Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Gnawjaw Beef Jerky - Cajun

gnawjaw beef jerkyNext in the series on Gnawjaw Premium Beef Jerky, LLC is this Cajun Beef Jerky. See my review of their Sweet Beef Jerky.

zGnawjaw is a new beef jerky brand that launched last year, based out of York, PA. It's the concept of Eric Farrington, who had been making deer jerky most of his life. When he settled on a recipe that he really liked, he transferred it to beef. When he decided to make a business out of jerky, Farrington built a 1,000 square foot dehydration building dubbed, "the beef morgue".

This Cajun variety is said to have enough heat to wake up your tongue with layers of flavor through and through.


Beef, apple cider vinegar, worcesterhire sauce, soy sauce, garlic powder, meat tenderizer, brown sugar, sodium nitrate, various seasonings.


The first thing I taste from the surface of these pieces is a spicy, peppery seasoning flavor. There's a touch of sweet noticeable and a light saltiness.

The chewing flavor brings in the worcestershire and vinegar, while the sweet seems to ramp up just a touch. The spicy seasonings brings on a light bit of heat.

For being dubbed "Cajun", this does seem to fit the bill. I get a spicy seasoning blend that does mimic a flavor that I would accept as "cajun". Even the vinegar flavor in the chewing tends to add to that flavor, perhaps reminiscent of Tabasco sauce.

Otherwise, the favors that seem to define this jerky overall is the combination of cajun seasonings, vinegar, and worcestershire. It's much like the company's Sweet Beef Jerky I reviewed last week, but with enough seasonings to match the vinegar and worcestershire. There's still the same moderate sweetness and the light natural meat flavors.

The level of heat in this is relatively low. On my personal heat scale, it rates a mild-medium (level 2 out of 5), though I tend to be used to eating hot foods.

The level of saltiness in this feel low.

The natural meat flavors are lightly noticeable, more towards the latter part of chewing once the other flavors.

Meat Consistency

These are slices of whole meat, cut into bite-sized squares at medium thickness.

This is a dry jerky with a dry surface feel. But it still manages to retain a chewiness that tends to labor my jaws after a few pieces. In other words, it's between easy and tough.

The chewing texture starts out with a fair amount of initial resistance, almost rubbery. It does take on a meaty resemblance after several chews, and by the time it chews down to a soft mass, it feels just like steak.

I can see small flecks and bits of fat on several pieces, enough to add a light touch of beefy flavor. I didn't encounter any stringiness or gristle, and found no unchewable tissues. It's very meaty.

It's also very clean handling, leaving no residue on my fingers or bits of meat on my desk.

cajun beef jerky

cajun beef jerky

Snack Value

Gnawjaw Premium Beef Jerky sells this Cajun variety from its website at a price of $12.50 per 5oz bag. I didn't see a price for shipping. So assuming shipping is free, that works out to $2.50 per ounce.

For general jerky snacking purposes, at the $2.50 per ounce price, it's a decent value. I get a satisfying overall flavor, a good meat consistency and good chewing texture (though somewhat tough). Compared to major brands of jerky, it's comparable in taste, though better in meat consistency and chewing texture.

As a Cajun flavored beef jerky, at the same $2.50 per ounce price, it's also a decent value. I do get a flavor that's reminiscent of cajun style cooking, more due to the layer of seasonings.


I'm giving this an average rating.

This Cajun variety from Gnawjaw Premium Beef Jerky delivers enough cajun style seasonings to give you that "Nawlins" flavor. Even the vinegar marinade adds to that theme, giving it a somewhat Tabasco sauce character. Throw in the worcestershire sauce and the light sweetness, and it seems to create a nice snackable flavor.

But as with the company's Sweet Beef Jerky, the chewing tends to be tough. It's difficult to snack away on these pieces when your jaws feel tired. I could have certainly just sucked each piece first, allowing it to soften, but the carnivore in me wants the masticulation of animal flesh between my molars.

Compared to other brands of Cajun flavored beef jerky, I still couldn't find much in this that takes it to higher rating. Even though this is very meaty, and very steak-like, the toughness makes it difficult to get through.

Rating: Average

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