Monday, April 16, 2012

Jerky John's Turkey Jerky - American Original

jerky johns turkey
Jerky John's introduced its turkey jerky in August 2011, and recently the company sent me two of their flavors for review. I had written reviews of their beef jerky back in October 2010 (see reviews).

The company, which at the time was based in Huntington Beach, CA, has since relocated to Norco, CA. It was started by John Keller, a former US Army paratrooper. The entire line of Jerky John's also touts itself as being one of the lowest sodium jerky brands on the market.

According to Keller, this line of turkey jerky received great response at multiple venues, and even people who hated turkey jerky found themselves liking it. In addition to this American Original turkey jerky, I also have their Black Pepper, which I'll review later.


Turkey, Kikkoman's Low Sodium Soy Sauce, Lea & Perrins Worcestershire Sauce, brown sugar, Yoshida's Teriyaki Sauce, granulated garlic, granulated onion, liquid smoke, prague powder (sodium nitrite).


The first thing I taste from the surface of these pieces is a faint sweetness and a faint bit of the teriyaki sauce. The liquid smoke flavor is lightly noticeable.

The chewing flavor starts with a noticeable blend of the teriyaki and soy sauce. A light bit of the worcestershire becomes noticeable, as well as a little bit of the garlic and onion. The natural turkey meat flavors are lightly identifiable.

For being marketed as a turkey jerky, it seems to have a light bit of the turkey meat flavor, but mostly it's the seasonings and marinades that I taste.

I'd say the flavors that define this jerky mostly is the combination of sauces, soy sauce, teriyaki sauce, and worcestershire. The garlic and onion adds a light pungent bite on the back end. The sweetness is light, and finally a natural turkey meat flavor can be tasted towards the latter part of chewing, and leaves a little bit of aftertaste that I often get with turkey jerky.

The saltiness in this feels light, as supported by the low sodium content noted in the nutrition facts label.

Overall, it's a tasty and savory flavor consisting mostly of the marinade sauces and a little bit of the onion and garlic, with a light saltiness.

Meat Consistency

These are slices of whole meat, sliced into chunks and strips of small to medium sizes, and sliced thick.

This is a dry jerky with a dry surface feel. Some of these pieces can bend all the way back on themselves without cracking, while others tend to crack open easily. Biting off chunks seems easy enough to do, and chewing seems easy, with some pieces being more chewy.

The chewing texture starts out with a little bit of resistance, but seems to soften up and break down easily. It's mostly a soft chew, though some thicker, harder pieces were chewy. For the most part, it feels meaty and fibrous, and in some cases chews just like beef jerky, and less so like turkey jerky.

I can see some pieces of fat on this jerky, as well as some stringy tissues that I wasn't able to chew through. I also found some other pieces of hard, unchewable tissue, enough to make notice here. Still, there's quite a bit of pure meaty chewing.

It's also clean eating, leaving no residue on my fingers, and tearing apart with dropping any fragments or bits of seasoning.

turkey jerky

turkey jerky
Snack Value

Jerky John's sells this American Original Turkey Jerky from through at a price of $27.96 for four 4oz packages. Shipping is $7.50. That works out to a price of $2.22 per ounce.

For general jerky snacking purposes, at the $2.22 per ounce price, it seems to be a decent value. I'm getting a fair amount of snackability for a satisfying flavor, a decent meat consistency and good chewing texture. Compared to major brands of turkey jerky you find in stores, it's priced a little higher, and seems to be a little bit better.

It's actually a good value, however, on a diet and weight loss standpoint, being only 45 calories per serving, and a low sodium content.


jerky johns nutrition
I'm giving this an average rating.

This American Original Turkey Jerky from Jerky John's provides a tasty, savory flavor consisting of a mixture of soy sauce, worcestershire sauce, and teriyaki, along with a lightly noticeable garlic and onion seasoning.

Considering this turkey jerky has the same set of seasonings and marinades as the company's beef jerky, it seems to react differently to the turkey meat, not being able to pick up the tanginess, and tasting considerably less salty. While the marinades still make up the primary flavors in this jerky, it seems to have a little less definition than with its beef counterpart. What resulted is a flavor with less "punch" than the company's beef version. The chewing texture is pretty good despite feeling some unchewable bits of matter.

On its own merits, this turkey jerky is still enjoyable, providing a tasty combination of sauces and seasonings that you don't often find in turkey jerky. But in comparison with other turkey jerky brands I've reviewed, it still seems to sit in the middle of the lot. I think the low saltiness gives it something of a bland flavor than compared its beef cousin.

My recommended beer pairing for this, go with a standard IPA, try the Stone IPA or the Firestone Walker Union Jack IPA. The lighter body and sharper hops should help compliment the sweet and savory flavors.

Rating: Average

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