Next up in the series on Crazy Ed's Roadkill Awesome Beef Jerky is this Teriyaki variety. See my earlier review of their Black Pepper beef jerky.
Crazy Ed's Roadkill Awesome Beef Jerky is a brand of MTL Enterprises, Inc. based out of Sunderland, VT. It's the creation of Jeramie Westbay, who started making beef jerky nearly 20 years ago, but only recently started selling it commercially. His Crazy Ed's Roadkill brand first hit store shelves last September.
The name "Crazy Ed's" is in tribute to his late friend, Ed Colomb, a biker who taught Westbay how to make beef jerky. The Crazy Ed's Roadkill brand is smoked with real hickory wood over charcoal, and is made in Westbay's own USDA facility. He says it's cooked hotter and faster than most jerky, and claims this retains more of the taste of beef.
Beef, teriyaki sauce, garlic, jalapeno peppers, black pepper, red pepper, and other natural flavors.
The first thing I taste from the surface of these pieces is a smoky flavor, followed by a light saltiness. With some sucking, I just get more saltiness.
The chewing flavors start with some natural meat flavors. A bit of sweet comes in seconds later, with a hint of teriyaki. I continue to get the same smokiness.
For being marketed as a Teriyaki beef jerky, this has only a smidgeon of teriyaki flavor. Compared to Crazy Ed's Black Pepper beef jerky that I reviewed earlier, it certainly does have a clear teriyaki flavor, but in comparison to all the other brands of teriyaki beef jerky I've reviewed, the teriyaki flavor is quite subtle.
Because the teriyaki flavor is light, it's difficult for me to judge the teriyaki as being true teriyaki or just the usual sweetened soy sauce variety you find in so many mass-market brands.
Otherwise, the dominant flavor I keep getting in this is a smoky natural meat flavor. The meat flavor is not overpowering, but still discernable, and the smokiness is perhaps as strong as the meat flavor. And it's not a liquid smoke flavor, but tastes like real smoked jerky, and there's even some of that char flavor too. Together, they seem to define the overall flavor of this jerky. The teriyaki simply adds a bit of color to that flavor.
Even though the ingredients shows jalapeno pepper, black pepper, and red pepper, those flavors are not well noticed. In fact, I don't really taste them while snacking away, but if I stop to think about it, I can identify a faint black pepper note in the chewing, and definitely a black pepper aftertaste. But the jalapeno and red pepper are hard to identify individually. Overall, this is not hot or spicy, but quite mild.
As for the salt intensity, this jerky seems to be rather moderate.
And the garlic seems rather light as well.
Overall, what you're going to taste in this is a smoky natural meat flavor. And that overall flavor is not strong, but a moderate intensity. The teriyaki is light, adding only a bit of color to the smoky meat flavor. Lastly you'll notice a black pepper aftertaste.
These are slices of whole meat, sliced to a medium thickness, and in medium sized pieces.
This is a dry jerky, with a dry touch. The pieces seem easy to tear apart with my fingers, but provide a light amount of resistance through some stringy texture. Chewing is moderately easy.
The chewing texture starts out feeling stiff, with a light bit of brittle. With some light chewing, it breaks down easily enough. There's actually some crunchiness to this, which I think creates a little bit more snackability. It eventually chews down to a soft mass in about 15-20 seconds, and at that point is tends to feel crumbly, and not at all like a steak. Compare that to the Black Pepper variety I reviewed for Crazy Ed's, which I said felt more like a piece of dry steak. Perhaps all of Crazy Ed's jerky varies from crumbly to steak-like.
I can see some small streaks of fat marbilization on these pieces, and when I tear pieces apart with my fingers I encounter quite a bit of stringiness keeping the grains together. In the chewing however, I don't really feel much of that stringiness, and didn't encounter anything unchewable in the way of gristle or tendon.
In terms of clean eating, my finger's don't pick up any residue, however when tearing pieces apart, there's a good deal of black specks flying off, which appear to be bits of charred matter.
Crazy Ed's Roadkill Awesome Beef Jerky sells this Black Pepper variety from its website at a price of $21.95 for one pound package. Add to that shipping costs of $8.50 (shipping to Southern California), and it creates a total of $30.45. That works out to a price of $1.90 per ounce.
For general jerky snacking purposes, at the $1.90 per ounce price, this jerky provides a decent value. I'm getting a decent amount of snackability mostly through a good smoky meat flavor, and an easy to eat meat consistency. That price is within the ballpark of most jerky you find in grocery stores, and yet provides a little bit better snackability.
As a teriyaki beef jerky, at the same $1.90 price per ounce, it's a fair value. I actually don't get much teriyaki flavor from this, but compared to teriyaki jerky brands I've had from the grocery stores, it's provides the same satisfaction. Compared to many gourmet teriyaki jerky brands, I think it falls short. The lower $1.90 price per ounce reflects the amount of teriyaki enjoyment you'll get.
I'm giving this an average rating.
This Teriyaki Beef Jerky from Crazy Ed's Roadkill is actually a good beef jerky on its own merits, with a well-noticed smoky natural meat flavor. And it's not a liquid smoke flavor, but has that real smoked flavor with a little bit of char flavor too.
But I'm reviewing this as a teriyaki beef jerky, and this just doesn't provide a lot of teriyaki flavor in my opinion. I do taste some teriyaki back there, but I believe that when people select a teriyaki jerky it's because they want that thick sweet, asian flavor. And I'm just not getting that here.
In comparison to all the other teriyaki beef jerky I've reviewed, you'll get less teriyaki flavor than the national brands (Oberto, Jack Link's), but you'll get more smoky meat flavor. And in comparison to the gourmet teriyaki jerky brands, again you'll get less teriyaki flavor, but a comparable enjoyment from the smoky meat flavor and easy-to-eat consistency.
For my recommended beer pairing, I'd go with a red ale, offering a moderate balance of malt and hops. And the smokiness of this meat will help bring out the flavor of the beer.
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