Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Full Metal Jerky - Original

full metal jerkyFull Metal Jerky is a brand of JerkCo, LLC, based in Owings Mills, MD. The brand original started out as "Bin Lami Salami", and then changed names to Ken's Chophouse Jerky in October 2010. This year, it changed names again to Full Metal Jerky.

Based on what I can see, Full Metal Jerky has the same set of ingredients as Ken's Chophouse Jerky, and should be exactly the same jerky as what I reviewed last November.

Ken Blum, who started the company, got into making jerky in the early 1990s after buying a Ronco Food Dehydrator, and fifteen years later decided to get into the business of selling jerky. It's manufactured in a USDA inspected facility, and currently sells in select stores throughout Maryland and New Jersey as well as its own website.


Beef, soy sauce, hot sauce (vinegar, chile extract, evaporated cane juice, fresh habanero peppers, garlic, onion, 160,000 scoville cayenne peppers, spices, xanthan gum).


The first thing I taste from the surface of these pieces is a light saltiness, with a light bit of spiciness coming in. There's a light soy sauce flavor noticeable.

The chewing flavor starts with more definition from the soy sauce, while the burn continues to increase. There's a faint bit of natural meat flavor.

Considering this jerky doesn't have any marketed flavor other than "Delicious beef jerky", the flavor that seems to come out the most is the soy sauce. But just as I said in my previous review of Ken's Chophouse Jerky, it's well-enhanced by the hot sauce ingredient.

The hot sauce, however, mostly adds a lot of heat, not so much the unique flavors of habanero or cayenne pepper, though I can pick up just faint traces of those flavors. On my personal heat scale, I'd rank this as medium (level 3 out of 5), though the heat comes on quickly and could make it feel much more hot to someone who's not ready for it.

I do pick up a light bit of vinegar, enough to give the jerky a little extra taste interest. Finally, there's a slight bit of sweet that gives the overall flavor a touch of body.

The natural meat flavors are not well noticeable, mostly hidden behind the more dominant soy sauce and hot sauce. There's only a light bit of it noticeable towards latter part of chewing.

The saltiness in this feels to be at a medium level.

Overall, what you're going to notice in this is a combination of soy sauce and hot sauce, where the hot sauce has a medium level of heat, and a light bit of vinegar.

Meat Consistency

These are slices of whole meat, sliced to a medium thickness, and in strips ranging from three to five inches.

This is a dry jerky with a dry surface feel. The strips don't have much flexibility, cracking open with just a light amount of bending. Biting off chunks requires some effort to do, and chewing seems moderately easy.

The chewing texture starts out feeling dry and somewhat chewy, providing some initial chewing resistance, substantially different Ken's Chophouse Jerky. It still breaks down easily, and chews down to a soft mass with little effort. At that point, it has a fibrous feel, and much more steak-like than Ken's Chophouse Jerky.

Most of these strips appear to be free of fat, but I did find a couple with some small flecks and streaks. I didn't find any gristle or tendon, and nothing stringy or unchewable.

As for clean eating, my fingertips get a fine film of oil, but still dry enough to type on keyboard. I don't get any fragments of meat falling on my lap.

beef jerky

beef jerky
Snack Value

Full Metal Jerky is sold from its website at a price of $39.99 for 10 bags, with each bag weighing 1.5oz. Add to that shipping costs of $4.20, for a total of $44.19, which works out to a price of $2.95 per ounce.

For general jerky snacking purposes, at the $2.95 per ounce price, it's a fair value. I'm getting a good overall flavor, a good meat consistency, and better chewing texture than Ken's Chophouse Jerky, and even a little less cost as well. But that price is still substantially higher than what you'd pay for major brands of jerky at a grocery store. Even though this is clearly a better jerky than the major brands, there are still better jerky brands that cost less.


I'm giving this an average rating.

This Original beef jerky from Full Metal Jerky offers a good overall flavor that combines together soy sauce and a lightly sweetened hot sauce. You'll get a light tanginess from the vinegar in the hot sauce, along with touches of chile pepper flavor, and even more lighter natural meat flavor.

While this jerky appears to have the same flavor and meat consistency as it's predecessor, Ken's Chophouse Jerky, it seems to have a little better chewing texture. I'm not getting the dry, crumbly chewing as I got with Ken's Chophouse, this seems to have a little bit more of a steak-like chewing, though there's still a bit of the dryness in it. That improved chewing texture is why I'm rating this with four-stars rather than the three-stars I gave Ken's Chophouse.

Overall, it's the flavor that justifies the four-star rating, and now it appears the chewing texture is improved enough that it doesn't subtract from the snackability.

My recommended beer pairing for this, go with an oatmeal stout. The smooth creamy character will refresh the spicy heat, while the roasted malt will pair with the meat flavors. Try the Firestone Walker Velvet Merlin or the Ninkasi Oatis.

Rating: Good

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