A Couple O' Jerks is one of the newest, if not, THE newest brand of jerky on the market as of this writing. The brand is owned by A Couple O' Jerks, LLC, based out of a Labadie, MO.
The business was started by Don Self, a guy who's been making his own jerky for years and years. The company got started like most others, where Don shared some of his homemade jerky with his friends, and his friends telling him he ought to sell the stuff. So with the help of a friend, A Couple O' Jerks was born.
The company makes jerky at its own USDA approved facility. They only have this one flavor, Original. And the package says, "We believe that when you take a bite of jerky, it should bite back!"
Beef, water, salt, spices, brown sugar, fermented soy, worcestershire powder, dehydrated onion and garlic, tomato powder, natural hickory smoke.
The first thing I taste from the surface of these pieces is a light salty flavor, followed by a light worcestershire, a bit of smokiness, and then a light "meaty" aroma wafting up into my sinuses. I can also feel some spicy "bite" taking hold, and I can taste some black pepper.
In the chewing, the first I taste is the natural meat flavors, which seems to carry inside it some more of the worcestershire and soy sauce. I can also pick up that garlic aftertaste.
My initial impression is that this jerky is indeed quite good with a strong meat flavor, boosted with some black pepper flavor, worcestershire and soy sauce. Worcestershire and soy sauce is a common one-two-punch marinade in many jerky brands, and this is no exception, but it's flavor is quite different than the others. Maybe that's because the ingredients says "worcestershire powder" and "fermented soy".
But they don't overpower the meat flavors.
I'd rank the natural meat flavors as the primary flavor of this jerky. It's similar to a grilled rib eye steak, rubbed with a lot of black pepper. But it has carries the flavors of worcestershire and soy sauce, in light enough amounts that the meat flavor is still the primary flavor.
The saltiness is perhaps the second-most dominant flavor. I'd say the flavor intensity anywhere from medium to high. There's a bit of spicy heat in this jerky that perhaps exacerbates the saltiness to where it might seem more salty than it really is.
And that spicy heat is not really all that hot. I'd rank it at "medium" on my hot scale, and I'm someone who tends to tolerate hot foods pretty well. Some of you might see it at a higher, "medium-hot".
The black pepper flavor is perhaps the third-strongest flavor. I don't see it listed in the ingredients, but I'm assuming its in the "spices". In fact, I don't really see it on these pieces either, but I can clearly taste it.
There's also a very light sweetness on the surface, but it's very short lived, maybe a couple of seconds at the longest. It's actually the very first flavor, now that I think about it. But it so short, the saltiness takes over immediately.
Overall, what you're going to get from this jerky is the natural meat flavors, tasting like a grilled steak, with good deal of black pepper, and highlighted with some worcestershire and soy sauce. There's quite a bit of saltiness in this, and you'll also get a decent amount of spicy heat.
These appear to be slices of whole meat, sliced to a medium thickness, and in strips of about 2-5 inches in length.
It's a dry jerky, with some brittle quality, to the point where if bent with the grain it snaps apart. But it's not really "hard" or "tough". It does however take some effort to chew, but not really all that bad.
The chewing texture starts out feeling stiff, and with some sucking and light biting, it breaks down, and chews down to a soft mass in about 20-30 seconds. It has a steak-like chewing texture, but just a little crumbly. It's not mushy or gummy at all.
These pieces all seem to be pretty lean, I see no streaks of fat on them. I didn't encounter any tendon or gristle, and I didn't find too many chewy sinews. It's mostly all meat.
Eating this jerky seems pretty clean, the strips allow me to bite off chunks instead of tearing them apart with my fingers, and because they're sliced against the grain, they snap off easily enough. My fingers do pick up some residue however, and I tend to wipe them on my jeans.
A Couple O' Jerks sells this Original variety from their website at a price of $7.80 for a four ounce bag. The shipping is included in that price. That works out to a price of $1.95 per ounce. You can buy it in various bulk prices, and get it down to as low as $1.48 per ounce.
For general jerky snacking purposes, at the $1.95 price per ounce, it seems to present a good value. I'm getting a lot of snackability for its natural meat flavors, and its high flavor intensity based on that black pepper, worcestershire, and soy sauce. But it's really the meat flavor that creates the snackability for me. The $1.95 price per ounce is more expensive than compared to the mass-market brands, but I think you're indeed getting a much better jerky, and it seems to provide a lot of return for your snacking dollar.
I'm giving this a best rating.
This original variety from A Couple O' Jerks starts out by giving you a strong natural meat flavor, and then enhanced with the flavors of black pepper, worcestershire, and soy sauce, and further boosted by some noticeable spicy heat and garlic. If you're a meat snacker like me, you want to taste the meat, and you'll taste it in this.
This jerky has a lot of flavor intensity. Each bite is bursting with flavor. It makes me want to suck on each piece, extract the juices, and enjoy the flavors.
The chewing texture is good, quite steak-like. But these pieces are indeed on the tough side, but not too terribly so. It actually helps that they're cut into strips, and cut against the grain, to make it easier to bite off. That helps preserve snackability, in that you don't have to fight the jerky.
If you like spicy jerky, this is one for you. Don't let the "Original Recipe" on the package make you think this tastes simple. It's quite the opposite.
For my beer recommendation, go with a dark, smoky, porter.
Buy this online: