Dusty's Real Beef Jerky is the house brand of R&K Snacks. Dusty's is made using R&K's own original recipes in a USDA inspected facility. It's offered in five flavors and comes in four styles, Hand Trimmed, Ripple Cut, Steak Chunk, and Jerky Strips.
The Hand Trimmed jerky reviewed here is a slab-style, but is not specifically marked as "Hand Trimmed". I only have three of the five flavors, Original, Hickory, and Hot.
OriginalIngredients: Beef, soy sauce, worcestershire sauce, liquid smoke, black pepper, brown sugar, cayenne pepper, garlic salt, sodium nitrite, potassium sorbate.
The first flavor that hits my tongue is a worcestershire sauce flavor, followed soon by the soy sauce. The smokiness is noticeable as is a faint sweet. The chewing brings on more of the soy sauce & worcestershire in greater definition, with perhaps touches of seasonings.
The ingredients that seem to define this jerky over all others is the soy sauce & worcestershire combination. Beyond that are touches of seasonings, most notably a light black pepper and touches of sweet.
Verdict: This Original variety is overall mild, but still savory through it's soy sauce and worcestershire marinade. In comparison to the hundreds of other Original brands I've tried, it's largely sits within the 80th percentile, good enough to satisfy, but nothing unique.
Cracked Black PepperIngredients: Beef, soy sauce, worcestershire sauce, cracked black pepper, liquid smoke, brown sugar, cayenne pepper, garlic salt, sodium nitrite, potassium sorbate.
The first thing I pick up on my palate is worcestershire sauce, while the cracked black pepper follows. The soy sauce comes in later, even more so in the chewing. There's a faint sweetness and touches of garlic noticeable.
The ingredient that seems to define this jerky over all others is the worcestershire sauce and the cracked black pepper. The black pepper has a sharp, freshly cracked flavor, and tends to add a spiciness to this jerky that some might see as strong. The soy sauce is quite noticeable still.
Verdict: This variety belts a good cracked black pepper flavor just as the package advertises, but relies on a savory blend of worcestershire and soy sauce to generate it's snackability. The freshly cracked flavor of the black pepper can make this taste rather spicy.
HotIngredients: Beef, soy sauce, worcestershire sauce, liquid smoke, crushed red pepper, black pepper, cayenne pepper, brown sugar, garlic salt, sodium nitrite, potassium sorbate.
The first flavor that hits my palate is the same worcestershire as the Original and Worcestershire. I also get the same soy sauce. But I also pick up a red chile pepper flavor too.
The ingredient that seems to define this jerky is the worcestershire and soy sauce combination. The red chile pepper has a significant contribution, and then finished with touches of garlic and black pepper. The level of heat in this feels moderate, rating as medium on my personal heat scale (level 3 out of 5).
Verdict: This is probably the better of the three flavors due to the red chile pepper flavor, but is otherwise comparable with its prominent worcestershire and soy sauce flavor.
Meat ConsistencyThere's a fair amount of marbelized fat visible on these slabs of meat, and it tends to produce a light marbleized flavor.
Chewing is rather dry, but still easy to chew, and still retains a light chewy character. I do see streaks of gristle on some pieces, but otherwise, there's only a light amount of stringiness. It tends to have a meaty feel, and once chewed down to a soft mass, even has a steak-like feel.
Overall VerdictThe worcerstershire and soy sauce marinade seems to provide a good flavor, but after eating several pieces, it's saltiness tends to overwhelm. I like the meaty and steak-like chewing of this jerky, which I actually think is this jerky's strength. Otherwise, this jerky doesn't really do much to differentiate itself from the hundreds of others brands I've reviewed. It's great for general purpose snacking, otherwise.
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