Saturday, May 29, 2010

Montana Jerky Co. - Hot Beef Jerky

Montana jerky companyNext in the series on Montana Jerky Co. is this Hot variety. See my review of their Original beef jerky.

Montana Jerky Co. is a brand of Vandevanter Meats, Inc. based out of Columbia Falls, MT. Vandevanter Meats also does game and livestock meat processing. The company says they use beef from young steer (not cows or bulls), explaining that it provides a more tender and pleasing jerky. They also make heavy reference to their jerky as "Grand Champion" jerky, explaining that it wins awards every year.

They make five different flavors of beef jerky, including a sixth buffalo jerky.

Friday, May 28, 2010

Old Trapper Beef Jerky - Chipotle Carne Seca

old trapper beef jerkyNext in the series on Old Trapper Beef Jerky is this Chipotle Carne Seca variety. See my review of their Old Fashioned beef jerky.

Old Trapper is a brand of Old Trapper Smoked Products, Inc., based out of Forest Grove, OR. The company has been making beef jerky since 1969 in their own USDA inspected facility. They claim to smoke their jerky over real hardwood.

I found this particular brand at the The Beef Jerky Store in Las Vegas, NV, otherwise I haven't run across it here in Southern California.

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Mountain Ranch Jerky - Original Peppered

mountain ranch jerkyContinuing the series on Mountain Ranch Jerky is this Original Peppered Beef variety. Read my reviews of their other flavors.

Mountain Ranch Jerky is a brand of Mountain Ranch Smokehouse located in Fruitland, UT. The company is mostly known for its jerky products, but also smokes hams and turkeys, and makes meat sticks too. They also have a restaurant where you can get yourself a burger or steak.

Mountain Ranch claims that all their jerky is cut by hand, and smoked over real mesquite wood. They make jerky in their own USDA inspected facility.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Pecos Bill Beef Steak Nuggets - Original

pecos bill beef jerkyPecos Bill is a brand owned by Marfood USA. Marfood USA is the new name of Mirab USA, which is the largest private labeler of beef jerky. Marfood USA is owned by Marfrig Group, a Brazilian-based food manufacturer.

Marfood USA also owns the Pemmican brand of beef jerky. From my observations, both brands of jerky offer the same exact recipe and cuts of meat.

These "Beef Steak Nuggets" from the Pecos Bill brand appears to be an answer to the nuggets that Jack Link's produced with much success. I found them at The Beef Jerky Store in Las Vegas, NV.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Jeff's Gourmet Jerky - Original

jeff's gourmet jerkyJeff's Gourmet Jerky is one of the newest brands of jerky having just launched last week. It's owned by the company of the same name, based out of Big Bear City, CA.

Jeff Richards has been making beef jerky since the 1970s perfecting his recipe year after year. His love for cooking took him into the restaurant business for over 20 years. He currently runs a consulting company called Creative Business Adventures where he helps entrepreneurs achieve success.

Jerky has been one of Jeff's favorite snack foods and in 2006 he started working on creating his own beef jerky brand.

Monday, May 24, 2010

Longview Beef Jerky - Honey Garlic

longview beef jerkyContinuing with the series on Longview Beef Jerky is this Honey Garlic beef jerky. Read my reviews of their other flavors.

Longview Beef Jerky is a brand of Longview Meat & Merchandise Ltd., based out of Longview, Alberta, Canada. The company has been making their jerky for the past 30 years. They claim their beef jerky is made from Canadian grown cattle. You can't buy Longview Beef Jerky in the USA, but you can find it at gas stations and stores throughout Canada.

The company sent me samples because rodeo is a really big deal in Alberta, and every July the Calgary Stampede attracts cowboy fans from the USA up into that area.

Saturday, May 22, 2010

Hickory's Best Beef Jerky - Old Fashioned

hickory's best beef jerkyHickory's Best is a brand of Enjoy Foods International, based out of Fontana, CA. Enjoy Foods also makes the Enjoy brand of beef jerky which I reviewed previously.

I want to say that I've seen Hickory's Best beef jerky over the past several years, but I can't place where. Enjoy Foods has been making jerky since 1971, but I don't believe they owned the Hickory's Best brand for very long. Enjoy Foods is actually owned by a company called Saab Enterprises.

I think the Hickory's Best brand is meant to be the cheaper, low quality alternative to the company's Enjoy brand of beef jerky. The company makes both brands of jerky in their own USDA inspected facility.

Friday, May 21, 2010

Fatman's Beef Jerky - Habanero

fatman's beef jerkyThe next of the newest flavors from Fatman's Beef Jerky is this Habanero variety. See my reviews of their other flavors.

