Next in the series on McDonald's Meats are these Smokey Dried Pork Strips. See my previous reviews of their Original Beef Jerky, Smokey Dried Beef Strips, and Cajun Smokey Dried Beef Strips.
McDonald's Meats is a full service butcher shop in Clear Lake, MN, in operation since 1914. It was actually in operation before then, but under a different name.
In addition to these Smokey Dried Pork Strips, McDonald's also offers them in other flavors, Teriyaki, BBQ, and Cajun. I only have this Original variety to review. The company makes some 22 varieties of jerky in beef, pork, turkey, buffalo, and venison.
Pork, water, brown sugar, seasoning (salt, sugar, monosodium glutamate, pepper, garlic powder), spice, sodium nitrite.
The first thing I taste from the surface of these pieces is a smoky flavor, followed by a saltiness.
The chewing flavor starts with a natural meat flavor, followed by an increased saltiness, and a slight bit of seasoning. There's also traces of sweet.
For being dubbed as "Smokey Dried Pork Strips", they do indeed have a smoky flavor that I can pick up both from the surface and in the chewing. And I do pick up a natural meat flavor, that retains its pork nature. It doesn't taste like pork chops, or ham, it's more closer to roasted pulled pork.
Overall, that roasted pork flavor seems to be the dominant flavor of these pork strips, that with the smokiness.
There's also a good deal of saltiness in this. I don't think it's enough to be considered "high", but still in the moderate range or more towards the upper-end of moderate. I also notice salt sprinkles on the surface.
I can also pick up some seasoning flavor, which I seem to recognize more as garlic than anything else. I also want to say there's an even more faint black pepper flavor.
Overall, these Smokey Dried Pork Strips have a simple flavor consisting largely of smoked pork, where the pork resembles more something like roasted pulled pork. But there's also a good deal of saltiness in this too.
These are slices of whole meat, sliced thick in strips of about 2-3 inches long. Keep in mind these came from a sample-sized 3oz package that McDonald's doesn't mention on their website. The larger 16oz package will provide longer strips.
This is a moist jerky, with a semi-moist surface feel. The strips have some flexibility but will eventually crack apart. Tearing pieces apart with my fingers require some effort due to thicker cut and flexibility. But chewing seems easy.
The chewing texture starts off with a soft rubbery feel. Some light chewing will cause it down break down and but still has a jerky-like chewiness to it. It seems to chew down to a soft-mass fairly easily and quickly enough. At that point, it chews and feels like a real piece of meat.
I can see some streaks of fat most pieces, but some pieces have no fat at all. I don't really see any tendon or gristle, and I don't feel any unchewable wads of tissue in my mouth. I don't feel much stringiness either, unlike McDonald's beef strips.
In terms of clean eating, there's a lot of moisture on these strips and requires me to lick my fingers and wipe them on my jeans. But no bits of meat or seasoning flying off as I take bites.
McDonald's Meats sells these Smokey Dried Pork Strips from their website at a price of $19.99 for a 16oz package. Shipping costs only $3.00 flat rate. Together that works out to a price of $1.43 per ounce.
For general jerky snacking purposes at the $1.43 price per ounce, it seems to provide a good value. I'm getting a lot of snackability for that good overall flavor, excellent meat consistency and chewing texture. The $1.43 price is considerably less than what you pay for pork jerky from the major brands at a grocery store, yet it has a far better flavor and meat consistency.
I'm giving this a good rating.
These Smokey Dried Pork Strips from McDonald's Meats offers a great tasting natural meat flavor that reminds me of roasted pulled pork but with a good deal of smokiness mixed in. It also offers an excellent meat consistency and chewing texture, chewing like real pieces of meat, but being easy to chew, and still offering some chewiness that you'd expect with jerky.
Overall, I find a lot of snackability in these and could eat them all day long. In comparison to all the other pork jerky brands I've had, I think these are the best thus far. But I'm still seeing this as rather plain tasting, even though it's a great smoked pork flavor.
I'd recommend this to anyone desiring pork jerky, but I'd recommend getting the other flavors, like Cajun, Teriyaki, or BBQ. I imagine those have that additional flavor this needs to push it up to a five-star rating.
For my recommended beer pairing, the stronger saltiness in this needs something refreshing, but I think the smoky pork flavor wants something hoppy. I'd go with a double IPA, like a Russian River's Pliny the Elder, or Stone Brewing's Ruination IPA.
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