Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Jerky John's - American Original

Jerky John's beef jerkyJerky John's is a brand of Jerky John's, Inc. based out of Huntington Beach, CA. The company has been around for a year now, launched by John Keller.

Keller's been making beef jerky since 1994, starting when he was a paratrooper in the US Army.

Jerky John's markets itself as the healthiest jerky around. It has the lowest sodium content I've seen thus far, and touts itself as being about 40% lower in cholesterol than most brands.


Beef top round, Kikkoman's Low Sodium Soy Sauce, Lea & Perrins Worcestershire Sauce, brown sugar, Yoshida's Teriyaki Sauce, granulated garlic, granulated onion, liquid smoke, prague powder (sodium nitrite).


The first thing I taste from the surface of these pieces is a light sweetness, a soy sauce flavor, and a faint bit of worcestershire. There's also an well-noticeable garlic, and fair amount of saltiness.

The chewing flavor starts with a more defined soy sauce, and more defined worcestershire flavor. A tanginess is very noticeable. There's also a light natural meat flavor.

The ingredients that seem to have the dominant flavor in this jerky are the soy sauce and worcestershire. On the surface flavor, the soy sauce is stronger. But when you get into the chewing, both seem to have an equal amount of punch.

The sweetness is also a significant flavor component, noticeable for much of the way through the chewing. There's also a tanginess that comes from the worcestershire, and perhaps from the teriyaki sauce, that mixes well with the sweetness and creates a lot of flavor interest.

The natural meat flavors are noticeable to a light degree, but I think the stronger combination of soy sauce and worcestershire make it unnoticeable if you're snacking away. Some pieces add a light fatty flavor.

The teriyaki sauce is noticeable, but light. I can pick up some of the ginger which adds a bit of pungency to the overall flavor.

The level of saltiness in this feels medium, despite the nutrition facts label showing a low sodium content.

Overall, what you're going to notice in this is a strong combination of soy sauce and worcestershire, with a good deal of sweetness, tanginess, and garlic lasting throughout the chewing. You'll pick up a light natural meat flavor, and a medium level saltiness.

Meat Consistency

These are slices of whole meat, sliced thin, and in small to medium sized slabs.

This is a dry jerky having a sticky, semi-moist surface feel. These pieces are very flexible, able to bend back on itself without cracking open. Tearing pieces apart with my fingers seems easy enough, while chewing seems quite chewy and a little labored.

The chewing texture starts out feeling semi-moist, but chewy. There's a fair amount of chewing resistance, and requires a some labored chewing to get down to a soft mass. At that point, it takes on a meaty feel, steak-like feel, but still rather chewy.

Some pieces have some visible streaks of fat, while others do not. I don't see any gristle or tendon, but when tearing these pieces apart, a lot of stringiness is visible, and noticeable in the chewing. I'm also finding a good deal of unchewable wads of tissues.

In terms of clean eating, my fingers end up with a fine sticky film, but still dry enough to type on my keyboard. I don't see much fragment of meat falling off as I tear pieces apart.

original beef jerky

jerky john's jerky
Snack Value

Jerky John's sells this American Original through Amazon.com at a price of $25.96 for four 4oz packages. Shipping costs of $4.99 brings the total to $30.95. That works out to a price of $1.93 per ounce.

For general jerky snacking purposes, at the $1.93 per ounce price, this offers a good value. I'm getting a lot of snackability for its great overall flavor, and decent meat consistency. Compared to the major brands of jerky found in grocery stores, this is priced about the same, though clearly better in flavor.


jerky john's nutritionI'm giving this a good rating.

This American Original variety from Jerky John's has a great flavor, and a complex flavor, with a combination of soy sauce and worcestershire anchoring its base, with a touch of teriyaki mixing in. You get a lot of tangy chewing stemming from the worcestershire and brown sugar, but also a good deal of garlic, and touches of ginger. There's even a light natural meat flavor too.

Considering that Jerky John's bills itself as being low sodium, which at 160mg per 1oz serving is definitely low, it doesn't taste like it. It still has a saltiness that feels to be a medium level. It's like getting the saltiness you want in jerky, without getting all the sodium.

The meat consistency has a rather labored chewing, though not quite what I'd call tough. It could be a variance from one batch of jerky to another, because I tried some of Jerky John's other flavors and found some more tender.

A good beer pairing for this would be a lighter flavored brown ale like the Newcastle Brown Ale, or a maltier pale ale, like the Firestone Double Barrel Ale.

Rating: Good

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