Jerky Hut is a brand of Jerky Hut International, Inc., based out of Hubbard, OR. The brand which is often seen at boat shows, gun shows, car shows, and trade shows of every kind, was started over 30 years ago by Steve Risch.
Much of its jerky is sold through independent "retail licensees", who are the folks running the booths at the shows. Jerky Hut jerky is manufactured by Saddle Mountain Meats, LLC, based in the same town. It's actually the parent company of Jerky Hut.
The company makes a long line of jerky flavors, beef sticks and sausages. This Cowboy Beef Jerky seems to be the closest thing to Jerky Hut's regular variety. It was provided to me for review by one of their licensees, YummyJerky.
Beef, water, corn syrup solids, seasonings (salt, sugar, brown sugar, maple sugar), teriyaki sauce, smoke flavoring, worcestershire sauce, black pepper, monosodium glutamate, sodium erythorbate, sodium nitrite.
The first thing I taste from the surface of these pieces is a moderate saltiness and a light smoky flavor.
The chewing flavor starts with a stronger smokiness, then followed by a light saucy flavor, and a light natural meat flavor.
The name "cowboy" has been used by several other jerky brands to describe something reminiscent of old fashioned beef jerky, perhaps the way it was made during the Old West. It usually has a higher salt profile and often spiced with black pepper and garlic.
And this jerky seems to have a similar flavor. The saltiness in this feels quite prominent, what I would rate between a medium and high level of flavor. There's a also dominant smoke flavor, more in the chewing.
As for the spice, I'm getting just faint touches of black pepper. The teriyaki and worcestershire sauces are not identifiable on their own, but I do pick up a light saucy flavor in the chewing.
The natural meat flavors are noticeable to a light degree, but mostly in the latter part of chewing once the other flavors wear off.
There's also a light touch of sweet in this.
Overall, what you're going to notice in this is largely the saltiness and then the smokiness. After that, you'll pick up a light bit of a sauce flavor, and then a light natural meat flavor towards the latter part of chewing.
These are slices of whole meat, sliced into strips ranging from two to six inches, and sliced thick.
This is a dry jerky with mostly a dry surface feel, but still lightly oily. The strips have little flexibility, cracking open with just a light bit of bending. Biting off chunks seems easy to do, while chewing seems easy overall.
The chewing texture starts out feeling stiff and woody, but manages to chew easily with only a little bit of resistance. It doesn't seem to take long to chew down to a soft mass. At that point, it feels very much like eating a piece of steak cooked well done.
The strips appear to be very lean, finding no visible signs of fat, and tendon or gristle. I didn't find any stringiness and nothing unchewable.
In terms of clean eating, my fingertips pick up a fine layer of oil, but still dry enough to type on my keyboard. I found no fragments of meat falling off.
YummyJerky sells this Cowboy Beef Jerky from its website at a price of $10.00 for a 4oz package. If you bought four packages and had them sent to Southern California, shipping works out to $7.20, for a total of $47.20. That's a price of $2.95 per ounce.
For general jerky snacking purposes, at the $2.95 per ounce price, it's a fair value. I'm actually getting a good snackability for a good overall flavor, great meat consistency and good chewing texture. Compared to major brands of jerky found in grocery stores, that price is about a $1.00 per ounce higher. It's definitely a better jerky all around, but that price is high enough that it doesn't quite match up to what this jerky offers.
I'm giving this a good rating.
This Cowboy Beef Jerky from Jerky Hut offers up a flavor that seems to remind me of old fashioned style jerky, with a higher salt profile, a lot of smokiness, and light amounts of marinade and natural meat flavors. It seems to have a nice balance of flavors between touches of sweet, a faint spice, a light saucy flavor, and heavier on the salt and smokiness.
The meat consistency seems excellent, with little to no fat, and with nothing crunchy, stringy, or rubbery, but yet still easy to bite off and chew, and feels like I'm chewing a real piece of steak.
Overall, I thought the meat consistency was the characteristic that makes this jerky above average. I thought the flavor is good mostly for its balance, though not necessarily possessing any extraordinary qualities. I think the meat consistency drives most of the snackability, with the flavor providing enough satisfaction to keep me reaching for more.
My recommended beer pairing for this, try a standard IPA, where the lighter body will refresh the saltiness, and the stronger hops will create a lot contrast with the smokiness. Try the Stone IPA or the Sierra Nevada Torpedo.
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