Fatman's Beef Jerky is a brand of Red Meat Foods, LLC, based out of Roswell, NM, and run by a guy named Rick Robey. Prior to launching Fatman's, Rick owned and operated a holstein calf raising business for 30 years as well as a USDA inspected packing plant.

All of Fatman's jerky is made from inside rounds of American-raised beef, marinated for 24 hours in Robey's own homemade recipes. He makes all his jerky in his own USDA inspected facility.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Tony's Killer Beef Jerky - Sweet 'N' Hot

Tony's Killer Beef JerkyNext in the series on Tony's Killer Beef Jerky is this Sweet 'N' Hot variety. See my review of their Smokehouse Original beef jerky.

Tony's Killer Beef Jerky is a brand of Beaver Mountain Distributors of Beaver, UT. Their jerky is actually made by Springville Meat & Cold Storage in Springville, UT.

I'm not sure what stores you can find this jerky in, and it doesn't appear they have a website where you can order it online. I found this brand at a roadside jerky stand on Highway 76 just outside of Pala, CA.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Old Trapper Beef Jerky - Old Fashioned

old trapper beef jerkyOld Trapper is a brand of Old Trapper Smoked Products, Inc., based out of Forest Grove, OR. The company has been making beef jerky since 1969.

I found this particular brand at the The Beef Jerky Store in Las Vegas, NV, otherwise I haven't run across it here in Southern California. Old Trapper makes jerky in their own USDA inspected facility.

In addition to this Old Fashioned variety, I also have a bag of their Chipotle Carne Seca beef jerky which I'll be reviewing later.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Mountain Ranch Jerky - Sweet & Spicy

mountain ranch beef jerkyNext in the series on Mountain Ranch Jerky is this Sweet & Spicy beef jerky. See my previous reviews of their other varieties.

Mountain Ranch Jerky is a brand of Mountain Ranch Smokehouse located in Fruitland, UT. While the company is mostly known for its jerky products, they also smoke hams and turkeys, and make meat sticks too. They even have a restaurant where you can get yourself a burger or steak.

Mountain Ranch claims that all their jerky is cut by hand, and smoked over real mesquite wood. They make jerky in their own USDA inspected facility.

Monday, May 17, 2010

Longview Beef Jerky - Canadian Maple

longview beef jerkyNext in the series on Longview Beef Jerky is this Canadian Maple variety. See my previous reviews of their Original and Sweet Chili beef jerky.

Longview Beef Jerky is a Canadian brand of jerky manufactured by Longview Meat & Merchandise Ltd., based out of Longview, Alberta. They've been making jerky for the past 30 years using Canada-raised cattle.

This Canadian Maple beef jerky is perhaps their signature variety, made using real Canadian Maple syrup.

Friday, May 14, 2010

Montana Jerky Co. - Original Beef Jerky

montana jerky companyMontana Jerky Co. is a brand of Vandevanter Meats, Inc. based out of Columbia Falls, MT. Vandevanter Meats also does game and livestock meat processing.

The company says they use beef from young steer (not cows or bulls), explaining that it provides a more tender and pleasing jerky. They also make heavy reference to their jerky as "Grand Champion" jerky, explaining that it wins awards every year.

They make five different flavors of beef jerky, including a sixth buffalo jerky. I only have this Original beef jerky and their Hot beef jerky, which I'll review later.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Fatman's Beef Jerky - Barbecue

fatman's beef jerkyThe next of the newest flavors from Fatman's Beef Jerky is this Barbecue variety. See my reviews of their other flavors.

Fatman's Beef Jerky is a brand of Red Meat Foods, LLC, based out of Roswell, NM, and run by a guy named Rick Robey. Prior to launching Fatman's, Rick owned and operated a holstein calf raising business for 30 years as well as a USDA inspected packing plant.

All of Fatman's jerky is made from inside rounds of American-raised beef, marinated for 24 hours in Robey's own homemade recipes. He makes all his jerky in his own USDA inspected facility.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Riley's Jerky - Teriyaki

riley's jerkyLast in the series on Riley's Jerky is this Teriyaki beef jerky. Read my reviews of other flavors from Riley's Jerky.

Riley's Jerky is based out of Greenville, CA founded in 1980 by Riley Burkholder. Today it's run by Britt Burkholder and Bradley Bentz. Up until now, Riley's Jerky was only available in local stores throughout Northern California. But recently they launched a website and now have online ordering installed.

