Thursday, May 14, 2009

Jackson Hole Buffalo Meat Co - Elk Jerky

Jackson Hole Buffalo Meat Co - Elk JerkyNext in the series on Jackson Hole Buffalo Meat Co. is this Elk Jerky. See my previous review of their Original Buffalo Jerky.

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.

This elk jerky is dubbed "Original Trapper Style", and the brand goes on to claim their elk are never fed any growth hormones, steroids or antibiotics, and are ranch-raised in the western USA.


Elk meat, salt, sugar, spices, black pepper, garlic powder, natural flavorings, sodium nitrite.


The first thing I taste from the surface of these pieces is a smoky flavor, some meat flavors, some light saltiness, and a faint bit of black pepper. There's a light overall flavor intensity on the surface.

In the chewing, the first thing I taste is the natural meat flavors, with the same level of saltiness, a bit more black pepper.

I'd say the dominant flavor of this jerky is the natural meat flavors. It's not a strong meat flavor, but not light either, perhaps medium-level. It doesn't quite taste like beef, it's definitely different. I'm not an elk expert, so I can't claim to know what elk should taste like. There seems to be some "gamey" taste to this meat. But for myself, it's quite unlike beef, and it's a welcome flavor.

The black pepper is perhaps just strong enough to be considered a second-dominant flavor. After eating several pieces, it builds a up medium-strength aftertaste. But it doesn't overpower the meat flavors at all.

The other flavors in this jerky are not quite strong enough to be considered dominant flavors.

The saltiness seems light, even after several pieces.

I can taste some of that garlic in there, but it too seems light.

Overall, what you're going to taste in this is largely the natural elk meat flavors, with some smokiness, and black pepper. The saltiness and garlic both sit in the background to help add color to your overall chewing enjoyment.

Meat Consistency

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

This is a dry jerky, with only a little bit of flexibility before cracking open. Tearing pieces apart seems somewhat easy, and chewing also seems somewhat easy.

The chewing texture, once a piece is chewed down, feels like chewing a piece of steak, perhaps cooked medium-well. Initially, a piece starts out feeling hard, with a bit of leathery resistance, but with some sucking and light biting, it moistens up and starts breaking apart.

I don't really see any chunks or streaks of fat, but most of these piece do have a fair amount of marbilization. I actually found a couple pieces with gristle that created a rubbery chew. But aside from that, no tendon, no stringy sinews.

Tearing pieces apart seems to drop some bits of black pepper, but my fingers don't pick any residue or moisture.

Snack Value

I bought this Elk Jerky 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 this $3.81 per ounce price, it seems to provide a weak value. I do get a good deal of snackability for its good meat flavors, and satisfactory seasonings, and good chewing texture. But still $3.81 per ounce is an expensive price for general purpose jerky snacking.

As an elk jerky, also at the $3.81 per ounce price, it's still a weak value. Albeit I'd expect elk meat to be more expensive than beef, it's still higher priced than other elk jerky brands I've reviewed, and those have received similar or better ratings.


I'm giving this a good rating.

This elk jerky from Jackson Hole Buffalo Meat Co., offers a decent amount of natural meat flavors that taste distinct from beef jerky. Add to that some smokiness, and some black pepper, and it creates a very satisfying jerky snacking enjoyment.

The meat consistency is good, it has a good chewing texture, though the rubbery gristle is something that's always a pet peeve of mine.

Compared to the other elk jerky brands I've reviewed, this one didn't have enough flavor intensity, at least not something that would "wow" me. Personally, I think more smokiness is needed. It's still a good elk jerky, because you'll taste the unique flavor of elk, and get some good chewing texture too.

My recommended beer pairing, try a nutty flavored brown ale.

Rating: Good

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