Saturday, July 20, 2013

Billy Franks Beef Jerky - Cheeseburger

billy franks beef jerky
Billy Franks beef jerky is a small-batch maker of eclectic beef jerky, based in London, England. The creation of computer programmer, Will Francis Yates, it's all hand made from rare breeds of indigenous cattle such as Red Devons, Angus, Dexters, Herefords, and Galloways from Cornwall and Scotland.

Yates gets his taste and love for smoked meats after having lived in Texas for a number of years. Billy Franks beef jerky collaborates with London's street-food sensation, "The Rib Man" to create a special line of "Holy Fuck" beef jerky, some of the hottest jerky around, which I'll be reviewing later.

This Cheeseburger-flavored beef jerky was previously described by a hamburger reviewer as "a snack that nostalgically takes me back to eating McDonalds happy meal cheeseburgers when I was younger - but made with quality prime British beef".


British Beef, Vinegar, Soy Sauce, Pickles, Mustard, Ketchup, Cheese Powder, Honey, Liquid Smoke, Lemon, Juice, Black Pepper, Spices.


The first thing I taste from the surface of these pieces is a faint note of ketchup with its sweetness. There's a light saltiness and faint notes of vinegar.

The chewing brings in a little more of the vinegar, while a touch of the pickle is noticeable. The cheese powder is also noticeable.

For being marketed as a Cheeseburger flavored beef jerky, it actually does hold up to that billing tasting something like a cheeseburger. And just like the previous reviewer said, it does remind me of the burger that comes in a McDonald's Happy Meal. The pickle ingredient is perhaps the most defining element that makes this taste as such, but the cheese powder also adds a light touch of the "cheese sauce" that you get with carnival nachos.

Otherwise, the flavor(s) that define this jerky overall starts with the vinegar/pickle flavor. For the most part, this is really a jerky with a strong vinegar flavor, boosted more so by the Pickles ingredient. However, the Cheese Powder ingredient also comes through really well. The natural meat flavors are next strongest. In a lighter touch is the initial ketchup flavor.

Collectively, the ingredients combine to emulate a fast-food cheeseburger flavor with a heavier vinegar/pickle flavor. For novelty purposes, it's awesome, and it's even impressive. But just evaluating the cheeseburger flavor alone, it's as if Billy Franks was trying to recreate something on a $1.00 menu.

Meat Consistency

These are slices of whole meat, sliced into small, thin strips of one to four inches in length.

This is a dry jerky with a dry surface feel. Biting off a piece can require a little bit of effort, while chewing varies between moderate to tough.

The chewing texture starts out feeling tough and dry. There's a good deal of initial chewing resistance, but once it does chew down, it breaks down quickly. Once chewed down to a soft mass, it feel very much like a piece of steak, one cooked well-done, and rather dry.

I don't find any bits of fat on these strips, nor any tendon or gristle. I didn't find any stringiness and no unchewable tissues. It's very meaty.

In terms of clean eating, it's very clean, leaving no residue on my fingers and no bits of meat or seasoning falling on my lap or desktop.

cheeseburger beef jerky

cheeseburger beef jerky

Snack Value

Billy Franks sells this Cheeseburger beef jerky from its website at a price of £2.99 for a 40g bag. By today's currency exchange rates, that works out to $4.66 for approximately a 1.5oz bag. I don't know what the shipping costs are, particularly to the United States, that works out to $3.11 per ounce.

For general jerky snacking purposes, at the $3.11 per ounce price, it's a weak value. That's an expensive price, and that's without the shipping price considered, yet the flavor doesn't really beckon me to eat more.

As a "Cheeseburger" flavored beef jerky, at the same $3.11 per ounce price, it's a good value. This actually tastes very much like a cheeseburger, albeit something more along the lines of a fast-food, budget menu cheeseburger. It's a great value for novelty purposes.


I'm giving this a fair rating.

This Cheeseburger beef jerky from Billy Franks actually does recreate the flavor of a cheeseburger, but more like the low-budget, fast-food, heavily processed varieties. McDonald's Happy Meal is perhaps a very good comparison.

On its own merits, I didn't find this flavor to be all that snackable. It's actually more weighted towards the vinegar & pickle flavor, while the cheese powder ingredient has a significant footprint as well. It's not that pickles and cheese don't work well with jerky, because I've seen it work well in other brands. Somehow in this particular concoction, it didn't create enough snackability to make me want to eat more.

But as a novelty, it's very well done, and would serve well to create interest at the workplace, or as a Christmas stocking stuffer.

Rating: Fair

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