Friday, May 2, 2008

Alien Fresh Jerky - Teriyaki

The Alien Fresh brand of jerky has become one of my favorite brands of jerky, based on their Sweet & Spicy and their Cowboy varieties. So it was with great expectation that I opened this package of teriyaki beef jerky. I had never tried this variety, but wanted to see if it was good as the others.

Travelers along Interstate 15 going to Las Vegas, from Southern California, have become familiar with this brand because of its road signs along the freeway. Many stop into the tiny desert town of Baker to get gasoline, have a burger at the Bob's Big Boy, and then stop in at the little Alien Fresh Jerky shop to check out the wares.


The ingredients list shows the following: Whole slices of beef, teriyaki sauce (soy sauce, water, wheat, soy beans, salt, brown sugar), garlic, spices. It specifically says, "No MSG". Note that it doesn't contain any preservatives, or sodium nitrite.

What I taste right away is a taste of teriyaki, not a thick taste, but it's there. It's also very sweet, like teriyaki is always is. And I taste quite a bit of the natural meat flavors. Finally, there is some slight smokiness in there.

You can taste a bit of the salt in here, but it slight. And I prefer jerky that way.

I happen to prefer beef jerky that actually tastes like beef, the meat that is, and this particular variety doesn't disappoint in that regards, just like the other varieties offered by Alien Fresh.

You can tear off a piece, chew it slightly, and let the flavors slowly dissolve into your mouth as you extract the juices out. At this point, you can really taste the natural meat flavors in all their smoky glory.

Meat Consistency

Just like Alien Fresh says, these are real slices of meat, sliced medium to thick, and in medium sized pieces. Some are smaller bite sized pieces.

I found these pieces to be tough, not extremely tough, just tough. The larger pieces have a somewhat softer consistency, but still takes some work to tear apart and chew. But overall, it doesn't distract too much from the enjoyment. The meat is on the dry side, but there is a layer of teriyaki basting that makes the pieces look moist. It leaves just enough residue on your fingers that you'll need to lick them off.

Most of these pieces contained some tendon, requiring some extended chewing.

Product Value

Alien Fresh Jerky sells their 4oz packages all for $8.00 each, which works out to $2.00 per oz, in the high price range. But they offer a "Buy 3 for $20.00" deal, which works out to $1.67 per oz, putting into the medium price range.

As a beef jerky, this does offer some good value in that you're getting something does a pretty job of retaining the natural meat flavors with a teriyaki covering. It's not overly salty, and is something a beef jerky connoisseur can enjoy.

The teriyaki flavor is not strong, it's more like something to enhance this jerky's flavor.

But I found the toughness to be something of a distraction, that seems to subtract from the overall enjoyment of this product, but it wasn't too terribly bad. I've had a lot tougher jerky than this. The pieces of tendon I found in here also distracted somewhat.

Still, the great taste of smoked meat comes through in this, and offers great jerky enjoyment.


I'm giving this a "good" rating.

This is a pretty good jerky for enjoying as a beef jerky. It also provides some great snackability, in that it kept me reaching for more. I found myself wanting to savor the flavors, slowly sucking on each piece.

The tough consistency kept this from reaching a higher rating. In addition, I always like to taste a couple of contrasting flavors in jerky, such as sweet & spicy, or chile and lime, etc. So while there is some good teriyaki flavor in here, it might have been nice to experience just a bit of black pepper or ginger.

But just for its great meat taste, great snackability, it's a jerky that I'd like savor while sitting my backyard listening to the birds.

Rating: Good (4/5)


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