Next in the series on Insane Jerky is this Jamaican Style beef jerky. See my previous review of their Original beef jerky.
Insane Jerky is specializes in selling "Halal Certified" beef jerky, which is the muslim equivalent of kosher. The animal must go through a specific slaughtering process, and go through an extensive blood-draining process that effects the flavor of the beef.
Recently Insane Jerky changed it's meat processor, and revised its recipe. Previously, I found their jerky to be very tough, and lacking flavor. In this revised product, I've found it to be more tender and flavorful.
Zabihah/Halal beef, soy sauce, sugar, smoke flavor (liquid), jamaican spices, garlic powder.
The first thing I taste from the surface of these pieces is a seasoning flavor, with some onion, garlic, and salt, followed by a light smoky flavor.
The chewing flavor starts with a greater definition from that seasoning flavor, an increased saltiness, and a light natural meat flavor.
With regards for being marketed as a "Jamaican Style" beef jerky, it more or less has the flavor of garlic & onion seasoning, with salt, which in my opinion is more a savory flavor than a spicy flavor. But there is a light spiciness I can sense, but it's just a weak tingle in the back of my tongue. There's nothing hot about this at all.
I've found that the term "jamaican style" varies greatly, some people think of it as just spicy, while others think of it as hot. This is more of a savory flavor, with a light spiciness.
And that seems to be the most dominant flavor in this beef jerky, that savory garlic & onion flavor. The saltiness is also dominant, and after having eaten a few pieces already, it seems to sit at a high level, even though the nutrition facts label shows a moderate content.
There's a smokey natural meat flavor that shows through also, but it's a light flavor. In fact, I think the smoke flavor is stronger than the meat flavor. There's also a fair amount of oil on the surface of these pieces that adds a little bit of a flavor.
As far as being halal certified, I don't really notice any difference in meat flavor. It tastes just like beef to me.
Overall, what you're going to notice the most in this jerky is a garlic & onion seasoning flavor, with a high saltiness, and a lighter smokey meat flavor.
These are slices of whole meat, cut to a medium thickness, and in bite-sized pieces.
This is a semi-moist jerky, with a light oily surface feel. Pieces are easy to tear apart with my fingers, and chewing seems easy.
The chewing texture starts out with a stiff, rubber-like feel, but with some light chewing it easily breaks down into something meaty. It chews down to a soft mass in short time. At that point, it has mostly a steak-like texture, though a slight bit of crumbliness.
For the most part, this jerky appears to be all meat, with just a few pieces having small flecks of fat. I did not see any tendon or gristle, and I did not encounter anything unchewable, or anything stringy.
In terms of clean eating, my fingers pick up a thin layer of oil. I find myself wiping them on my jeans before touching my keyboard. But there are no bits of meat or seasoning flying off these pieces.
Insane Jerky sells this Original beef jerky from its website at a price of $4.49 per 2oz package. If you bought eight packages (1 pound), the shipping costs comes out to $3.94 if shipping to Southern California. That works out to a total of $39.86, or a price of $2.49 per ounce.
For general jerky snacking purposes, at the $2.49 price per ounce, it seems to offer a decent value. I'm getting a good amount of snackability from its pleasing flavor, easy eating, and good chewing texture. The $2.49 price per ounce is higher than what you'd pay for the national brands at a grocery store, but I think you're getting better flavor and a better chew.
As a Jamaican Style beef jerky, at the same $2.49 price per ounce, it seems to provide a decent value. The price is on par with other Jamaican style beef jerky brands I've had, and I've only had a few. But it seems to be more heavy on a savory flavor than the spicy flavor I'm accustomed to.
But it's largely as a halal certified beef jerky that Insane Jerky is positioning, and I'd have to classify it as a good value. It's got plenty of good flavor, easy to eat, and good chewing, just like what I would want a beef jerky to be. $2.49 per ounce is right in the same price point as other gourmet jerky brands, and yet you get the halal certification.
I'm giving this a good rating.
This Jamaican Style Beef Jerky from Insane Jerky has a lot of flavor, mostly through a garlic & onion seasoning salt flavor, but also offers a light smokey meat flavor. I found a good deal of snackability for that flavor, as well as for being easy to eat, and having a good chewing texture.
I don't really get the sense that this jerky is giving me a "Jamaican Style" flavor, however. When I think of Jamaican style cooking, I think of something heavy on spices, and I don't really find that here. To me, the garlic & onion flavors are more of a savory flavor than a spicy. But I do taste a light touch of spiciness back in there. Had Insane Jerky named this "Garlic & Onion" instead, I'd feel like I got exactly that.
I also found a high saltiness, even though the nutrition facts labels indicates a moderate sodium content.
And compared to their previous meat processor, this new consistency is far better. Because it's so much easier to eat, it's much more satisfying as a snack, and even chews more like real meat.
For my recommended beer pairing, go with something lighter colored and more refreshing, to counter than higher saltiness, such as a cream ale.
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