Friday, May 16, 2008

Stater Bros. Beef Jerky - Original

Stater Bros. Beef Jerky - OriginalMost people have not heard of "Stater Bros.", as it's a chain of grocery stores limited to Southern California, but it's a chain that's pretty popular among locals, and one known for its full service meat department.

While their meat department is famous, it's brand of beef jerky isn't. I hadn't realized they offered their own brand until shopping there a few weeks ago. I picked up this bag of Original flavored beef jerky, as well as their Peppered variety (read review).

In the Peppered variety, I had said it tasted exactly like the Albertson's brand, and was probably made by the same private labeler.


Beef, water, sugar, vinegar, salt, maltodextrin, flavorings, monosodium glutamate, spice, sodium erythorbate, citric acid, sodium nitrite.


The first thing that I taste with this Original variety is the mesquite smoke flavor, salt, and something that resembles soy sauce, though soy sauce is not mentioned on the ingredients (it's probably the MSG). For plain beef jerky, this stuff is pretty plain.

I do taste quite a bit of the natural meat flavors, just as I did with Stater Bros' Peppered variety. Many of the pieces (at least in this bag), contains some fair amount of fat marbilization, which adds that oily texture that you can only get from a real steak.

Overall, this brand and variety of beef jerky provides a pleasant taste, albeit a pretty plain one.

Meat Consistency

These appear to be cuts of real beef muscle, sliced medium thickness, and in mostly small pieces. For an average sized bag, I would have liked to see more larger pieces, just so that I could satisfy my carnal craving for ripping apart flesh.

Most of these pieces are on the dry side, but not terribly dry. Some require a bit of effort to tear apart and chew. One particular piece was almost like rawhide. Otherwise, several other pieces were easy to eat.

Most of these pieces have a fair amount of fat marbilization, and I found a similar number that contained some chewy tendon and gristle. This is all consistent with Stater Bros' Peppered jerky.

Stater Bros. Beef Jerky - Original

Stater Bros. Beef Jerky - Original

Product Value

I paid $3.50 for a 3.65 ounce bag, which works out to $1.04 per ounce, putting this into the "average" price range, but on the border with cheap.

Overall, this jerky provides an average value. While it offers good taste, there are still several pieces that require some effort to chew, either because the meat is tough or there's quite a bit of tendon and/or gristle. The fact that it's priced lower than most brands is what makes this a decent buy.

As an "Original" variety of jerky, it's pretty plain. I do enjoy tasting the natural meat flavors in this, but found myself wanting to taste some additional layer of flavoring. There are plenty of original varieties that can offer something more than just sodium.


Stater Bros. Beef Jerky - OriginalI'm giving this a "fair" rating.

Perhaps it's only saving grace is that it offers a decent amount of natural meat flavors. Otherwise, the taste is pretty uninteresting, not bad, just nothing great.

What prevented it from the higher rating of "average", is that too many of the pieces were difficult to chew. While the majority of the pieces were still easy, there was still too many that were difficult. I always expect at least one or two pieces to offer some chewing challenges, I'd say somewhere from 25% to 40% offered some kind of difficulty that ruined the overal beef jerky experience.

Rating: Fair

Where to buy: Any Stater Bros. grocery store

1 comment:

  1. It's nothing special for me but I do enjoy it.