Saturday, August 7, 2010

Wayne's Jerky - Medium

Wayne's JerkyNext in the series on Wayne's Jerky is this Medium variety. See my reviews of their Mild and Teriyaki varieties.

Wayne's Jerky is a brand of Wayne's Jerky, LLC based out of Sobieski, WI. The company has been in business since 2006, available in stores throughout north-east Wisconsin.

All of their jerky all of their jerky comes in the form of "bites", bite-sized pieces, and in a chopped and formed product. Only recently did the company get a website going with online purchasing.

Ingredients

Beef, dextrose, sugar, salt, spices, butter flavoring, natural hickory smoke flavor, monosodium glutamate, hydrolyzed soy protein, onion, garlic, celery seed, caramel color, onion powder, garlic powder, cliantro, sodium nitrite.

Taste

The first thing I taste from the surface of these pieces is a light saltiness and light sweetness, followed by a light smoky flavor.

The chewing flavor starts with an increased saltiness, some meat flavors, and a noticeable garlic and onion seasoning. A light bit of burn is noticeable in the back of my mouth.

For being labeled, "Medium", it seems to fit the billing. I do pick up an easily noticeable heat in this, but it's not all that hot. On my personal hot scale, it's more like a mild-medium (level 2 out of 5), but I could see how folks who don't eat a lot of hot foods might consider this at a higher level.

But while it has more heat than the company's Mild variety, it doesn't necessarily have more flavor, with maybe the exception of a higher black pepper flavor, or it could be the increased spiciness makes the black pepper feel like it has more bite.

And like the Mild variety, the saltiness still seems to account for the primary flavor in this jerky, sitting somewhere between a medium to high level of intensity. After that, there's a well noticed garlic & onion seasoning in this.

The meat flavors are also there too, having more like a cured meat flavor, similar to what you might find in a summer sausage or beef stick. And like with Wayne's other varieties, this has that "buttery" characteristic that provides a bit of extra flavor and body.

Overall, what you're going to notice in this Medium variety is pretty much comparable to the Mild variety, except a light amount of heat, and a bit more of a spicy bite, perhaps from the black pepper. Otherwise, it's primarily a strong saltiness, a garlic & onion seasoning, and a cured meat flavor.

Meat Consistency

This is a chopped & formed jerky, cut up into small, thin, bite sized pieces. The pieces are small enough that I find myself eating two or three at a time.

The pieces are mostly stiff, with just a bit of flexibility. It seems best described as a dry jerky, but with a semi-moist feel, or perhaps a light oily feel. Overall, ease of chewing seems moderate, requiring some effort if you're going through two to three pieces at a time like I'm doing.

The chewing texture feels quite typical of a chopped & formed jerky, starting out with a fair amount of rubbery chewing resistance, and then chewing down to a crumbly feel. I can pick up some sense of this being meat, but largely it feels crumbly.

As a chopped & formed jerky, it seems void of any hard bits of material and I didn't see any chunks of gristle or cartilage. It seems to be mostly all meat, except for visible bits of seasoning mixed in.

As for clean eating, there's only a thin oily-sticky film on my fingertips, but still dry enough to type on my keyboard without licking or wiping. It's nowhere near as oily as other chopped & formed jerky brands.

medium hot beef jerky

medium hot jerky
Snack Value

Wayne's Jerky sells this Medium variety from its website at a price of $6.95 for a 4oz package. According to their website, if you bought four packages the shipping comes out to $10.70 for a total of $38.50. That works out to $2.41 per ounce.

For general jerky snacking purposes, at the $2.41 per ounce price, it seems to provide a fair value. I'm getting a good snackability for its overall great flavor, though rubbery crumbly chewing texture. That price is considerably higher than what you'd pay for major brands of jerky in grocery stores, but I think you only get a little bit better snackability.

As a "Medium" flavored beef jerky, it seems to provide a fair value as well. I do find a moderate level of heat. It's probably about the same level of heat as a Jack Link's Carne Seca, or an Oberto's Habanero, though at a considerably higher price. But overall, it seems to have a better flavor.

Rating

I'm giving this a good rating.

This Medium variety from Wayne's Jerky provides a moderate amount of heat, at a level that should please most people who like spicy foods, but don't want beads of sweat dripping down their necks. For someone like me who likes it really hot, it's more like a tease.

It ends up tasting pretty much like the company's Mild variety, with a strong saltiness as it primary flavor, though not necessarily too salty for personal tastes. It also has the garlic & onion seasoning with a cured meat flavor. The buttery flavor in this seems to give this jerky a more "savory" quality.

While each individual piece is somewhat easy to chew, it becomes a little labored when I eat two or three pieces at a time. And due to how small each piece is, I find myself having to eat that many at a time just to get a satisfying amount. And the chewing texture is rather rubbery/crumbly, and not really feeling like I'm eating a piece of meat.

For my recommended beer pairing, stick to something malty and lighter on hops, try a brown ale, perhaps a Newcastle Brown Ale, or a Moose Drool Brown Ale.

Rating: Good

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