All their jerky is hand cut into chunks and contains no added preservatives.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Matador Beef Jerky - Sizzling Sweet

matador beef jerkyRecently the Matador brand of beef jerky launched two more new flavors, "Sizzling Sweet" and "Smokin' BBQ". Previously they only offered two flavors, "Original", which I reviewed last October, and a Teriyaki.

You can read my review of the Original here.

Matador is owned by Jack Link's. It was created specifically to target teenagers with an interest in skateboarding, BMX racing, and sports that cater to the "X Games" audience. It's different from Jack Link's other jerky in that it's in bite-sized pieces, chopped & formed, more moist, and more sweet.

Monday, May 10, 2010

Desert Star Texas Style Brisket - Teriyaki

desert star texas style brisketNext in the series on Desert Star Texas Style Brisket is this Teriyaki variety. See my previous reviews of their Sweet & Hot and Original varieties.

Desert Star is a brand of Prime Snax, Inc., based out of Salt Lake City, UT. The company makes two lines of jerky under the Desert Star brand, this Texas Style Brisket, which is a brisket cut into thin strips, and a plain Beef Jerky much like what you get with the major brands.

This "Texas Style Brisket" appears to be an homage to the success that Country Archer has had with beef brisket jerky. Stamped on the package are the words "Country Butcher™ Premium Recipe", Country Butcher is a brand owned by Country Archer. Country Archer private labels this recipe for several brands across the country.

Saturday, May 8, 2010

Love's Real Beef Jerky

love's truck stop jerkyLove's is the chain of truck stops and convenience stores that dot the Interstate highway system across the country. The fact that they offer their own brand of beef jerky is perhaps a testament to the popularity of jerky as a road snack.

But Love's doesn't make their own jerky. It's instead made by Robertson's Hams, Inc. of Marietta, OK, the same company that makes the "Robertson's Real Beef Jerky". In fact, I reviewed that brand last year, you can read the review here.

Love's sells this jerky in a variety of package sizes. Reviewed here is the 3/4 pound jar. They also offer a full pound jar, as well as 1oz and 2.5oz packages. It all comes in the same flavor.

Friday, May 7, 2010

Tony's Killer Beef Jerky - Smokehouse Original

tony's killer beef jerkyTony's Killer Beef Jerky is a brand of Beaver Mountain Distributors of Beaver, UT.

I found this brand while driving down Highway 76 just outside of Pala, CA. A guy had set up a roadside jerky stand. I asked him if he was Tony. He said "no", it was his father, who makes this jerky up in Utah. I tried calling Beaver Mountain Distributors but got only a recording. I left a message and haven't heard back. I called again later, and got the same message.

Doing some research, I found that this jerky is actually made by a company called Springville Meat & Cold Storage in Springville, UT. When I called them, they explained that Tony doesn't really make the jerky, they do. I'm assuming Tony is the guy who runs Beaver Mountain Distributors.

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Longview Beef Jerky - Sweet Chili

longview beef jerkyNext in the series on Longview Beef Jerky is this Sweet Chili variety. See my previous review of their Original beef jerky.

Longview Beef Jerky is a brand of Longview Meat & Merchandise Ltd., based out of Longview, Alberta, Canada. Their jerky is only available in retail outlets throughout Canada. The company has been making jerky for the past 30 years from Canadian grown cattle.

Jerky is becoming a popular snack throughout Alberta due to its rich cattle ranching history. And with many more Americans traveling there every July for the Calgary Stampede, Longview Beef Jerky wants to get some marketing here in the States.

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Pemmican Beef Jerky - New Style

pemmican beef jerkyPemmican Beef Jerky is now touting the words "New Style" on the top of their packages. I figured I'd buy a bag and write a review.

The New Style comes after a year since The Marfrig Group bought the Pemmican brand from ConAgra in July of 2008. The Marfrig Group is a Brazilian-based company better known in the meat snack industry as the parent company of Mirab USA, the largest beef jerky private labeler. Mirab makes jerky for hundreds of brands, mostly retail stores.

The New Style is actually the same style and recipe that Mirab already makes for their private label customers. Since they're already geared up to make this specific formulation, switching Pemmican over eliminates the costs of continuing the old recipe while acquiring the thousands of distribution channels that ConAgra had already established.

The old ConAgra style and recipe looked like cuts of steak, but was somewhat oily to the touch, and quite soft to the point of being mushy. Read my older review of Pemmican's Teriyaki Jerky to find out what it used to be like.

