Thursday, July 17, 2008

Double B Beef Jerky - Pecan Smoked

Double B Beef Jerky - Pecan SmokedThe Double B brand of jerky is produced by Minong, WI-based Jerky Snack Brands, Inc. If the town of "Minong" sounds familiar, that's because it's also the home of Jack Link's brand of jerky. Jerky Snack Brands is owned by Jay Link, eldest son of Jack Link himself. Jay started his own jerky business after being pushed out of his father's business due to a long-standing dispute.

Double B started out as a jerky maker in 1971, being run as Double B Foods, Inc., based in Schulenberg, TX. The company shifted focus towards manufacturing frozen foods, and in 2007 sold its jerky operations to Jerky Snack Brands.

Jerky Snack Brands also owns the Pioneer brand of jerky.

The Double B brand continues on as both a jerky brand focusing on preservative-free, and all natural ingredients, as well as a company that makes frozen foods mostly for schools. Today both names are independent of each other.

In addition to this Pecan Smoked variety, the Double B brand also includes Applewood Smoked, and Hickory Smoked, as well as a Turkey variety.


Beef, water, turbinado brown sugar, sea salt, pepper, natural flavor.

Note that the "pepper" listed in the ingredients is actually chile pepper, and not black pepper. I found chile pepper seeds on some of these pieces. See the close up photo below.


Probably the first taste I notice is a slight sweetness on the surface of these pieces. Within the first couple of chews, I get a slight hotness from the chile pepper.

The natural meat flavors do come out in this, though only subtle. It's something that comes out stronger if you soften up piece in your mouth for 15-20 seconds, and chew thoroughly.

These pieces are not very salty as compared to the Applewood Smoked variety, though the saltiness is detectable.

As far as this being a pecan smoked variety, I can taste the smokiness but it's slight, not quite as strong as Double B's Applewood Smoked variety. After tasting several pieces, I can discern a smoke-taste difference between this Pecan variety and the Applewood. The Pecan has a mellower taste.

As for that chile pepper hotness? I would classify this as being "mild-medium" by my taste buds, but probably "medium" to lesser-adjusted tongues.

Overall, this has a good taste, albeit a mellow taste. It's actually a taste that's very similar to many other "original" brands, with the exception of throwing in some spicy chile pepper seasoning. Even though the ingredients and the packaging doesn't specify chile pepper, or this being "hot", it's appropriate to say that this has a spicy kick to it.

Meat Consistency

These appear to be cuts of real meat, sliced medium to thick, and in small to medium sized pieces.

This is a dry jerky, much drier than the Applewood Smoked variety I reviewed before. It has some flexibility, but will crack and break apart if bent too far. This is not soft and tender by any means, but not that difficult to eat. At the most, you'll need to twist some pieces to get them to tear apart, whereas others simply require just a bit of effort to tear. Eating these pieces require a similar amount of effort.

Perhaps it's just this particular sample, but as dry as this is it would have been better to slice this more thin to make it easier to tear apart and chew.

Some pieces had some bits and streaks of fat, but otherwise no amount of tendon or gristle.

Overall the meat consistency provides a fair beef jerky experience. Being this sample was rather dry, and sliced thick enough to make it somewhat tough, I found myself having to clamp down on a piece and then twist the other part with my fingers to get it to tear off. Though other pieces required less effort.

Double B Beef Jerky - Pecan Smoked

Double B Beef Jerky - Pecan 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 offers a fair value for that price. It doesn't offer a lot of favor, more mild than anything. The meat consistency is on the tough side, though not terribly tough. And despite the packaging not mentioning anything about being spicy, or containing chile pepper, this is in fact a spicy variety.

As a pecan smoked variety, I can't fairly judge this since I don't have much experience with the taste diffences of smoke woods. It does have a smokiness to it, and it does offer a different smoke taste than its Applewood Smoked counterpart.

As a preservative-free variety, it's still probably an average buy at best. For the price that I paid, I can find other other preservative-free varieties cheaper.


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

About the best thing I can about this is that it's snackable. I do enjoy eating more and more of this. As a general beef jerky, it has a good taste, and I do like the slight spiciness of the chile pepper. But it's otherwise a mild tasting jerky, not much different than the many other original varieties of large national brands.

The slightly tough meat consistency is something to make note of, but I decided it was still ok enough to retain this jerky's snackability. If it were more tender, I'm not sure I would have given it a better rating, because the taste is still largely unremarkable from the many other original varieties I've reviewed from other brands.

Rating: Average

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