's meat consistency doesn't detract from whatever else you're doing, it offers plenty of salty flavor, and offers just enough of other flavors to keep me reaching for more. And if a preservative-free jerky is what you want, this has it.

But aside from that, it didn't present anything extra in substantial amount to put it above average.

Since I'm not an expert with applewood smoked jerky, I'm evaluating this largely as an "original" variety, which in that sense, makes this is a good tasting jerky. I liked the touch of black pepper on this, and the subtle worcestershire sauce taste. But I found that goodness to be cancelled out by the heavy saltiness.

NOTE: It may be worth pointing out that this bag of Applewood Smoked jerky still has the Double B Foods, Inc., address, and website on the bottom of the bag. Thats' contrasted to its Pecan Smoked companion which has the updated Jerky Snack Brands name and address. I don't know if that means this Applewood Smoked variety was made in an entirely different process? Both bags have the same design, and the same "best if eaten by" date.

Rating: Average

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