Sunday, May 2, 2010

House of Jerky - Western Ostrich

house of jerkyHouse of Jerky is a brand you'll often find along roadside stands and in specialy shops nestled inside touristy areas. It's a husband-and-wife business that has grown to become well respected among beef jerky afficionados. The company makes jerky from a wide variety of animals, including ostrich.

Ostrich grew quickly in popularity because it was seen as a way to produce leaner red meat, that tastes very much like beef, but with less cost. Ostrich produces more meat for less feed compared to cattle. On top of that, ostrich hide produces a more durable leather than cattle, and in fact the hide is the primary use of farm-raised ostrich, with meat being second. The economics were such that it spurned the growth of small family-run ostrich farms all over the country.

Because ostrich is so much more lean than beef, it tends to be more tough.

But for whatever the reasons are, ostrich is still an exotic meat, and is something you rarely see sold in mainstream restaurants and grocery stores.

Ingredients

Ostrich, water, soy sauce, teriyaki sauce, brown sugar, pineapple juice, liquid smoke, black pepper, garlic powder, white pepper.

Taste

The first tastes that come out of this is the black pepper, a sweetness, and the smokiness. The soy sauce makes itself known after a few chews, and then from behind those layers of flavorings, the natural meat taste comes out.

Even though the package doesn't label this as being a black pepper variety, this is effectively what this is. The liberal spread of black pepper on these pieces gives it a strong peppery taste that perhaps overshadows the ostrich flavor. If you love peppered jerky (which I do), you'll love this.

The natural meat flavors can be tasted in this, but with the way ostrich is, it's tastes very much like beef. I'll go on to say that the meat flavors are more subtle in this jerky than with House of Jerky's beef varieties. I think that is largely due to ostrich being so much more lean than beef; I tend to believe the real flavor that Americans love about beef is the marbilization of fat.

Being free of preservatives, this jerky still retains a fresh taste.

Overall, this ostrich is packed tightly with flavor, just as with all of House of Jerky's varieties. I keep getting lots of flavor as I continue to chew a piece. I find this particularly enjoyable just softening up a piece in my mouth for 30 seconds, and then chewing lightly and extracting the juices.

Meat Consistency

This appears to be real cuts of meat, sliced thin, and in small, medium, and large sized pieces.

This is mostly a dry jerky, but with a layer of stickiness due to the brown sugar and teriyaki sauce. The pieces tear apart easily, some maybe with a little more effort, and they chew fairly easily.

I didn't find any amount of fat, tendon, or gristle on these pieces.

Overall, the meat consistency is such that it provides an excellent eating experience, allowing you to put all of your attention on the flavor.

ostrich jerky

peppered ostrich jerky
Snack Value

House of Jerky sells this online at a price of $13.50 for a 4oz bag. That works out to $3.38 per oz. That price includes the shipping.

As an ostrich jerky, at the $3.38 price per ounce, it offers a good value. I'm getting a good deal of snackability out of this for a good overall flavor, good meat consistency and chewing texture. I'm picking up some natural meat flavors, though it still seems to taste like beef. But considering ostrich jerky is not nearly as common as beef jerky, it's still a good jerky for the money.

Rating

House of Jerky - Western OstrichI'm giving this a best rating.

House of Jerky has obviously found a great recipe for success with its jerky, and this ostrich variety carries that on. It's packed with flavor, it's easy to tear apart and chew, and retains some good natural meat flavors. The fact that it's free of preservatives and still offers a fresh taste is a bonus.

Even though the combination of black pepper, soy sauce, and sugar is a very common seasoning blend, there is so much taste packed into these pieces of meat that I didn't necessarily find this to be ordinary.

My recommended beer pairing with this, the roasted malt flavor of a brown ale will pair well with the natural meat flavors, while a light body will quench the strong black pepper. Try Lost Coast's Downtown Brown, or Samuel Adams Brown Ale.

Rating: Best

Originally reviewed: July 2, 2008

Buy this online:

Saturday, May 1, 2010

Alien Fresh Jerky - Space Gator

alien fresh jerkyI stopped into the Alien Fresh Jerky store a couple months ago and found they added some more exotic meat jerky, namely this Space Gator and an Orbit Ostrich. Both of which are manufactured by TM Jerky & Processing out of Monrovia, CA.

I'll be reviewing the ostrich later.

I'm not certain that Alien Fresh Jerky is still marketing this alligator and ostrich jerky because I don't see it listed on their website. It may be something you can only buy from their brick-n-mortar store in Baker, CA.

But if you find yourself travelling north up the I-15 from Southern California, you'll want to stop there anyways, it's worth the visit.