Update (Jan 11, 2010): Insane Jerky revised their recipe and meat since this review was published, please read my latest review here.
Insane Jerky is a newer brand of jerky claiming to use Halal Certified beef. Halal essentially means it's in accordance with Sharia law, and acceptable to eat for muslims.
I'm not exactly sure what process beef must go through in order to certified as Halal, however Insane Jerky has published a certificate on its website indicating Halal Certification, although I didn't see anything on that certificate identifying Insane Jerky by name.
Nonetheless, this is my first ever halal beef jerky, so I was eager to get some and write up a review.
100% lean beef, spices, salt, garlic powder, onion powder.
The first thing I taste from the surface of these pieces is a lightly salty flavor, and something resembling a very faint worcestershire flavor. Overall, a very light surface flavor intensity.
The chewing flavor is the largely the same as the surface flavor.
Right off the bat, this jerky has very little flavor. I doubt that's any characteristic of being halal certified. In fact, for being halal certified, this jerky doesn't necessarily taste peculiar. It just doesn't have much taste at all.
There's a flavor to this that resembles a very watered down worcestershire sauce, and I'm guessing it's the spices, garlic, and onion. That's the primary flavor of this jerky. But this flavor is rather light, and weak.
There are no natural meat flavors in here.
The saltiness is noticeable, but I'd rate it as very light.
What's interesting is that on the label, there is a notice that reads, "Warning: Extremely Spicy!!! Eat At Your Own Risk"
Yet, there's hardly any flavor to this at all.
These appear to be slices of whole meat, sliced to a medium thickness, and in small pieces.
This is a dry jerky, with a dry surface touch. Tearing pieces apart with my fingers requires a fair amount of effort. Meanwhile, chewing is tough.
The chewing texture starts out feeling hard, with a good deal of chewing resistance. It would help to suck on a piece first before chewing to soften it up, except there's very little flavor in this jerky that it just doesn't lend itself to sucking on. It requires a good deal of chewing to get it down to a soft mass, and once at that point, it has something of a steak-like chewing.
These pieces appear to be very lean, I found no chunks or streaks of fat. And I found nothing unchewable in the way of tendon or gristle, but only minimal amount of stringy sinews.
It's rather clean eating however. It leaves no residue on my fingers, and only scant bits of tiny meat fragments on my lap.
Insane Jerky sells this Original beef jerky from their website at a price of $3.99 for a 2oz package. I bought 4 packages. Add to that shipping costs of $3.55, and it came out to a total of $19.51. That works out to a price of $2.44 per ounce.
For general jerky snacking purposes, at the $2.44 price per ounce, this is a poor value. I'm not getting any snackability out of this due to its uninteresting taste, and tough chewing. That $2.44 price per ounce is considerably more expensive than if you bought a mass-market jerky brand from the grocery store, but the mass-market brands will get you more snackability.
I'm giving this a Dog Treats rating.
This Original beef jerky from Insane Jerky didn't provide me with enough flavor. In fact, I can't pick up much of any flavor at all, aside from a very light saltiness, and a very light seasoning blend. No meat flavor to speak of, not even a smoky flavor.
The taste of this jerky is not bad, but just highly bland. Normally, that would result in a "Fair" rating. However, the meat consistency is tough. If I expend a good deal of labor to chew a piece of jerky, then I want some great flavor. As it is, I'm putting forth a considerable chewing effort and not being rewarded for it.
I may as well save my jaw muscles, and let my dogs chew on this.
A good pairing for this: any beer will do.
Rating: Dog Treats
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