Thursday, November 27, 2008

Buffalo Bills Dead Meat - Snafu Spicy

Buffalo Bills Dead Meat - Snafu SpicyA few days ago I received a few packages of "Dead Meat", a new line of jerky from the Buffalo Bills brand. Buffalo Bills is owned by Choo Choo R Snacks, Inc., of Lebanon, PA. They've been selling jerky since 1990.

The folks there explained to me that the Dead Meat line is all sold in one pound bags, and for the most part, it's exactly the same as their Premium Line of jerky, with the same varieties, except made with a less expensive cut of beef, but still made from US-raised cattle. The cheaper meat allows them sell these one-pound bags at a price that competes better with other brands of one-pound jerky.

One thing I like about the Dead Meat line is the presentation. The labeling is all military themed, with their famous Buffalo Bill logo decked out in camoflauge, with machine guns and hand grenades. Even the name "Dead Meat" is cool to me. It's blunt, it's manly, and it's exactly what jerky is anyways. It's almost as if it were a response to the political correctness run amok that seems to have taken over America these days.

In addition to this "Spicy Snafu", the Dead Meat line also includes "Hooah Hickory" and "Troi Oi Teriyaki".


Beef, sugar, water, vinegar, soy sauce, salt, garlic powder, red pepper, black pepper, cayenne chili, liquid smoke, sodium nitrite.


The flavors I pick up from the surface of these pieces is a good deal of sweetness and the taste of chili peppers. In the chewing, I pick up some smokiness, some saltiness, and the natural meat flavors.

This stuff could easily pass as a sweet & spicy jerky as there's enough sweetness on this stuff to make it so, and the level of spicy seems enough to warrant calling it spicy. I'd rate the hotness as medium for most pieces, and mild-medium for some others. The actual flavors of red chiles and cayenne pepper are easily detectable too.

The natural meat flavors are also easily identifiable, but I wouldn't go so far as to say that it's a strong flavor. I get a mild taste of the beef with some smoky overtones. Some of the pieces had a stale taste, but most of it seemed fresh.

I don't really see this as "too salty" at all, it seems to have a moderate level taste. It may be the higher degree of sweetness that dampens the impact of the salt.

I can also pick up the garlic too, but lightly, and only after eating several pieces. It's aftertaste makes a decent presence in the back of my mouth.

To me, the dominant taste of this jerky is that combination of sweet & spicy from the red chiles and cayenne pepper. The second most dominant taste is the natural meat flavors, and third place is the salt. It's a flavor-intensive jerky.

Meat Consistency

These appear to be slices of whole meat, sliced at average to thick thickness, and in small to medium sized pieces.

I'd classify this as a dry jerky, but clearly with some slight degree of moisture, and more soft and tender than typical dry jerkies. It retains a lot of flexibility. It does require a bit of effort to tear apart, and it is indeed chewy, but I wouldn't consider this tough. The chewiness is somewhere between easy and tough.

The chewing experience has a heavy fibrous character like a well-done steak, but there is also a chewiness to this, perhaps even a slight rubbery texture.

The sugary coating also leaves some sticky on my fingertips, and that picks up some of the chili pepper flakes as well. Here and there I'm having to do some finger licking.

There is a noticeable degree of fat on some of these pieces, but most of it seems fairly lean. However, I also found streaks of gristle, and tendon as well, on other pieces. One piece had a large enough piece of tendon that I just yanked off and tossed away.

Snack Value

Choo Choo R Snacks sells this Dead Meat Snafu Spicy variety from their website at a price of $17.99 for a 16 ounce bag. That works out to a price of $1.12 per ounce, putting this on the lower end of the medium price range.

For general jerky snacking purposes, it offers an excellent value particularly at this lower price. I found it very snackable with its great taste. Even though the meat is on the chewy side, it's not really tough at all, and I found myself craving the sweet & spicy flavor.


I'm giving this a good rating.

First, I found it very snackable, which always gets a jerky up to at least an average rating. But I liked the flavor with its combination of sweet, spicy, natural meat flavors, and that touch of garlic. While it's not necessarily billed as a sweet jerky, it is billed as spicy, and it indeed stands up to that claim.

The meat consistency, having enough pieces of fat, tendon, and gristle is largely what kept me from assigning this a higher rating. While the chewing texture is kinda chewy, and maybe even rubbery to a small extent, I could overlook that for the better taste. The chewing texture is actually ok for the most part.

But this is a jerky designed for the price point of selling in large one pound bags. If you like sweet & spicy jerky, the value of this makes it a worthy buy, considering the snackability, great taste, flavor-intensity, and low price.

A good beer recommendation a light, honey blonde ale.

Rating: Good

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