Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Jackson Hole Buffalo Jerky - Original

Jackson Hole Buffalo Jerky Jackson Hole is a brand name of Jackson Hole Buffalo Co., based in Jackson Hole, WY. The company has been around since 1947 supplying buffalo and elk meat products to consumers and retailers. Today it has a shop in Jackson Hole, WY, and sells its meat products through its catalog and website.

Jerky is just one of their many meat products.

The company says their buffalo graze naturally on open range grasslands in a ranch setting. In their last 60 days, the animals are corn fed to increase tenderness and to promote a sweet and rich flavor. Their products contain no antibiotics, no hormones, no growth steroids, and no preservatives.


Buffalo meat, salt, sugar, spices, black pepper, garlic powder, flavoring, sodium nitrite.


The first thing I taste from the surface of these pieces is a strong meaty aroma, followed by a strong natural meat flavor, a faint bit of garlic, and a bit of saltiness. In the chewing, what I notice first is bit more saltiness, with a continuation of the strong meat flavors, and then some light black pepper flavor. The garlic also continues in the background as a faint flavor.

Right away, this jerky grabs my attention with its strong natural meat flavors. The meat tastes very much like beef, similar to a steak rubbed with black pepper and garlic.

In fact, I'd rate the natural meat flavors as the primary flavor of this jerky. It's very evident as the first flavor I taste from the surface, and it continues all throughout the chewing.

The saltiness is perhaps the second-strongest flavor, being medium in intensity. The garlic is not really a dominant flavor, but is something I can clearly identify in the background. There's also some black pepper that becomes more evident over several pieces. The salt, garlic, and pepper do a pretty good job of highlighting the more dominant natural meat flavors.

Overall, what you're going to get out of this jerky is a strong natural meat flavor, with some salt, garlic, and black pepper to season those flavors.

Meat Consistency

These are slices of whole meat, sliced to a medium thickness, and in small to medium sized pieces.

This seems to be a semi-moist jerky. The surface has a clearly moist touch. The pieces tear apart with my fingers pretty easily, while the chewing requires a little more effort, though I wouldn't call it tough.

The chewing texture is very steak-like, resembling like that of a well-done cooked steak. It actually starts out feeling soft and pliable, and starts breaking down quickly. It chews down to a soft mass in about 10-15 seconds. At that point, it feels exactly like a steak, not rubbery, not mushy, not crumbly.

These pieces appear to be lean, with almost no bits of fat to be seen, and no tendon. However, I encountered a couple of pieces with small amounts of rubbery gristle. One piece (see photos below) had quite a bit of lard deposited on the surface.

As for clean eating, these pieces have enough moisture on the surface that they leave some moist, oily residue on my fingers. Otherwise, they don't seem to drop any meat fragments when I tear them apart.

Snack Value

I bought this Original variety from Jackson Hole's website through a sampler package, consisting of 4oz each of their four jerky varieties. That's 16oz total, at a price of $46.00. When you add the $14.95 shipping, I paid a total of $60.95, or a per ounce price of $3.81.

For general jerky snacking purposes, at the $3.81 per ounce price, it presents a fair value. I do get a great deal of snackability from its strong (and delicious) natural meat flavors, along with its semi-moist pieces and relatively easy eating. But on the other hand, $3.81 is a very expensive price for general purpose snacking, and while I think this jerky is pretty good, I don't think it's holy enough to warrant such a high price if all you want is to satisfy your snacking urges.

But as buffalo jerky, at the $3.81 per ounce price, it presents a good value. For one, I think the prices for buffalo meat are going to be higher than beef. But second, if you're going to pay the higher price to get buffalo jerky, then you definitely want to taste the natural buffalo meat flavors, and indeed you're going to get that in this jerky. The $3.81 price per ounce is still rather high, but then again, I haven't found many buffalo jerky brands this good.


I'm giving this a best rating.

I found a strong, and delicious, natural meat flavor in this Original variety from Jackson Hole Buffalo Meat Co. The salt, garlic, and black pepper seasonings are strong enough to be noticed on their own, but not strong enough to get in the way of my enjoyment of the meat flavors. They instead do a good job of enhancing them.

The meat consistency is good, being semi-moist, and easy to tear apart. The chewing is a little more tough, though overall not bad. But the chewing texture is great, feeling just like a steak once you get it chewed down. I also found enough moisture in this meat that I could extract plenty of juices to enjoy its flavors.

But again, the strong natural meat flavors, highlighted with the seasoning, really wins it for me.

My recommended beer pairing for this, a dark porter.

Rating: Best

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  1. good buffalo cost almost that much just for the raw meat to make a lb of good! local butcher in canada..makes it from his top unsold cuts..and i pay 44 bucks a lb. delicious..cheerz..k. from gabriola island bc

  2. The article says "no preservatives" however lists the ingredients as containing sodium nitrite. Wikipedia says Sodium nitrite, with chemical formula NaNO2, is used as a color fixative and preservative in meats and fish.