Friday, June 26, 2009

Hickory Hollow Jerky - Teriyaki

Hickory Hollow Jerky - TeriyakiNext in the series on Hickory Hollow Jerky is this Teriyaki variety. See my previous review of their Original.

Hickory Hollow Jerky is a brand of Hickory Hollow Jekry, LLC, based out of Eufaula, AL. It's run by a guy named Russ Robbins, who by day is a full time Baptist Minister, but at night runs Hickory Hollow, making and selling beef jerky through his own USDA inspected facility.

While Russ has been making jerky for over 30 years, Hickory Hollow Jerky has only been around since November 2008. Russ hand cuts every piece of jerky in the ancient tradition of his forebearers, random in shape in size, but consistent overall. He says he trims off all the excessive sinews and fat.


Beef round, teriyaki sauce, hydrolyzed soy protein, water, corn syrup, potassium sorbate, garlic powder, black pepper, smoke flavoring added, spices, onion, worcestershire sauce, distilled vinegar, molasses, sugar, salt, natural flavor, tamarind.


The first thing I taste from the surface of these pieces is a soy sauce flavor, with a light bit of sweet. Overall, it's a light-to-moderate surface flavor intensity.

In the chewing, what I taste right away is a more defined soy sauce flavor. I can sort of taste the worcestershire better in the chewing. There's also a faint garlic flavor noticeable, and a faint bit of smoky flavor.

For being billed as a Teriyaki variety, I don't really taste teriyaki sauce in this. What I taste is soy sauce, and a light bit of worcestershire. To me, teriyaki should have a thick sweet flavor, along with a combination of tangy and pungent notes from sake/mirin wine and ginger. I don't pick up any of those, just the soy sauce component.

I don't pick up the natural meat flavors like I did in the Original variety. Albeit the Original variety offered only a light meat flavor, it was still an element that I could enjoy. I think in this Teriyaki variety, the soy sauce flavor is strong enough that it masks over what light meat flavor is in this.

The level of saltiness seems moderate.

There's a bit of smoky flavor found in the chewing, and becomes more noticeable towards the latter end of chewing.

I can also find a light black pepper aftertaste building up over several pieces.

Overall, the primary flavor you're going to get out of this is a soy sauce flavor, not really a teriyaki flavor. In the chewing, that soy sauce flavor becomes more defined, and you may even notice a faint worcestershire flavor too. Throw in some light garlic, and some light black pepper.

Meat Consistency

These are slices of whole meat, sliced medium thickness, and in strips of about 3-4 inches in length.

This is a dry jerky, but with enough moisture that you could argue that it's semi-moist. Biting chunks off seems relatively easy, while chewing is somewhat chewy, not really easy, but not necessarily tough.

The chewing texture starts out feeling stiff, and a little rubbery. It takes several seconds of biting and sucking until it softens up enough to chew. Once it chews down to a soft mass, it takes on a steak-like texture, similar to being cooked medium-well.

Just about every piece contains some visible bits and streaks of fat. Where they're in higher volumes, they contribute an oily flavor to the meat. I'm also finding a fair amount of unchewable wads in this jerky.

But it's pretty clean eating, with no residue picking up on my fingers, and nary anything flying off on to my lap.

Snack Value

Hickory Hollow Jerky sells this Original variety from its website at a price of $4.00 for a 3oz bag. They'll tack on $1.00 for shipping. That's a total of $5.00 per bag, or a per ounce price of $1.67.

For general jerky snacking purposes, at the $1.67 price per ounce, this jerky offers a good value. I'm picking up a decent amount of snackability for its good flavor, and good chewing texture. And that price of $1.67 per ounce is right in the ballpark with store bought jerky, but I think you're getting a better product than the mass-market brands.

As a teriyaki variety, at the same $1.67 price per ounce, it's a fair value. I don't think this teriyaki flavor is any better or worse than the teriyaki flavor you'd get from the mass-market brands. And since the price is already competitive with store bought jerky, it's neither a good buy or a bad one.


I'm giving this a good rating.

This Teriyaki variety from Hickory Hollow Jerky doesn't really taste like teriyaki beef jerky, it tastes more like just soy sauce. I'm getting only a little bit sweet, and I think a jerky advertised as "Teriyaki" ought to have a heavy sweetness. Or at least, that's what my expectation is.

But on its own merits, it's a still good tasting jerky, with a good chewing texture. Aside from a soy sauce flavor, I can pick up a light bit of worcestershire, and light bits of garlic, black pepper, and some smokiness.

While the chewing texture is quite steak-like, it's still rather chewy, and somewhat tough. What helps is that this jerky has enough surface flavor that you can suck on a piece for awhile to let it soften up before chewing.

Even with the shipping costs added in, it's still priced the same as store-bought jerky, but you're getting a better jerky than the mass-market brands.

My recommended beer pairing for this, go with a lightly flavored cream ale.

Rating: Good

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