Next up in the series on Wilderness Jerky Outlet is this Smoked Kangaroo. Read my previous reviews of their other smoked jerky products.
Wilderness Jerky Outlet is a brand of Wilderness Jerky Outlet, Inc. of St. Johns, MI. It's an actual store where you walk in and buy a variety of smoked meats including jerky, meat sticks, sausages, smoked salmon, and a few other things. But they also have a website where you can buy their products online.
The company claims to trace its origins from a single line of beef jerky available at "Beck's Farm Market" back in 1959.
Kangaroo, seasoning (brown sugar, salt, sugar, spices, onion, garlic), water, vegetable dry powder (celery juice, sea salt, raw sugar, spices), lactic acid starter culture.
The first thing I taste from the surface of these pieces is a light smoky flavor, followed seconds later by a light saltiness, and just a faint bit of sweet.
The chewing flavor starts with a good deal of natural meat flavors, and then an increased saltiness, with some light seasonings, most notably a garlic & onion flavor, and a light black pepper. That faint bit of sweet continues into the chewing.
For being a advertised as "Smoked Kangaroo", it has a very light smoky flavor, but it's perhaps too light for what I would expect in a product that markets itself as being smoked. But I do get a strong taste of natural meat flavors.
In fact that seems to be the dominant flavor of this jerky. What does kangaroo meat taste like? Well, I've never had kangaroo meat before, so I'm not a good judge for this. It might be most comparable to beef, but still clearly a different flavor. It's not at all like chicken or turkey or elk, it has its own unique flavor. It's a more rich flavor than beef, with just a slight gamey taste. I can only imagine this as a roast or steak, and think it would be great.
The other flavor that seems to be most noticeable is the black pepper. At first bite it's only a light flavor in the background, but after having several bites, it builds up a strong aftertaste, and becomes a dominant flavor.
The seasonings in this seem to be defined by a garlic and onion blend, as well the black pepper I mentioned above. They don't seem too strong, nor too light. Each bite I take I can still taste the seasoning, but they don't get in the way of the meat flavor.
The saltiness in this seems to be somewhere between medium and high.
The sweetness is just a light touch that continues all throughout the chewing and seems to give the overall flavor a little bit of body, and just enough to encourage me to eat more.
Overall, what you're going to notice in this jerky is a strong natural meat flavor, with just a touch of smokiness. Then you'll notice the black pepper, followed by a lighter blend of garlic & onion, and a touch of sweet.
These are slices of whole meat, sliced into thick strips of about 2 to 5 inches in length.
This is a moist jerky with a moist surface feel. These strips actually have a lot of flexibility, being able to bend almost a full 180 degrees on to itself without cracking open. Biting off chunks seems easy to do, while chewing also seems easy.
The chewing texture starts out feeling soft and tender, breaking apart easily with no chewing resistance. It chews down to a soft mass very quickly and at that point feels like a real piece of meat, comparable to a roast, but more dry.
These strips are ultra lean and meaty, I can't find any visible signs of fat, and I found no tendon or gristle, and no stringiness at all.
It's somewhat clean eating too, with just a light bit of stickiness on my fingertips. Even though it's a moist jerky, it still manages to handle somewhat dry.
Wilderness Jerky Outlet sells this Smoked Kangaroo from its website at a price of $9.25 for a 4oz package. I bought several other of their jerky varieties and sizes for a total of 32oz at $62.00. They waive the shipping if you buy over $50.00. That worked out to $1.94 per ounce.
For general jerky snacking purposes (and forgetting this is kangaroo meat), at the $1.94 per ounce price, it seems to provide an excellent value. I'm getting a lot of snackability for its overall good flavor, good meat consistency, and good chewing texture. That's close to what you'd pay for the major brands of jerky at grocery stores, and this certainly provides a lot more snackability.
As a kangaroo jerky at the same $1.94 per ounce price, it's an excellent value. I'm getting a lot of natural meat flavors, and a great meat consistency. From what I've been able to price, other brands of kangaroo jerky range from $5.00 to $10.00 per ounce for whole muscle jerky. Buffalo Bob's has a kangaroo jerky that is cheaper, but not by much, and theirs is chopped & formed with beef added.
I'm giving this a good rating.
This Smoked Kangaroo offers a lot of natural meat flavors, though only a light touch of smokiness. As a product that bills itself as "smoked" I would have expected to taste more smokiness than this. Otherwise, I think this is worthy of a Best rating, I'm just sticking to my policy of putting great weight into a jerky's ability to live up to its advertised flavor.
The seasonings in this are not necessarily anything special, being mostly a garlic & onion and black pepper, as well as a medium-high saltiness, but it doesn't seem to get in the way of the meat flavors. There's also a faint bit of sweet in this that seems to add to the snackability.
And the meat consistency is excellent. It seems to be 100% all meat, no fat, no tendon or gristle, no stringiness, and no unchewable wads of tissue. It's a soft moist chew that feels like real meat. Add to that the strong natural meat flavors, a blend of seasonings that enhances the meat instead of taking it over, and it's a really good jerky. Just wish it could provide some more smokiness.
My recommended beer pairing for this, go with a light brown ale, or a dark lager, the roasted malt should compliment the meat flavor perfectly. Try the Newcastle Brown Ale or the Negra Modelo.
Buy this online:
- Update: Dec 19, 2012, this company appears to be out of business now.