Monday, August 11, 2014

K.O. Jerky

ko jerky
KO Jerky is a new brand of jerky based out of Madera, CA. Describing itself as the "Best BJ Ever!", it's the product of Randall and Michelle Kelch.

The startup business prides itself on making 100% homemade beef jerky right from the Kelch's home. They use no preservatives, no additives. Vacuumed sealed within minutes of being dehydrated, KO Jerky claims to offer the freshest jerky anyone will ever eat.

Currently, they offer two flavors, this Original and Peppered.

Original

Ingredients: Beef, soy sauce, worcestershire sauce, black pepper, various spices.

ko jerky
The first flavor that hits the tongue is a light mixture of soy sauce and worcestershire. The chewing flavor brings on a bit of the same flavors, but the natural meat flavors too. There's also noticeable levels of seasonings coming through, mostly a garlic and something like thyme, perhaps oregano, but also some cayenne.

Overall, the flavors that define this jerky is largely the mixture of soy sauce and worcestershire, in a lighter volume, the natural meat flavors, and then the swashes of seasonings, mostly garlic, cayenne, and a couple other mysterious ingredients. Together they combine to create an overall flavorful jerky, with a decent level of flavor complexity, but doesn't overwhelm the palate. It allows a fair amount of the natural meat flavors to come through.

The level of saltiness feels light. It's a mild jerky in terms of heat or spiciness.

The meat consistency looks to be very lean with no visible signs of fat. I didn't encounter any stringiness or unchewable tissues. It's a dry jerky with a dry surface touch, and feels somewhat stiff despite being sliced thin. Overall, it's rather chewy, while a few of the pieces felt tough. The chewing feels mostly like pieces of steak, cooked well done.

Peppered

Ingredients: Beef, soy sauce, worcestershire sauce, black pepper, various spices.

ko jerky
It's a light mixture of soy sauce and worcestershire I taste right away. I can pick up little bit of the black pepper. The chewing brings on a more rich sauciness, but also more of the black pepper. I can also pick up a light amounts of the garlic. I don't get that bit of cayenne that I tasted in the Original.

Overall, the flavors that define this jerky is the saucy combination of soy sauce and worcestershire, in light amounts, with a good deal of black pepper. The garlic lingers in the background while a light natural meat flavor carries on. Together, it creates a jerky with a little more flavor intensity than the Original, perhaps because of the stronger black pepper, while still allowing a noticeable natural meat flavor to show through.

The level of saltiness feels a touch higher than the Original. There's enough black pepper in this that it creates a low level of heat (level 2 out of 5) on my personal heat scale.

The meat consistency is also very lean with no visible signs of fat, and no stringiness or unchewable tissues. It feels very meaty, and chews like real pieces of steak. It's a dry jerky with dry surface touch, and is rather chewy. Some pieces are actually tough.

Verdict

KO Jerky makes for a very snackable jerky thanks to its careful balance of marinade and seasonings, dishing out enough flavor without overwhelming you. The meat consistency is overall good, but tends to be tough. Most pieces are tolerable, but at times it gets tiring. The best pieces offering a little bit of crunchiness, but give way easily and chew down soft. The worst pieces are hard, chewy, and tire out the jaw muscles.

Between the Original and Peppered, I like the Original better for it's balance between marinade, seasonings, and natural meat flavors. The Peppered has good black pepper flavor, but tends to overshadow the other ingredients.

Rating: Good

Buy this online:
ko jerky

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