Monday, August 24, 2009

Pioneer Brand Beef Jerky - Teriyaki

Pioneer Brand Beef Jerky Next in the series on Pioneer Brand (PNR) Beef Jerky is this Teriyaki variety. See my previous review of their Smokehouse Original.

Pioneer Brand is a brand name of Jerky Snack Brands, Inc. based out of Minong, WI, though this jerky appears to have been manufactured out of the company's Schulenberg, TX facility.

The brand was originally founded in 1986 by Robert George in Livonia, MI. The company was originally a distributor of branded meat snacks and originally operated as Western Snacks, and then became Metro Snacks, until it changed names to Pioneer Snacks, Inc. It wasn't until January 2007 that the business was acquired by Jerky Snacks Brands.


Beef, teriyaki sauce, water, sugar, teriyaki mix, sodium nitrite.


The first thing I taste from the surface of these pieces is a sweet flavor, and light smoky flavor. With some sucking I get a light bit of saltiness. Overall, a light surface flavor.

The chewing flavor is largely the same as the surface flavor, with about the same intensity, but maybe just a tad more saltiness.

For being advertised as a Teriyaki beef jerky, this doesn't really come off tasting like teriyaki. The ingredients list on the package actually breaks down what's inside the teriyaki sauce and the teriyaki mix, which appears to contain all the usual ingredients you'd find in true teriyaki sauce, but I just don't taste much of it. Basically, I get a fair amount of sweet, but hardly any soy sauce flavor, ginger, or the sake tanginess.

I don't taste any natural meat flavors.

I get just a light smokiness throughout.

The saltiness seems to be at a low to moderate intensity.

Overall, it's a light tasting jerky, that doesn't really offer much flavor at all. The sweetness is perhaps the strongest flavor, at just a moderate level. And then there's the low to moderate saltiness. And a touch of smokiness. This doesn't at all taste like teriyaki.

Meat Consistency

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

This a dry jerky with a semi-moist feel, and a good deal of flexibility. I find the pieces easy to tear apart with my fingers, while the chewing seems easy for the most part, with some being a little chewy.

The chewing texture starts out feeling soft and pliable immediately. They seem to break down easily enough, and chew down to a soft mass within seconds. At that point, it feels rather gummy, with just a little bit of a steak-like texture, perhaps comparable to a medium-rare cooked steak.

I found several pieces with a fair amount of visible fat, and I even found two pieces with significant streaks of gristle. But there are a few pieces in here that appear to be very lean.

It's very clean eating, leaving no residue or stickiness on my fingers, and no tiny fragments of meat flying off on to my lap or desk.

beef jerky

beef jerky
Snack Value

I paid $5.99 for this 3.5oz package at a Ralph's grocery store in Menifee, CA. That works out to a price of $1.71 per ounce.

For general jerky snacking purposes, at the $1.71 price per ounce, this provides a weak value. I'm not really getting any snackability from this due to a weak flavor, so-so meat consistency, and a gummy chewing texture. The $1.71 price per ounce is actually the same price you'd pay for mass-market jerky at a grocery store (which is what this is), but yet seems to be more inferior.

As a teriyaki beef jerky, at the same $1.71 price per ounce, it's a poor value. I just don't taste any teriyaki in this. It seems like this is actually a plain variety of jerky. If you bought this wanting to get some teriyaki beef flavor, I think you'll be disappointed.


I'm giving this a fair rating.

This Teriyaki beef jerky from Pioneer Brand just didn't provide me with any teriyaki flavor. I was only able to get a moderate sweetness, but no soy sauce flavor, no ginger, and nothing tangy. Aside from the sweetness, it's just a light saltiness, and a light smokiness.

The overall flavor is still tolerable, and I can continue eating it, but I just don't feel inspired. It's almost like someone forgot to put in the teriyaki sauce.

The meat consistency is ok, being easy to eat and chew, but containing just a little too much fat and gristle. The chewing texture ends up feeling rather gummy, though a little bit steak-like.

For a good beer pairing, a lot of varieties will do consider this jerky has little flavor, but I'm partial to the IPAs.

Rating: Fair

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