Thursday, September 27, 2012

Lawless Jerky - Bacon Salt & Pepper


Lawless Jerky recently introduced some new flavors, and among them is this Bacon Salt & Pepper variety. See our reviews of their other flavors.

The company was created by a licensed attorney named Matthew Tolnick of Santa Monica, CA. He started making jerky during his days in college when he and his fraternity boys needed sustenance through long evenings of studying. After a successful Kickstarter campaign, Tolnick moved Lawless Jerky forward as a fulltime business, producing jerky in a USDA inspected facility.

This Bacon Salt & Pepper is described by Tolnick as using soy-based bacon bits with kosher salt and black pepper.



Ingredients

100% US top round steak (beef), apple cider vinegar, worcestershire sauce, black pepper, liquid smoke, brown sugar, soy based bacon bits, kosher salt.

Taste

The first thing I taste from the surface of these pieces is a light saltiness, with a light seasoning. A weak worcestershire sauce is noticeable, along with a touches of sweet. I can also pick up a little of the liquid smoke.

The chewing flavor starts with a faint bacon flavor, and a little bit of tanginess. There's a light natural meat flavor, some of the black pepper, and maybe a little more defined worcestershire.

As for being marketed as "Bacon Salt & Pepper", it seems to hold up. There's a light bacon flavor to this, but not well marked at all. It's sometimes tough to find. I'll preface that by saying that I eat real pork bacon, and not soy-based bacon bits which this product uses. So, I can't comment on that specifically. However, since Lawless Jerky simply calls this "Bacon Salt & Pepper", it's tough to say that the actual flavor is giving me an easily recognizable bacon flavor.

But for the salt & pepper part, yes definitely. It has a clear saltiness to it, perhaps at a moderate level once I've eaten several pieces, and there is indeed a peppery flavor that builds up over time.

Otherwise, the flavors that seem to define this jerky is largely the combination of salt, black pepper, and worcestershire sauce. The bacon bits add a touch of extra dimension, along with graces of liquid smoke, and finally the natural meat flavors and the light sweetness.

Meat Consistency

These are slices of whole meat, sliced into small strips of about two to three inches in length.

This is a dry jerky with slightly moist surface feel. The strips have some flexibility, but still stiff enough to require just a little effort into chewing.

The chewing texture starts out feeling chewy, with some initial resistance, requiring a bit of labor to break down. It soon takes on a meaty, steak like feel during the chewing, and by the time it renders into a soft mass it feels just like a real piece of meat.

I don't see any visible signs of fat or gristle, but I do experience a fair amount of stringiness in the chewing. Otherwise, I found no problematic tissues that I had to remove from my mouth.

As for clean eating, my fingers don't pick up any residue, but there's some tiny bacon bits that tend to fall off on to my lap or desk.

lawless jerky

lawless jerky

Snack Value

Lawless Jerky sells this Bacon Salt & Pepper variety at a price of $7.00 per 3oz package. If you buy 5 or more, it's $6.00 a package. No mention of shipping costs, but the box I received had a USPS postage label of $4.50. So, if you bought five packages, it would work out to a price of $2.30 per ounce.

For general jerky snacking purposes, at the $2.30 per ounce price, it's a decent value. I'm getting a good overall flavor, good meat consistency, and good chewing texture. Compared to major brands of jerky sold in stores, this jerky offers more snackability for the dollar.

As a "Bacon Salt & Pepper" variety, at the same $2.30 per ounce price, it's a weak value. I'm not really getting any well-defined bacon flavor out of this, only light touches. But it definitely delivers on the salt & pepper part.

Rating

I'm giving this a good rating.

This Bacon Salt & Pepper variety from Lawless Jerky gives you only light amounts of bacon flavor, while adding plenty of taste from the salt & pepper department. The fact that they use soy-based bacon bits may contribute to my difficulty in finding the bacon flavor.

Otherwise, if they had just marketed this simply as "Salt & Pepper", it'd deliver on its promises perfectly. And in fact, it's still a good tasting jerky on it's own merits. The addition of worcestershire, liquid smoke, and the light tang from the vinegar, seems to create a savory, irresistible snack for meat lovers.

And the meat consistency plus chewing texture is much better than the industry heavy hitters you find at grocery stores and gas stations, and still deserving of the four-star rating.

My recommended beer pairing, go with a more malty, brown ale to help counter the sharpness of the black pepper. Try a Rogue Hazelnut Brown or the Alesmith Nautical Nut Brown.

Rating: Good

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