Thursday, April 30, 2009

Bulk Beef Jerky - Honey Barbecue

Bulk Beef Jerky Bulk Beef Jerky is a retailer of beef jerky, based in Troy, MI, selling a variety of brands, mostly through its website. But they also market their own brand as well which they call "Bulk".

Their jerky is manufactured by Michigan Brands, Inc., based out of Bay City, MI, a company that private labels jerky for several brands. The last brand of jerky I reviewed that was made by Michigan Brands was Bruce's Jerky.


Beef, dry honey, flavoring (composed of sugar, salt, onion and garlic powder, smoke flavoring, molasses, monosodium glutamate, spices, paprika, citric acid, spice extractives), sodium nitrite.


The first thing I taste from the surface of these pieces is a slight sweet, followed by a moderate saltiness, and then followed by a meaty aroma. I can also detect a bit of the garlic and onion.

In the chewing, the first thing I taste is the natural meat flavors, followed by more saltiness, some smoky flavor, and some seasonings.

As for being billed as a "honey barbecue" variety, it has less of a honey flavor, and a moderate barbecue flavor. There's some sweetness in this, but not a lot. I get the most sweetness from those first few seconds of putting a piece into my mouth. After that, it gets drowned out by the saltiness and seasonings. The "barbecue" part is more noticeable, but more as a blend of seasonings. It's perhaps similar to the barbecue seasoning that you'd find in a bag of barbecue flavored potato chips.

As for the primary flavor of this jerky, it's the saltiness. After several pieces, it's intensity level sits as "high" with me. I can't say, however, that it's too high, but it's clear to me as the dominant flavor overall.

I'd consider the barbecue-like seasonings as the second-most strongest flavor.

The natural meat flavors are the third-most strongest.

I can also notice a garlic/onion flavor in the background. I can also see flecks of black pepper on these pieces, and I do in fact taste black pepper also.

Overall, what you're going to get out of this is a strong saltiness, with some noticeable spices and seasonings, and some natural meat flavors. But it doesn't really come off as a "honey barbecue" variety in my opinion, it's maybe more like a "barbecue seasoning" variety.

Meat Consistency

These are slices of whole meat, sliced into bite-sized squares of thick slices.

It's a moist jerky, perhaps too moist to be classified as jerky, and in fact the packaging doesn't describe this as jerky, but as "smoked beef". There's a little bit of chewiness to it initially, but overall is rather easy to eat.

The chewing texture starts out with a stiff, rubbery feel. If you suck on the surface flavors for a bit, and then bite on it lightly, it'll soften up easily enough. Once it's chewed down to a soft mass, it chews just like a juicy piece of steak.

The pieces appear to be very lean, finding no chunks of fat, tendon, or gristle, and very little in chewy sinews.

But as far as clean eating goes, the moisture of these pieces leaves my fingertips quite wet, and require a licking and wiping.

Snack Value

Bulk Beef Jerky sells this Honey Barbecue variety at a price of $5.99 for a four ounce package. They also charge $5.95 for shipping out to Southern California, and will also apply sales tax. So if you bought three packages of this stuff, the total cost will be $25.40, or $2.12 per ounce.

For general jerky snacking purposes, at this $2.12 price per ounce, this seems to provide a decent value. I'm getting a good deal of snackability for its overall good flavor, for what natural meat flavors I can get, and it's moist easy eating. The price is too high for a single package of this stuff, considering the addition of the shipping fees; you'll have to buy this in bulk to make it worthwhile.

As a Honey Barbecue variety, also at the $2.12 price per ounce, it's a weak value. I don't really see the "honey" part of this. While there's a light sweetness initially, it's overwhelmed by the high saltiness and barbecue seasonings. As for the barbecue part, I think using that description is just, but it tastes more like barbecue seasoning, than a barbecue sauce flavor. If I specifically had a love for honey barbecue flavored jerky, and I bought this stuff, I wouldn't feel like I got my money's worth.


I'm giving this a good rating.

This Honey Barbecue variety provides a lot of flavor, mostly as saltiness, but still clearly having barbecue seasoning, and a good deal of natural meat flavors. You'll also notice a light sweetness initially, and you'll get some light garlic/onion and black pepper in the background. It's definitely better than the average jerky.

But I don't see it as having any "wow factor" that would cause me to assign a best rating. For one, it's rather salty, and I'm not a big fan of salty jerky. I will still assign best ratings to salty jerky as long as it can offer an outstanding flavor overall. But this doesn't really do it. Largely, the barbecue flavoring is not all that interesting, and the natural meat flavors are not strong enough to overcome the saltiness.

Otherwise, it's still quite enjoyable for what it offers, mostly a flavorful jerky with some natural meat flavors, and a moist chew.

For my recommended beer pairing, I'd go with a nutty flavored brown ale.

Rating: Good

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