Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Famous Dave's Beef Jerky - Original

Famous Dave's Beef Jerky Famous Dave's is a brand of Famous Products, Inc., based out of Eden Prairie, MN. Famous Dave's is known mostly for its line of award winning BBQ sauces and its chain of 170+ restaurants.

Dave Anderson started the well known restaurant chain in 1994, and just a year later, took first place for his BBQ sauce at the American Royal International Barbecue Contest. Since then, award after award has been bestowed on him for his sauces and food.

This particular Original variety is said to contain Famous Dave's "Steak & Burger" seasoning. The actual manufacturer of this jerky is Jerky Snack Brands, of Mankato, MN.


Beef, water, seasoning (salt, sugar, garlic powder, maltodextrin, onion powder, hydrolyzed soy protein, corn starch, soybean oil, citric acid, natural flavors, corn syrup solids, dehydrated lemon juice, natural smoke flavor, caramel color, with less than 2% calcium silicate), sodium nitrite.


The first thing I taste from the surface of these pieces is a light smoky flavor, followed quickly by a strong seasoning flavor. I can pick up a good deal of garlic in that seasoning, and some saltiness.

In the chewing, what I notice first is more of that seasoning flavor, in a stronger definition.

For being described as made from Famous Dave's "Steak & Burger" seasoning, this jerky definitely has that flavor. It's almost like taking a shaker bottle of that seasoning, and sprinkling it on my tongue. I can taste the garlic and onion quite well, and I can even pick up a wee bit of sweet.

The saltiness seems moderate in terms of flavor intensity.

I can't find any natural meat flavors, however.

Overall, the flavor you're going to taste the most is Famous Dave's "Steak & Burger" seasoning, starting from the surface flavors, and becoming more defined in the chewing flavors. But that's about all you're going to taste.

Meat Consistency

These are slices of whole meat, sliced to a medium thickness, and in small to medium sized pieces. There's also about a half-ounce of crumbled pieces in the bottom of the bag.

This seems to be a dry jerky mostly, but I do find some pieces being more close to semi-moist. Some pieces seem easy to tear apart with my fingers, but I noted some that require some effort. Chewing, however, seems relatively easy.

The chewing texture starts out feeling somewhat soft and tender, and seems to chew down to a soft mass fairly easily. At that point, it's similar to a steak-like chewing texture, but not quite. Some pieces have slighly crumbly nature, while others are a little mushy.

I didn't find any pieces of fat on this jerky, nor did I find any gristle or tendon. I do note, however, some pieces with some stringy sinews. Overall however, it seems rather lean jerky.

It's also rather clean eating as well. My fingers didn't pick up any residue, with only scant bits of meat flying off as I tore pieces apart.

Snack Value

Famous Dave's sells this Original variety from its website at a price of $5.49 for a 3.5oz package. I bought 3 packages, each a different flavor. Add to that shipping costs of $8.29, and it brings a total of $24.76. That works out to a per ounce price of $2.36.

For general jerky snacking purposes, at the $2.36 price per ounce, it's seems to provide a fair value. I get a good deal of snackability for that good tasting "Steak & Burger" seasoning, along for a fairly easy to eat jerky. That $2.36 price is higher than what you'd pay in a grocery store for mass-market jerky, but I'm getting enough good flavor to where I think it offers enough snack value to make it worth buying at least once, though I don't know about a repeat buy.


I'm giving this an average rating.

This Original variety from Famous Dave's is made from their "Steak & Burger" seasoning, and that's exactly what you'll taste in this. I got a good doseage of that seasoning, with an emphasis on the garlic & onion components, along with saltiness, and wee bit of sweet.

But that's largely all I'm tasting in this. I didn't pick up any natural meat flavors, though I could pick up a slight bit of smokiness, mostly from the surface of these pieces.

The meat consistency is easy to tear apart and chew, but the chewing texture is not exactly like chewing a piece of steak. Most pieces tend to feel more crumbly, and others a bit mushy. It tends to chew and feel very much like mass-market jerky.

If you're a big fan of Famous Dave's, or you just love steak & burger seasoning, then I think you'll enjoy this jerky. If you can buy this in a store or restaurant, it's worth buying again. But if I had to pay the shipping, I wouldn't buy it again.

My recommended beer pairing for this, go with a red ale.

Rating: Average

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