Sunday, May 3, 2009

Ranch House Meat Co - Beef Jerky

Ranch House Meat Co Ranch House Meat Company is a meat processing facility based in Menard, TX that focuses on making smoked meat products, including jerky, sausages, tenderloin, brisket, hams, and turkey.

Owners Max and Marsha Stabel started the business in 1978 by buying out a meat processor called D&W Processing, which provided meat processing services for local ranchers. Over the years as business demands changed, the Stabels adapted by turning their business into a smoked meat manufacturer. Today, the bulk of their business is in catalog and online sales.


Beef, salt, pepper, sugar, sodium nitrite


The first thing I taste from the surface of these pieces is a faint saltiness, and that's about it. In the chewing, I get bit more saltiness, a slight black pepper flavor, and a light meat flavor. Overall, it's a lightly flavored jerky.

But the flavor that seems to dominate this jerky is the saltiness. I'd rate the flavor intensity as moderate after having eaten several bites. The second strongest flavor in this seems to be the natural meat flavors, having a flavor similar to a well-done cooked steak, rubbed with black pepper.

The black pepper is noticeable, but I'm not sure I can classify it as a dominant flavor. It's more like something that adds color to the meat flavors.

Ranch House Meat Co.'s website claims that this jerky is "Spicy, but not too hot". In fact, it's not spicy at all. I tasted nothing spicy in this, on the contrary it's rather bland.

Overall, it's light tasting jerky, relying mostly on the saltiness as its primary flavor component.

Meat Consistency

These appear to be slices of whole meat, sliced at a medium to thick thickness, and in large slabs.

It appears to be a semi-moist jerky, with a good deal of flexibility. It seems rather chewy for the most part, with a moderately tough chew. Tearing pieces apart with my fingers requires a bit of effort, but not too tough overall.

The chewing texture starts out with some rubbery resistance. You could suck on it for awhile to soften it up, except that this jerky doesn't offer much flavor, hence I'm encouraged to chew right away. Once it's chewed down to a soft mass, it does have a steak-like chewing texture, similar to a steak cooked medium-well.

This jerky appears to be very lean, I found no streaks of fat, tendon, or gristle, but I did find some chewy sinews, though not too much.

It also seems to be pretty clean eating, leaving no residue on my fingers, and dropping hardly any tiny meat fragments as I tore pieces apart.

Snack Value

Ranch House Meat Co sells this beef jerky from its website at a price of $19.16 for an 8oz package. I bought a package, and they tacked on $10.26 for shipping, bringing the total to $29.42. That works out to $3.68 per ounce.

For general jerky snacking purposes, at the $3.68 price per ounce, this jerky presents a poor value. I got an average amount of snackability, based on it having a decent overall flavor, and a decent overall meat consistency. That $3.68 per ounce is very high for beef jerky compared to all the other brands I've had, yet it delivers about the same snackability as a bag of Oberto's. I wouldn't buy it again, unless they get the price down to about $1.50 per ounce.


I'm giving this an average rating.

This beef jerky from Ranch House Meat Co. doesn't offer anything spectactular in taste or chewing texture. It has a light overall flavor intensity, and low flavor complexity. While it does offer some natural meat flavors, even that too is light. It's largely a salt flavor you're getting out of this, with a slightly tough, rubber-like chewing.

But that's not to say it's a bad jerky, it's not. I found it to be right in the middle of the bell curve against all the jerky brands I've reviewed. It doesn't taste bad, and it actually does provide a decent amount of snackability. I just didn't find any reason to call this an above-average jerky.

My recommended beer pairing for this, a hoppy flavored IPA.

Rating: Average

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