Monday, October 6, 2008

Bacon Freak - Bacon Jerky - Honey BBQ Rubbed

Bacon Freak - Bacon Jerky - Honey BBQ RubbedI've seen a lot of strange ideas for jerky, but perhaps bacon jerky is the strangest thus far. But at a time when brands are coming out with cactus jerky and tofu jerky, then hey why not bacon? At least it's meat. While traditional jerky is lean and dry, this stuff the is opposite, full of fat and very wet.

And who really cares anyway when we're talking about bacon? I mean, it's BACON!

Bacon Freak is a brand belonging to Moorpark, CA-based Coastal Vineyards, Inc., a company that started out running a wine club, where subscribers received bottles of wine each month. The company, founded by Rocco "Boss Hog" Loosbrock, then introduced food clubs for stuff like jams and jellies, barbecue sauces, olives, pasta, and bacon. Over the next several months, the bacon club proved popular, and has seemingly changed the focus of his business. He still offers the wine clubs, but the website of Coastal Vineyards is largely dominated by bacon and graphics of smiling pigs.

The concept of bacon jerky, according to Loosbrock, is so that you can enjoy bacon without having to feed your friends. He explains that when you cook bacon, the smell wafts its way around the house and throughout the neighborhood, causing hungry folks to show up. With bacon jerky, the aroma doesn't spread, allowing you to "hog" it all to yourself.

Ingredients

Cured with: salt, sugar, brown sugar, sodium nitrite

Coated with: golden honey BBQ rub

Ingredients: sugar, dry honey, salt, spices including paprika, soybean oil, citric acid, caramel color, garlic powder, natural hickory smoke flavor, oleoresin, paprika added for color, spice extractives.

Taste

Off the surface, I get a strong, classic taste of smoked bacon, backed with a good deal of sweetness, and a good deal of saltiness. In the chewing, it's just more bacony goodness, more salty, but none of the sweet.

For being a bacon jerky, you're getting tons of bacon flavor, mostly because it's real bacon. And it doesn't taste like the standard bacon you'd get from the grocery store chains, this has a very "old fashioned taste" that conjures up images of a bygone era somewhere in the heartland of the USA. It has a more meaty taste than the thin sliced stuff you get today.

But for being a "Honey BBQ Rubbed" variety, it certainly is sweet, but I don't pick up the BBQ part. I don't really see this as having any kind of barbecue taste. But that shouldn't detract from the taste of this product. It's still very delicious.

The saltiness tastes high compared to other meat jerkies, and even tastes high compared to grocery store bacon. But I find the flavor of this jerky to be so good, that it doesn't really bother me. Note there is no nutrition facts label with this product.

And if you're thinking that the heavy amount of fat will create a spoiled taste, it doesn't. It tastes just like bacon fat, which is probably the best tasting fat of all.

Meat Consistency

These are strips of bacon, sliced thick, and in lengths of about 3-4 inches.

It doesn't eat like standard bacon, it actually retains a chewy nature very comparable to jerky. There's enough meat on these strips that you'll get a decent amount of chewing. Even the fat has a chewy nature to it. The chewiness overall is similar to many of the "soft and tender" jerkies out there.

And for being real bacon, it's just as oily as you might expect. The oil gets all over my fingers, and with each bite I have to lick them off. There's also a good deal of sugary glaze on these strips that adds to the cleanup.

Bacon Freak - Bacon Jerky - Honey BBQ Rubbed

Bacon Freak - Bacon Jerky - Honey BBQ Rubbed
Product Value

Bacon Freak sells this Honey BBQ Rubbed variety of bacon jerky at a price of $9.95 for a 2 ounce package. That works out to a price of $4.98 per ounce, putting this into the very expensive price range.

For general jerky snacking purposes, it's probably too expensive to buy up pounds of this stuff to satisfy your meat snacking urges. And if bacon is all you wanted, you can already buy pre-cooked bacon from the grocery store, though I doub't it'd taste better than this.

In terms of holding its value as a Honey BBQ Rubbed variety, it does well for being sweet. But if you buy this specifically because you like BBQ flavored snackfoods, then get yourself a bottle of BBQ sauce, as you won't taste any on this.

But I would defintely recommend the jerky-lover out there to buy a package of this stuff, it's well worth adding to your repertoire of jerky experiences.

Rating

I'm giving this a best rating.

Bacon Freak may have hit upon the ultimate meat snacking idea, combining America's love affair with bacon, putting it into a snackable form factor, and topping it up jerky-like seasonings. It even eats like jerky, which I think justifies using the "jerky" product description.

While this particular variety of Honey BBQ Rubbed is for all intents and purposes, a sweet variety and not really BBQ, I found such great snackability in this, and great taste, that I couldn't keep my hands off of the "best" rating.

The price will probably prevent this product from becoming a part of your daily snacking habits, but it would make a great gift for that meat-fanatic in your family.

I think an IPA style of beer would work well with this.

Rating: Best

Buy this online:

6 comments:

  1. I cant wait to try this bacon jerky.

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  2. I have not had the Honey BBQ bacon jerky; however, Bacon Freak also has a Honey BBQ Country Ham Jerky that has a excellent taste that has a sweet BBQ flavor that developes into a rich meaty chewy experience that surpasses commerical jerky products. The thick hand cut ham peices taste like a jerky that was prepared by a secret recipe and only tasted by a few very special people who were worthy enough for Jerky for that was a labor of love for a jerky experience that was layer's of flavor.

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  3. Saw it here as well and cheaper
    www.fatherscountryhams.com

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  4. And at Father's Country Hams, you can order a value three-pack for $15, which pretty much halves the price at cvwine. So it's about $5 per 2oz bag, making it $2.50 per ounce... not nearly so expensive. ;)

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  5. Has anyone tried to make their own, employing oven jerkey-making techniques? I have been intrigued by this product, and I think I'm going to try to make my own!

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  6. I have to disagree with the review posted above.

    To be honest, I was pretty excited about ordering this product. Like most meat lovers, I enjoy bacon. The review led me to believe that this was going to be a delicious jerky.

    Couldn't be farther from the truth. If this is a jerky you can snack on, there is something wrong with your mouth. Now, I can understand certain things that are a "matter of taste." But this is only true in some instances, if we are talking about food, movies, music, etc. Most of the time, the product is either good or bad. And I don't care what anyone says about differences is personal taste.

    This jerky is bordering on awful. I wasted my money on getting all the varieties of bacon jerky because I was really confident in the product.

    The saltiness of the product is off the charts, so is the greasiness of it. I mean, it's truly gross. As for bacon flavor, it has the type of bacon flavor that I don't like. Hard to describe, but this product has nothing in common with the things I like about bacon. I would rate everything about the jerky: texture, taste, looks, as just above "dog treats."

    Steve's review of this product is probably the most inaccurate review on this site. I would say that I agree most of the time with his reviews. This one is just plain wrong in my opinion.

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