Stubby's Jerky Smokehouse & Specialty Meats is based out of Vicksburg, MI. It's a family-run smokehouse producing smoked meats and cheeses covering the greater Kalamazoo and Battle Creek areas of Michigan.
The business was started back in 2005 but the family has been making jerky for the past twenty years perfecting the craft of smoked meats.
This package of BBQ Pork Jerky was actually sent to me by Vicksburg General Store, an online retailer focusing on products made locally in the town of Vicksburg.
The first thing I taste from the surface of these pieces is a moderate sweetness, and a light saltiness, with a noticeable smokiness. There's a little bit of a spiciness tingling my tongue.
The chewing flavor starts with a easily identifiable natural pork meat flavor. The saltiness is a little increased, the smokiness is still quite noticeable, as is the sweetness. I can also pick up a light tanginess in the chewing, and that bit of spiciness continues.
For being labeled as "BBQ Pork Jerky", it certainly seems to offer a BBQ flavor. I get a fair amount of sweetness, as well as noticeable smoky flavor. There's even a light bit of spiciness which you might expect to get in a BBQ sauce or marinade. And then in the chewing, I even get a little bit of tanginess.
But the flavor that seems to represent this jerky is the natural meat flavor of pork. It's very much like the flavor you tend to get from a pork chop. The BBQ flavors are still strong in this, but I think what I'm tasting more than anything else is that pork meat flavor.
The sweetness is not really that heavy, only quite noticeable, and doesn't really turn this into candied meat. But I think there's enough of sweet glaze on these pieces that they trap the smoke flavors pretty well. That little bit of spice is not quite strong enough to register this above mild, but manages to contrast balance out the sweetness well.
The level of saltiness in this feels light.
Overall, what you're going to notice in this are the natural pork meat flavors, with a moderately sweet BBQ flavoring having touches of spice and tanginess, with a fair amount of smokiness.
These are slices of whole meat, sliced into thick strips and chunks ranging from one to six inches in length.
This is a semi-moist jerky with a moist-sticky surface feel. They have a lot of flexibility, with the strips being able to bend back on themselves without any cracking. Biting off chunks seems relatively easy to do, and chewing seems mostly easy.
The chewing texture starts out feeling soft and moist, but still with a little bit of initial chewing resistance. But it takes only a few chews until it breaks down and softens up. Once chewed down to a soft mass, it feels just like eating a real pork chop.
I do see some small streaks of fat on some pieces, while others have none. I don't see any gristle or tendon, and found very little stringiness, and nothing unchewable. It feels very meaty.
As for clean eating, handling these pieces leave a light moist and sticky film on my fingers requiring a licking and wiping before touching my keyboard.
Vicksburg General Store sells this BBQ Pork Jerky from its website at a price of $5.95 for a 4oz package. If you bought three packages, the shipping to Southern California costs $6.95. That works out to a price of $2.07 per ounce.
For general snacking purposes, at the $2.07 per ounce price, this offers a good value. I'm getting a lot of snackability for an overall good flavor, good meat consistency, easy eating, and good chewing texture. That price is slightly above what you'd paid for the major brands of jerky at a grocery store, but you're getting far better snackability.
As a BBQ Pork Jerky, at the same $2.07 per ounce price, it's also a good value. I'm getting a good BBQ flavor from this, and a good deal of natural pork meat flavors and a chewing texture much like real pork chops.
I'm giving this a good rating.
This BBQ Pork Jerky from Stubby's Jerky offers up a tasty combination of sweet, smoky and lightly-spicy BBQ flavor, but it's the natural pork meat flavor that really comes through well, making it taste like you're stealing strips of pork from a BBQ smoker.
I was actually impressed with the meat consistency, being mostly easy to eat, very meaty, and chewing just like chunks of pork chop.
While it's overall very snackable and hard to resist, it's still has a mild flavor overall. It doesn't really burst with out with a bold, spicy, tangy flavor that you might expect from BBQ pork. Though, it still does have a touch of spiciness and tanginess.
My recommended beer pairing for this, go with a standard IPA. I think the lighter body of the IPA will contrast better with the sweetness, while the stronger hops will bring out the smokiness. Go with a Stone IPA or a Sierra Nevada Torpedo.
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