Friday, September 4, 2009

Prasek's Hillje Smokehouse - Turkey Jerky

Prasek's Hillje SmokehouseNext up in the series on Prasek's Hillje Smokehouse is this Turkey Jerky. See my previous reviews of their Red Hots Beef Jerky, and their Jalapeno Beef Jerky.

Prasek's Hillje Smokehouse is a smokehouse, bakery, deli, and country store located in El Campo, Texas.

It originally started out as Hillje Grocery, a small town grocery store. In 1974, it was purchased by Mike and Betty Jo Prasek, and was renamed to its current name. Their first product was sausage, but eventually they expanded to beef jerky, and now jerky is their big seller.


Turkey, water, salt, brown sugar, sodium acetate, sodium erythorbate, flavorings, sodium nitrite, monosodium glutamate, tri-calcium phosphate, natural smoke flavor.


The first thing I taste from the surface of these pieces is a light saltiness, followed by a strong smokiness. Overall, a light surface flavor intensity.

The chewing flavor starts with a stronger saltiness, and yet more smokiness. There's a lot of natural turkey meat flavors.

The flavor component that seems to define this jerky more than any other is the smokiness, or perhaps better, a smokey turkey meat flavor. But I think the smokiness stands out more than the turkey meat flavor.

The turkey meat flavor tastes very much like a package of turkey cold cuts. It has a turkey flavor, but more salty than that from a roast turkey breast fresh out the oven. I don't want to imply that as a negative, but just trying to report the flavor. I actually find it quite good.

That saltiness is perhaps moderate in intensity.

Overall, it's a very simple tasting jerky, but still a very good one. You'll mostly notice a strong smokiness, a lot of natural turkey meat flavor, with a moderate saltiness.

Meat Consistency

These are slices of whole meat, sliced into strips of about 4 to 8 inches in length, 1/2 inch wide, and very thick.

This a moist jerky, feeling quite moist on the surface as well, and very soft and flexible. Biting a chunk off is easy, and chewing is easy too.

The chewing texture starts out feeling like a chunk of soft moist meat. It breaks down almost immediately, and chews down to a soft mass quickly. At that point, it feels just like a piece of turkey breast meat, but very moist.

Most of these strips seem ultra lean, but I found one with a chunk of chewy tissue, like a tendon or ligament. I also found another strip with a streak of gristle. Aside from that, it's a lot of meaty eating.

These strips are rather wet on the surface leaving some moisture on my fingertips, enough to require a licking and wiping on my jeans.

turkey jerky

turkey jerky
Snack Value

Prasek's Hillje Smokehouse sells this Turkey Jerky from their website at a price of $24.95 for a 1 pound package. Add to that shipping costs of $6.75, and it comes to a total of $31.70. That works out to a price of $1.98 per ounce.

For general jerky snacking purposes, at the $1.98 price per ounce, it's a good value. I'm getting a lot of snackability its good overall flavor, good meat consistency and good chewing texture. That $1.98 price per ounce is a little bit higher than the mass-market brands found in the grocery store, but this jerky is far better all around.

As a turkey jerky, at the same $1.98 price per ounce, it's an excellent value I think. I get a lot of smoky natural turkey meat flavor, along with a chewing texture that feels like moist turkey meat. It's far better than the mass-market turkey jerky brands, at just a little bit higher price.


I'm giving this a good rating.

This Turkey Jerky from Prasek's Hillje Smokehouse is a simple jerky, that packs in a lot of smoky turkey meat flavor. In fact that smokiness seems to stand out quite a bit. You'll get some saltiness as well, but after that, that's about it.

But it has a good meat consistency being soft, moist, and easy to eat, and it chews like moist turkey meat.

But as good as this tastes, it still comes off a little too simple for my preference. I want some additional flavor interest, maybe some clove and a stronger sweet.

My recommended beer pairing for this, try a wheat beer (hefeweizen).

Rating: Good

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