Monday, August 8, 2022

Biltong USA - Original Droëwors

biltong usa
Biltong USA was among the earliest brands of American-made biltong, dating back to 1996. South African immigrants, Dawid Joubert and Salome Joubert founded the company in Stallings, NC based on the same family recipe that dated back into the 1600s. Over the years, their biltong products helped launched a new meat snack category in the States.

In January 2018, Biltong USA was acquired by a rival biltong brand, Stryve Foods. However, Biltong USA continues on under its own brand, and is still manufactured at its original USDA inspected facility in Stallings.

This Original Droëwors, according to the company, these sticks come from their large, fresh pieces of solid beef muscle, and is then ground coarse, seasoned, stuffed into lamb casing, and finally cured. Droëwors is a South African-style meat stick. These are the company's normal sized stick, they also make a thicker variety.

Friday, August 5, 2022

Jerky's Gourmet - Ghost Pepper

jerkys gourmet
Jerky's Gourmet is a new brand of jerky, founded by Tim Gerstman and Andria Taylor, based out of San Diego, CA. Gerstman, who transplated to San Diego from the East Coast 8 years ago, met Andria who also happened to love beef jerky. The two joined forces and launched Jerky's Gourmet.

Their jerky is sold at various shops, bars, and venues across the San Diego area. However the two can be found at the Little Italy Farmers Market on Saturdays, doling out samples of their jerky.

This Ghost Pepper jerky is described as being "soy free" and "gluten free", and is balanced "with subtle hints of honey and pineapple".

Monday, August 1, 2022

Dahlonega Jerky Co - Cracked Pepper Beef Brisket Jerky

Dahlonega Jerky Co. is a new brand launched in 2018 by Steve and Laurie Hallock out of Dahlonega, GA. The couple owns Outlaw Jerky & Trail Grub, a jerky and snack store based in the same town.

Their "Taste Local" jerky line was inspired by the farm-to-table culinary experience using locally sourced ingredients. The Dahlonega Jerky label pays tribute to the town's gold rush history. It is the location of the first U.S. Gold Rush in 1828. The label is based on an 1800's Gold Mining Stock certificate.

This Cracked Pepper Beef Brisket jerky variety is described as having a "savory hickory flavored beef, followed by salt and cracked black pepper...", along with "...a medium chew that chews down to a steak chew texture."

Friday, July 29, 2022

Whiskey Hill Smokehouse - Whiskey BBQ Jerky

whiskey hill smokehouse
Whiskey Hill Smokehouse is a brand owned and operated by Whiskey Hill Smokehouse, LLC, based out of Hubbard, OR. The company also owns The Jerky Hut brand of jerky, along with Bakke Brothers Brand.

According to the company, the Whiskey Hill Smokehouse brand focuses on exotic meats and more exotic recipes than The Jerky Hut and the Bakke Brothers lines. It also focuses on all natural ingredients and its jerky varieties are all marked as "Gluten Free".

This "Whiskey BBQ" is part of a series of alcohol-infused jerky varieties recently launched by Whiskey Hill Smokehouse. Others include Maple Bourbon, and Saki-Teriyaki. The package is marked, "Gluten Free".

Wednesday, July 27, 2022

Legacy Meats - Applewood

legacy meats
Legacy Meats is a family-run meat-distribution business located in Kersey, Colorado. Ben Elliott, who built a career raising cattle, launched this business in 2012 when the trend for buying locally-sourced foods gained traction. Last year, Ben and wife opened up a store in Kersey.

Legacy Meats supplies grass-fed steaks and chops to local customers, but has built a following across the world. Recently, they added beef jerky to their product line up. You can purchase jerky packages individually, or through their own Jerky subscription program.

This Applewood Beef Jerky is described by them as, "...on the mild side with hints of hickory smoked marinate and applewood smoke flavor".

Monday, July 25, 2022

Wicked Cutz Beef Jerky - BBQ Mesquite

wicked cutz beef jerky
Wicked Cutz Beef Jerky is a new brand, having debuted just a couple of months ago. It was launched by Branch Warren, a well-known body builder who has won numerous competitions over past couple of decades. Warren also owns other companies that market apparel and body building supplements.

Warren's move into beef jerky touches upon his heritage in the Texas cattle industry going back 150 years. He grew up on a cattle ranch and in his youth spent time as a ranch hand before moving on to body-building. Now in his retirement, he sought to start his own jerky brand and touch upon his cattlemen roots.

This BBQ Mesquite is described by the company as, "no ordinary jerky", going on to say that it's, "flavor is so pronounced", and, "taste is so delicious, this jerky will leave even the most loyal Pitmasters wishing they had more."

