Friday, August 14, 2009

Mahogany Smoked Meats - Beef Jerky Western Strips

Mahogany Smoked Meats Mahogany Smoked Meats is a brand name of Meadow Farms Country Smokehouse, based in Bishop, CA.

The "Mahogany Smoked Meats" brand apparently goes back to 1922 when the original founder of Meadow Farms, a guy named "Wally", introduced the locals of Bishop to the goodness of smoking meats with Mountain Mahogany wood. Today, the same store is still there, and they're still selling smoked meats of all kinds.

Meadow Farms is also well known for its jerky, receiving praises from its customers, as evidenced by all the forum and blog posts. The best I can tell, Meadow Farms doesn't make their own jerky, rather it's made by Glenoaks Foods, Inc. of Sun Valley, CA, the same company that makes the J.C. Rivers brand.


Beef, water, soy sauce, teriyaki sauce, brown sugar, pineapple juice, black pepper, liquid smoke, garlic powder, white pepper.


The first thing I taste from the surface of these pieces is a light sweet, followed by a light saltiness. Seconds later, the black pepper flavor makes a showing. Overall, a moderate flavor intensity off the surface.

The chewing flavors start with some light natural meat flavors, a faint tangy flavor, a bit of a fatty flavor, and a continuation of the sweet, salty, and black pepper.

Since Mahogany Smoked Meats is known for their meats smoked over mahogany wood, I wanted to know if this jerky tastes like it was smoked over mahogany. But, I can't really taste any wood smoke in this. The package doesn't actually claim this jerky was smoked over real wood, it instead shows "liquid smoke" in the ingredients. If it turns out it really was wood smoked, it doesn't have much of a smoky flavor.

The flavor that seems to dominate this jerky is the natural meat flavor. It's a light flavor overall, but it sits in the center of my tongue and it seems to be the most noticeable flavor. These slabs of meat are well marbilized and as such I also taste some fatty flavor, which I think enhances the overall beef experience.

The saltiness is perhaps the second-most noticeable flavor, though not strong. It's perhaps at a moderate intensity. There's a bit of a soy sauce flavor mixed into that saltiness, but faint.

The sweetness comes in after that, at a light intensity, and mostly noticeable on the surface flavors.

The black pepper sits in the background providing a light-to-moderate flavor on each piece, but building up a well-noticed aftertaste.

The tangy flavor I noted at the beginning of this section is faint. I think it comes from the pineapple juice. I also notice a faint garlic flavor.

Overall, this jerky's flavor is marked by a natural meat flavor with some fatty flavor, followed by a moderate saltiness, a light sweet on the surface, and a black pepper aftertaste. But I don't really notice much of any smoky flavor, let alone mahogany smoked.

Meat Consistency

These are slices of whole meat, sliced to a medium thickness, and in small to medium sized slabs.

This a semi-moist jerky, with a lot of flexibility. Tearing pieces apart with my fingers is mostly easy, with just a bit of effort required. Chewing seems easy however.

The chewing texture starts out feeling like soft rubber, with just a bit of rubbery chewing resistance. Some light biting and sucking will make a piece break apart, and chew down to a soft mass fairly quickly. At that point, it has a steak-like texture, comparable to one cooked medium.

Most of these pieces are well-marbilized, but I don't see any chunks of fat. I didn't see any tendon or gristle, but here and there I felt some small wads of unchewable tissues, but small enough that it wouldn't bother me. I also encountered a few stringy sinews.

In terms of clean eating, there's a layer of oil and stickiness on the surface of these pieces that leave some residue on my fingertips, and also picks up bits of black pepper. It's enough that I found myself licking my fingers a few times.

Snack Value

Meadow Farms Country Smokehouse sells this jerky from its website at a price of $8.95 for a 4oz package. I bought three packages, each a different flavor. Add to that shipping fees of $7.95, and it came to a total of $34.80. That works out to a price of $2.90 per ounce.

For general jerky snacking purposes, at the $2.90 price per ounce, this jerky seems to provide a weak value. I get an average amount of snackability from this, in that it has a enjoyable flavor, good meat consistency and good chewing texture. But that $2.90 price per ounce is significantly higher than many other gourmet jerky brands bought online. And I'm not necessarily seeing this jerky as being that much better.


I'm giving this a good rating.

This "Western Strips" variety of beef jerky from Mahogany Smoked Meats is definitely better than the mass-market brands you find at the grocery store, providing a decent amount of natural meat flavors, with a bit of a marbilized fatty flavor. Add to that some saltiness, black pepper, and a touch of sweet, and it makes for an enjoyable flavor.

But I'm not quite in agreement with other people around the Internet who claim it's the best jerky in the world. I was actually disappointed that I couldn't taste much mahogany smoke in this, as it's namesake would suggest. I couldn't even taste much of the liquid smoke. I think that's what most consumers would expect after seeing the words "Mahogany Smoked Meats" on the package label.

And while it has a good overall flavor, I didn't find anything that "wowed" me. In comparison to many other jerky brands I've rated four out of five stars, this sits right along with them.

But it does offer a good meat consistency, being easy to eat, soft, lightly chewy, and chewing just like real meat.

A good beer pairing for this would be a brown ale.

Rating: Good

Buy this online:


  1. Same here. No smoke flavor. In fact none of the jerky I bought from Mahogany smoked @ Meadow farms was good enough to get me to buy more. It's all average at best, and not worth the cost (30.00) shipping to Northern California.

  2. I too found this particular flavor about average. Its perfectly edible, but doesn't present any type of wow factor for me either. The meat consistency is one of its stronger suites as my batch was very low on un-chewable parts... but the flavor is nothing beyond your jerky basics... which is a large downside for me, a person who enjoys the flavor the most, even if the consistency isn't the best. I'm trying some of mark's meat jerky next, hoping their more unusual ingredients will give me a change of pace in flavor