Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Gary West Meats - Certified Angus Beef - Traditional

Gary West Meats - Certified Angus Beef - TraditionalGary West Meats is a brand of smoked meats and jerky produced by a company of the same name. Based in Jacksonville, OR, it's been serving up its famous brand of meats since 1966 on location at the company's own meat processing facility.

The company was founded by Gary West using recipes handed down to him by his grandfather. In 2004, he sold the business to his daughter and son-in-law. Since that time, the Gary West brand of beef jerky rose in popularity quite quickly being well respected for its wonderful meat taste, and gaining great reviews in such publications as the New York Times and earning the 2008 Editor's Choice award from Outdoor Life magazine.

Gary West Meats is also the only brand that offers a special line of beef jerky made from Certified Angus Beef, an organization that produces a very high quality line of beef. Only 8% of all angus beef qualifies for CAB, and is the most tender and flavorful angus beef around. This review tries out Gary West's "Traditional" Certified Angus Beef jerky.


Beef, brown sugar, salt, black pepper, sodium nitrite.


The first tastes that comes through is a slight sweetness along with the natural meat flavors. Chewing down on it very slightly is enough to get the piece to release more of that natural meat flavor, along with a salty flavor.

I'm not an expert on Certified Angus Beef, so I can't really say that I know the unique qualities that differentiate it from other Angus beef. However, this particular variety of jerky has an excellent meat taste, just like with Gary West's standard traditional beef jerky (see review here).

This meat has the same smooth, mellow, and almost "buttery" like taste. It's not a sharp taste, but mellow. It's a very delicious flavor, which reminds me of the time I had a rib eye steak at Lou & Mickey's at the Gas Lamp District of San Diego. It was a steak that had such a rich "meaty" taste, yet so soft and juicy, and it became the comparison steak that I compare other steak houses to. While beef jerky is not exactly steak, this wonderful meat flavor from Gary West Meats has become my comparison beef jerky at least in terms of natural meat flavors.

This particular jerky is actually rather sparse on seasonings. Salt is the probably the most dominant flavoring, though I can't say that it tastes overly salty, even though the nutrition facts suggests it salty. The black pepper listed in the ingredients is detectable, but very slightly. I can only taste it while sucking on a piece, before I actually chew down on it.

I'm out of good quality beer in my refrigerator, and had to resort to a Heineken Light that I've had sitting in there for several months. Like most other "rice brewed" beers out there, I find it ruins the taste of this jerky. I'd recommend a honey blonde ale with this jerky; it won't compete against it's mellow buttery flavor.

Meat Consistency

This jerky appears to be made from whole pieces of meat, sliced into strips of about a foot long, and about the width of a meat stick. Note that I cut the strip into smaller pieces for photographic purposes.

I found this to be a semi-moist jerky, probably slightly more dry. It's a "soft and tender" variety of jerky, that is easy to bite off and very easy to chew.

No pieces of fat, tendon, or gristle could be found.

The strips are cut with the grain, making it difficult to tear apart with your with fingers. You have to eat it like a beef stick, basically biting off each piece.

Gary West Meats - Certified Angus Beef - Traditional

Gary West Meats - Certified Angus Beef - Traditional

Product Value

Gary West Meats sells this Traditional variety of Certified Angus Beef jerky at a price of $9.00 for a 4oz package. That works out to a price of $2.25 per ounce, making it an expensive buy.

At that price, I probably wouldn't buy this since I haven't developed the highly sophisticated palate from differentiating Gary West's Certified Angus Beef jerky from their standard beef jerky. The standard jerky sells for $7.50 per 4oz package.

And for general purpose jerky eating, this makes an expensive meat snack. This isn't something you'd snack on while watching a movie or sitting at a football game, simply because it would be an injustice to ignore this jerky's excellent meat flavors.

But if you're someone whose very anal about enjoying "artisan jerky" for its natural meat flavors, or if you simply MUST have Certified Angus Beef in all of your meat-eating, this is an excellent value.


Gary West Meats - Certified Angus Beef - TraditionalI'm giving this a best rating.

The natural meat flavors that come from this Traditional variety of Certified Angus Beef are wonderful with its smooth, mellow, and almost buttery flavor. It's a flavor that has me craving for more and more. On top of that, it has an excellent meat consistency.

In terms of seasonings, it's rather bland, with basically just salt being the only other flavor I can taste. But the natural meat flavors are so good that it's all that I care to taste.

This isn't a jerky that I'd eat for general purpose snacking, but something I'd take with me on a hike up to a nearby waterfall, with a couple bottles of really good beer, and perch myself on a rock ledge overlooking the canyon below, and be thankful for the steer that gave its life for my personal enjoyment.

Rating: Best

Buy this online:


Post a Comment