Sichuan Ginger and their Original.
Launched by two cooks Chris Woehrle and Robert Stout in November of 2009, Kings County Jerky Co. has enjoyed a lot of recent press in the news as an artisanal jerky manufacturer based in New York City. The pair got a big boost when they finished 2nd place out of 150 contestants in the Rooster Design "Next Big Small Brand" competition, earning a big hit from the crowd.
This Korean BBQ variety is described as having "the authentic taste of fire-grilled Korean beef", and that it's, "just the right blend of heat and sweet".
Beef, water, tamari, red pepper paste, brown sugar, sesame seeds, granulated garlic.
The first thing I taste from the surface of these pieces is a sweet, savory flavor. The red pepper flavor comes in soon after and adds a light bit of heat. After that, the savory flavor evolves into a more defined soy sauce flavor.
The chewing starts with a natural meat flavor, while the soy sauce strengthens just a bit. The surface flavors continue through the chewing.
For being marketed as "Korean BBQ", it seems to hold up. Having been to a few Korean BBQ restaurants, particular ones set up as buffets, I used to hog up all the spicy beef and chicken. This beef jerky does seem to have a flavor much like the spicy beef, particularly thanks to the red pepper paste.
Otherwise, the flavors that seem to define this jerky the most is the soy sauce (tamari). The red pepper also offers a significant flavor, but it seems to let the soy sauce take over the palate. The natural meat flavors are also a big part of this jerky's flavor, but behind the red pepper. The sweet is quite noticeable throughout, but tends to show up mostly in the first few chews.
The level of heat in this jerky is not that high, on my personal heat scale I'd rate it as mild-medium (level 2 out of 5).
The natural meat flavor is much like the other two flavors I reviewed for this brand, playing a significant role in the overall flavor, but having a light fatty character which seems to enhance the experience.
The level of saltiness in this feels a little bit more than the company's other two varieties, perhaps sitting between moderate and high.
These are slices of whole meat, from grass-fed beef, sliced medium thickness, and in small to medium sized slabs.
This is a dry jerky with a semi-moist surface feel. It has a fair amount of flexibility, but more of the fibrous kind and not the rubbery, plastic kind. Biting off chunks can require a little bit of tearing and gnawing for some thicker pieces, and mostly easy on the thinner pieces. Chewing seems similarly easy/tough.
The chewing texture offers a fair amount of initial chewing resistance, and can make the jaw muscles feel labored on the thicker slices, but overall fine. As it chews down it starts to feel like real meat, and once down to a soft mass, tends to feel like real steak, cooked well-done.
The pieces have some visible spots and streaks of fat, though they don't seem to make much impact. I do see some tiny specs of fat on a few. I didn't encounter any gristle or tendon, but I did find a fair amount of stringiness throughout these pieces, some of which collected into a small unchewable wad.
In terms of clean eating, my fingers pick up a fair amount of moist red pepper paste residue with some sesame seeds, enough to require a licking and wiping before touching the keyboard.
Kings County Jerky Co. sells this Korean BBQ variety from its website at a price of $8.99 for a 2oz package. If you buy 6 packages, shipping comes to about $10.00 (based on the box they sent me). That works out to a price of $5.33 per ounce.
For general jerky snacking purposes, at the $5.33 per ounce price, it's a fair value. It has a great flavor, good meat consistency, and good chewing texture. Compared to major brands of jerky sold in stores, it's far more expensive, though much better in flavor in consistency, yet the price is so high compared to other brands, it's hard to say the quality justifies the price.
As a Korean BBQ style beef jerky, also at the $5.33 per ounce price, it's also a fair value. I definitely get a flavor that I would expect to find in Korean style BBQ cuisine, but again that price is far higher than most gourmet brands, albeit there's not many Korean BBQ beef jerky brands to choose from.
I'm giving this a best rating.
This Korean BBQ variety from Kings County Jerky Co. seems to offer a well rounded trio of sweet, spicy, and savory, along with a nice marbleized natural meat flavor. The use of red pepper paste really adds the stamp that makes this reminiscent of something you'd actually find in Korean style BBQ.
After reviewing all three flavors from Kings County Jerky Co., I find a brand anchored by a really good natural meat flavor. It's very well noticeable and has a fresh flavor, with a little bit of the fatty character mixed in. The seasonings and marinades come through really well and don't seem to overpower the natural goodness of beef.
Cutting this into bite sized pieces might improve the overall snacking experience, since as this is, it can require some work to bite off, causing me to hold the pieces tighter and getting my fingers messy.
This Korean BBQ variety is perhaps my favorite of their three flavors, giving me a good taste of the red peppers, while the addition of sesame seeds makes for a nice visual.
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