Friday, February 11, 2011

Jerky Hut - Mild Teriyaki Beef Jerky

jerky hut teriyakiNext up in the series on Jerky Hut is this Teriyaki variety. See my previous reviews on their Cowboy Beef Jerky and their Golden Nuggets Beef Jerky.

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. The company makes jerky from its own USDA inspected facility under its parent company, Saddle Mountain Meats.

This Mild Teriyaki is described by the company as thick cuts of beef jerky seasoned with their special tropical teriyaki goodness, and is one of their top sellers. This sample was provided to me for review by one of their licensees, YummyJerky.

Ingredients

Beef, brown sugar, water, teriyaki sauce, teriyaki seasoning, maltodextrin, sugar, corn syrup solids, salt, HVP, onion, garlic, dextrose, sodium erythorbate, sunflower oil, disodium inosinaste, corn syrup solids, garlic powder, black pepper, sodium nitrite.

Taste

The first thing I taste from the surface of these pieces is a thick sweetness, followed soon by a light saltiness.

The chewing flavor starts with a more defined teriyaki sauce flavor, then brings in a little more saltiness, a slightly increased sweetness, very faint natural meat flavors.

For being dubbed "Mild Teriyaki", I'd say it fits that bill. It is indeed mild, with no spiciness to speak of. The teriyaki seems to be a little better than the teriyaki flavors I get from many of the major brands out there, having the thick sweetness, a noticeable soy sauce flavor, and then some of the subtle flavor overtones that define teriyaki from just sweetened soy sauce.

Those subtle flavor overtones seem mostly as the mirin wine component. I don't, however, pick up the light pungent contrast from the ginger that traditional teriyaki sauces have.

The natural meat flavors in this are very light; you wouldn't notice it if just snacking away. It seems to make its strongest showing at the tail end of chewing, just as the teriyaki and heavy sweetness is wearing off.

The level of saltiness in this feels light initially, but increases a little mid-way into the chewing.

Overall, what you're going to notice in this is a heavily sweet, but mild, teriyaki sauce flavor, and that's about it.

Meat Consistency

These are slices of whole meat, sliced into thick strips ranging between four to six inches long.

This is a semi-moist jerky with a very sticky surface feel. These strips have some flexibility but will crack open with a fair amount of bending. Biting off chunks seems easy to do, and chewing is quite easy.

The chewing texture starts out feeling moist and soft, offering no chewing resistance. It chews down to a soft mass quite easily and quickly. At that point, it feels somewhat meaty, but very soft, almost mushy, maybe a little bit of steak-like texture, but too soft to be like chewing steak.

I can see some light streaks of fat in some strips, but they offer up no additional flavor or chewing texture. One strip included some small strips of tendon that generated some unchewable wads. Otherwise, it's very meaty.

In terms of clean eating, each handling leaves behind a lot of sticky residue on my fingers that require a licking and wiping before touching my keyboard.

teriyaki beef jerky

teriyaki beef jerky
Snack Value

YummyJerky sells this Mild Teriyaki from its website (under the name "Luau Louie") at a price of $10.00 for a 4oz package. If you bought four packages, shipping to Southern California would be $6.95, totalling $46.95. That works out to a price of $2.93 per ounce.

For general jerky snacking purposes, at the $2.93 per ounce price, it's seems to be a fair value. I'm getting an average level of snackability for a satisfactory flavor, a good meat consistency, easy eating, and a somewhat mushy texture. That price is quite a bit higher than what you'd spend at the grocery store for one of the major brands, but I think it's better mostly for its meat than the flavor.

As a teriyaki beef jerky, at the same $2.93 per ounce price, it's also a fair value. It does seem to offer a better teriyaki flavor than many of the major brands of teriyaki jerky, though clearly not above and beyond. I've encountered better teriyaki flavor from other gourmet brands at a lower price.

Rating

jerky hut nutritionI'm giving this an average rating.

This Mild Teriyaki beef jerky from Jerky Hut seems to offer a teriyaki flavor that's better than many of the major brands of teriyaki jerky, in that it has some of the flavor overtones that you'd expect to find in teriyaki, but it's still missing that ginger contrast that balances out a good teriyaki flavor.

But while it's still a better teriyaki than many of the major brands, there isn't anything else to taste in this. I couldn't pick up the black pepper, the garlic, or the onion. It all seems to get lost in the teriyaki. For those of you who love mild flavors, you'll probably love this.

Otherwise, the meat consistency seems to be this jerky's best qualities, and I think that's largely what maintained just enough snackability to keep me going. It's easy to eat, has a semi-moist chew, though somewhat mushy.

My recommended beer pairing for this would be a standard IPA. The lighter malt will contrast better against the thick sweet, while the stronger hops will bright out more of the teriyaki flavors. Try the Stone IPA or the Sierra Nevada Torpedo.

Rating: Average

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