I've seen this line of "Beef Steak" offered by Jack Link's, but have never tried them before. I finally broke down and bought this Teriyaki variety a couple of days ago.
Best I can tell, this is not a whole muscle meat snack, but more like a chunked-formed concoction. It has a rather appetizing aroma, similar to a nacho cheese & jalapeno flavored beef stick.
I can see how these things would market well to truckers and convenience store addicts. They're very easy to open, just peel away the top layers of plastic. They're very thick, very meaty looking, and moist. The visual presentation alone is something that would appeal to manly snackers.
Beef, brown sugar, fructose, salt, water, less than 2% hydrolyzed soy protein, flavorings, pineapple juice solids, teriyaki sauce, sherry wine solids, orange juice solids, sodium erythorbate, spice, sodium nitrite.
The tastes I pick from the surface of these pieces is very much like a beef stick, particularly one with that nacho cheese & jalapeno flavoring. That's about all I get from the surface. In the chewing, I get some salty taste, and a bit of sweet flavor, and then I can't seem to taste much else.
My initial impression is that this teriyaki flavored "Beef Steak" is mostly all visual presentation than anything else. I don't get much flavor out of this. There's that surface flavor I described above, and then mostly just salty flavor in the chewing, with some sweet.
As for being a teriyaki variety, I can't say that I taste any teriyaki flavoring. If anything, just a slight sweetness.
And I don't get any natural meat flavors either. I focused hard on the chewing flavors, to see if I could identify anything that came from the meat, but I just couldn't. What I do taste is the surface flavors, which mimics something of a beef stick, but I'm certain that flavor is not coming from inside these pieces.
The level of salt intensity in this seems moderate. While the nutrition facts label shows a rather high 880mg per serving, keep in mind it represents a 2oz serving instead of the standard 1oz.
I'd rate the dominant flavor of this "beef steak" as the surface flavor, which mimics a nacho cheese & jalapeno flavored beef stick. The second-most dominant flavor is the saltiness. And, I can't really identify a third dominant flavor. There is a sweetness evident in this, but I wouldn't call it a strong flavor, not enough to be a dominant flavor.
This appears to be a chunked & formed style of jerky, pressed into a strip of about 12 inches in length, about 1 inch wide, and very thick.
It's a moist jerky, and it's very flexibile. It requires a bit of effort to tear this apart with my fingers, it's something you have to bite off with your teeth. The chewing is fairly easy.
The chewing texture has something of a meaty texture. I can feel the fibrous meat character, but there's also a chewy, rubbery feel to it as well. The more I chew, the more it seems to take on a meat-like nature.
Because these pieces are rather moist, they do leave some moisture on my finger tips. But otherwise no fragments falling on my lap.
I didn't find any bits of fat, tendon, or gristle in this. It all seems rather "meaty".
I paid $2.19 for this 2oz beef steak at a Rite Aid in Menifee, CA. That works out to a price of $1.10 per ounce, putting this into the average price range, but at the lower end towards cheap.
For general jerky snacking purposes, at this price, it has a great value. I do find a good deal of snackability in this; I keep finding myself wanting to eat more. The chewing texture is ok, though not great, and the overall meat consistency, I think, is pretty good. While it's lacking in the taste department, I think it still offers just enough taste to be snackable, but relying on its meat consistency to keep you wanting more.
As a teriyaki variety, it's a poor value. I just don't taste any teriyaki in this. While it's still priced fairly low, I don't think it's worth buying if you are specifically wanting a teriyaki flavored meat snack.
I'm giving this an average rating.
For the most part, what this teriyaki Beef Steak offers is a snacking satisfaction. It won't offer a great taste, but will provide you with some decent flavor. But I think it's the moist, thick, meaty, feel of these things, with a decent chewing texture, that brings out the carnal instincts in us.
In the end, a good snacking satisfaction is what you're wanting for your money, and at the lower price I paid, I think it's a good deal.
I think it loses rating because it didn't live up to its teriyaki flavor advertisement, and because it really doesn't offer any spectacular taste, particularly no meat flavors. It's just a cheap, convenient snack food for snackers on the go.
My recommendation for this is a brown ale.
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