Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Archer Farms Beef Jerky - Traditional

archer farms beef jerkyArcher Farms is a brand name of Target Corporation, the chain of discount stores.

Target also sells beef jerky under another brand, "Market Pantry", which I reviewed earlier. Archer Farms seems to be the brand they use when they want to portray a "premium" or "upscale" look, while the Market Pantry brand has the more common, basic appearance.

However unlike the Market Pantry brand I reviewed, this Archer Farms beef jerky was manufactured by Monogram Meat Snacks. The Market Pantry brand was manufactured by Jack Link's.

Ingredients

Beef, water, salt, flavorings, sugar, brown sugar, hydrolyzed soy protein, sodium erythorbate, sodium nitrite, maple flavor (maltodextrin, sugar, modified corn starch, flavor, propylene glycol, maple syrup, gum arabic)

Taste

The first thing I taste from the surface of these pieces is a light smoky flavor. With a little sucking I can pick up a faint saltiness. There's also a faint oily flavor too.

The chewing flavor starts with an increased saltiness, and a stronger smoky flavor. I can also pick up a light meat flavor.

Overall, that light meat flavor is the flavor that seems to represent this jerky on my taste buds. It's more of a processed meat flavor, comparable to something you might find in a meat stick, and nothing like what you'd find in a fresh grilled steak.

Otherwise, the only flavors I notice in this jerky is a light-to-moderate saltiness, a noticeable smokiness, and a faint oily flavor. It's a light-tasting jerky, very mild, very suitable for folks who love bland food.

Compared to the Market Pantry beef jerky I reviewed a while back, I think this jerky has a little bit more flavor, but overall it's still a light-tasting jerky.

Meat Consistency

These are slices of whole meat, sliced thick, and in small to medium sized pieces.

This is a dry jerky, with a dry surface feel. They have a fair amount of flexibility, however. Tearing a piece apart with my fingers seems easy enough, while chewing varies from moderately easy to somewhat chewy.

The chewing texture starts out feeling rough and leathery. But they break down with a few chews easily enough, and after 10-15 seconds they chew down to a soft mass. At that point, they have a steak-like feel, more closer to being cooked well-done, and rather dry. But they're also a little bit crumbly.

The pieces appear to be very lean, with no visible chunks of fat, gristle, or tendon. In chewing, I didn't encounter anything chewy or stringy, and no wads of unchewable tissues left in my mouth.

This jerky is also pretty clean eating, with no residue on my fingertips, and very little meat fragments falling on my lap or desk.

beef jerky

beef jerky
Snack Value

I paid $3.19 for this 3.5oz package at a Super Target in Menifee, CA. It was actually listed for $3.99, but somehow I managed to get $0.80 off. But in using the $3.19 price, that works out to a per ounce price of $0.91.

For general jerky snacking purposes, at the $0.91 price per ounce, this seems to present a good value. I get a fair amount of snackability out of this, not so much for the flavor, but for a good meat consistency and decent chewing texture. But that $0.91 price per ounce is very cheap compared to other mass-market brands found at the grocery store, and therefore it's actually a good jerky for that price.

Rating

beef jerky nutritionI'm giving this an average rating.

This Traditional variety of beef jerky from Archer Farms provides a light-taste overall, mostly as a processed meat flavor. But it offers a light saltiness and a fair amout of smokiness. It's a good jerky if you prefer a mild tasting jerky.

But it seems to do better for it's meat consistency, being very lean, and having a decent chewing texture. As a dry jerky, and one being sliced thick, it seems to have some ease in chewing. Overall, I think it's somewhat chewy, but like I said for being dry and thick cut, being only somewhat chewy is pretty good.

If I had to choose between Target's "Market Pantry" brand or this "Archer Farms" brand I'd definitely go with the Archer Farms. And considering it's an average-rated jerky, the low price point on this is awesome.

My recommended beer pairing for this, try a brown ale.

Rating: Average

Where to buy:
  • At a Target Store

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