Saturday, March 6, 2010

Samak Smoke House - Turkey Jerky

samak smoke houseNext in the series on Samak Smoke House is this All Natural Turkey Jerky. See my previous reviews of their All Natural Beef Jerky, and Spicy Chipotle Beef Jerky.

Samak Smoke House is a smoke house and country store located in Kamas, UT. It's a mom & pop business run by Jen Hisey and David Witham. The couple makes jerky in their own USDA inspected facility, smoking them over cherry wood chips. They also smoke salmon, trout, buffalo, and deer. They make cookies, energy bars, and biscotti too.

Samak Smoke House offers two lines of jerky, this All Natural line, which comes in the black package, and an Original line which comes in a tan package.


Natural turkey, water, teriyaki sauce, brown sugar, salt, worcestershire sauce, garlic salt, pepper.


The first thing I taste from the surface of these pieces is a light bit of saltiness, and some of the black pepper.

The chewing flavor starts with some natural turkey meat flavor, and maybe a bit more saltiness. The black pepper is about the same.

Overall, it's a simple tasting turkey jerky, with largely the natural turkey meat flavor being the most easily noticeable. But it's still a light flavor. The saltiness is perhaps the next most-noticeable flavor, at a moderate intensity.

I don't seem to pick up much smokiness, even though the package says its smoked over cherrywood. I want to say I tasted a bit more smokiness in Samak's beef jerky.

The black pepper is also a light flavor, and the package claims a "hint of pepper", so I think that's about right.

The teriyaki sauce and worcestershire sauce listed in the ingredients are not noticeable.

Other than what I've said above, I don't really taste much else. It's a light tasting turkey jerky, with a moderate saltiness, and light bit of pepper.

Meat Consistency

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

This is a dry jerky, with a dry surface feel. The pieces feel hard and stiff, and they seem to be slightly brittle in that bending these pieces a little causes the meat grains to crack open. Tearing pieces apart with my fingers seems easy, while chewing is labored, chewy, and somewhat tough.

The chewing texture starts out feeling hard and stiff with a fair amount of chewing resistance. With enough chews, it starts to break down, and then with some labored chewing it softens up. But at that point, it feels more crumbly than anything else. There is some sense of this being turkey meat, but still far from chewing like a real piece of turkey meat.

But this jerky looks to be very lean, being almost all meat. I noted one piece having a rubbery string on the edge that pulled off like the string on a shipping box. It was some kind of gristle, or the cartilage on the breast bone.

It's also pretty clean eating, with only some bits of pepper falling off on my lap. Otherwise, no residue leaving on my fingers.

turkey jerky

turkey jerky
Snack Value

Samak Smoke House sells this All Natural Turkey Jerky from its website at a price of $7.00 per 2.5oz package. I bought six packages in all, a mixture of several varieties. When you add the $11.55 shipping fee, the total comes to $53.55. That works out to a price of $3.57 per ounce.

For general jerky snacking purposes, at the $3.57 price per ounce, it's a poor value. I'm not getting much snackability from this due to its light overall flavor, low flavor complexity, and tough consistency. That $3.57 price is also very expensive compared to national brands you'd find at the grocery store, and I think you'll get the same or better snackability from those brands.

As a turkey jerky, it's a slightly better, but at a weak value. I do get a light turkey meat flavor, and some sense of this chewing like turkey meat. But it's mostly crumbly in texture, and again overall light in flavor. I've found other turkey jerky brands that offered more flavor and a better chew, at a lower price.


turkey jerky nutritionI'm giving this a fair raing.

This All Natural Turkey Jerky may indeed live up to its billing as being all natural, free-range turkey meat, but it seems to fall short on flavor and is somewhat tough to chew.

While I do get a light natural turkey meat flavor, I don't get much else other than salt. The package claims that this is smoked over cherrywood, but it's difficult to identify any smokiness. There's a light touch of black pepper, but overall there's not enough flavor to make this worth the labor required to chew. For me, that loses much of the reason for eating this, and hence I can't even award it a three-star rating.

If I could get more flavor from the surface, then I could suck on a piece for awhile and soften it up. But as it is, my jaws are tired after eating a package of this. The chewing texture is more crumbly than anything else, though it still has some sense of being like real turkey meat.

My recommended beer pairing for this, something light on flavor, like an honey blonde ale, or even one of the summer ales should compliment well.

Rating: Fair

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