Friday, July 22, 2022

Chef Craig's Beef Jerky - Original

chef craigs jerky
One the newest jerky brands on the market is Chef Craig's Beef Jerky. A product of CJM Products, it's based out of West Kingston, RI.

It's the idea of Craig Mitchell, who a few years ago, had sent me samples of his own homemade jerky, with the intent of launching a business someday. Mitchell received his Culinary Arts degree from Johnson & Wales University, and has been cooking professionally since 1978.

As of this review, the only flavor Chef Craig's offers is this Original.

Wednesday, July 20, 2022

J&K Beef Jerky - Whiskey BBQ

J&K Beef Jerky
J&K Beef Jerky is a brand owned by J&K Distributors based out of Huntington Beach, CA. J&K Distributors is an actual distributing company that stocks convenience stores throughout Southern California. J&K has been around since 1980.

Like most distributing companies, J&K offers several brands of jerky for its store clients, but also offers its own house brand. According to the company, they've offered this jerky over the past 20 years.

This Whiskey BBQ beef jerky is claimed to be, "...the true flagship of our company", going on to say that it was created with their own, "sweet and tangy barbecue sauce with Cayenne pepper and real Kentucky Bourbon".


Beef, BBQ sauce, brown sugar, BBQ seasoning, whiskey bourbon, vinegar, honey, liquid smoke, corn syrup solids, cayenne pepper, sodium nitrite


The first flavors that hit my palate is a sticky sweet BBQ sauce, weighted on sugar, but with a light spiciness. The chewing brings on more of the same, but with a light natural meat flavor coming on in the end.

For being marketed as "Whiskey BBQ" this strikes up a clearly identifiable barbecue sauce, more like the Kansas Style with a thick sweet, tomatoey profile, yet a lightly seasoned spice. There's even a touch of smoke noticeable. The Whiskey part is noticeable too, but you're not going to taste any alcohol. There's a faint fermented character to this along with a light whiskey burn going down the throat. If anything, the whiskey livens up the barbecue sauce and gives it more punch.

Otherwise, the primary taste profile is a thick sweet, tomatoey barbecue sauce with a light spiciness, a touch of ferment and a bit of whiskey burn going down the throat. There's a light natural meat at the very end.

These slices of meat are quite soft and very sticky from the heavy BBQ sauce marinade. Underneath that layer of sauce is still a chewy meat texture that takes on a steak-like feel once chewed down soft. This jerky tends to be stringy, however. Your fingers will pick up a lot of "goop" and you'll need to suck them clean before grabbing the steering wheel or touching the remote control.


This Whiskey BBQ variety from J&K Beef Jerky dishes out a very lively barbecue sauce based on a thick sweet, tomatoey profile, a spicy combination of seasonings, and livened up with a dose of bourbon. You're not going to taste any alcohol in this, but you will notice a fermented character in the sauce, and you will feel a light whiskey burn going down. It's still a chewy jerky overall, but layered with enough sticky sauce that you'll need to suck your fingers clean before touching anything. While there's some stringiness in the chewing, this jerky takes on a steak-like texture that recreates a decadent barbecue-beef experience. This is probably J&K Jerky's best flavor.

Note: if you buy this, make sure to get the larger size package to get the bigger, softer slices.

Rating: Best (5/5)

whiskey bbq beef jerky

whiskey bbq beef jerky

Monday, July 18, 2022

Ryder's Savage Jerky - Teriyaki

ryders savage jerky
Ryder's Savage Jerky is a brand that launched in 2017 by Monica Willoughby based out of Sacramento, CA. Monica currently markets her jerky at local farmers markets, street fairs, and online through Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

She started the business as a way to create a college fund for her 5-year old son Ryder. Last year she launched a crowdfunding campaign to secure licenses, materials, and equipment. Last month she got a boost after being featured on a television news show in Sacramento.

This Teriyaki beef jerky has no other marketed claims other than its name, "Teriyaki".

Friday, July 15, 2022

Bakke Brothers Brand - Garlic Lovers Beef Jerky

bakke brothers jerky
Bakke Brothers Brand is owned by Whiskey Hill Smokehouse, LLC based out of Hubbard, OR. Whiskey Hill also owns The Jerky Hut, as well as its own house brand, Whiskey Hill Smokehouse.

Bakke Brothers differs from The Jerky Hut in that it's free of preservatives such as sodium nitrite, sodium erythorbate, et al, and it's also gluten-free.

This "Garlic Lovers" appears to be one of the brand's best sellers based on reviews.