Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Gnawjaw Beef Jerky - Sweet

gnawjaw beef jerky
Gnawjaw Premium Beef Jerky, LLC is a new beef jerky brand that launched last year, based out of York, PA.

It's the concept of Eric Farrington, who had been making deer jerky most of his life. When he settled on a recipe that he really liked, he transferred it to beef. When he decided to make a business out of jerky, Farrington built a 1,000 square foot dehydration building dubbed, "the beef morgue".

This Sweet variety is said to be easy eating, tender with a slight BBQ initial flavor, followed up by a salty tang. It's thus far, Gnawjaw's best seller.


Beef, apple cider vinegar, worcesterhire sauce, soy sauce, garlic powder, meat tenderizer, brown sugar, sodium nitrate, various seasonings.


The first thing I taste from the surface of these pieces is a light saltiness, followed by a light blend of worcestershire sauce and vinegar. I can also pick up traces of seasoning, namely garlic.

The chewing flavor brings in a fair amount of sweet along with a more defined worcestershire. There is indeed a BBQ flavor, somewhat. The vinegar is also a little more defined here in the chewing. Lastly, there's a light natural meat flavor.

For being sold as a "Sweet" beef jerky, it does fit the bill. There is a noticeable sweetness to this, but not heavy, and it doesn't really come off as the primary flavor. It's sweet enough to notice, but not too sweet.

Otherwise, the flavor that seems to define this jerky overall is the blend of vinegar and worcestershire sauce. The two creates a light sauciness that generates a tangy chewing. The sweetness is perhaps the next most noticeable component, followed by a light saltiness, and then touches of seasonings.

There's no spiciness that I can determine, that is, I don't pick up any levels of heat. It's quite mild aside from the tanginess.

The natural meat flavor registers lightly. I can pick up a stronger flavor with pieces containing bits of fat. But otherwise, it's largely the marinade and seasonings that I taste.

Meat Consistency

These are slices of whole meat, cut into bite-sized squares at medium thickness.

This is a dry jerky with a dry surface feel. But it still manages to retain a chewiness that tends to labor my jaws after a few pieces. In other words, it's between easy and tough.

The chewing texture starts out with a fair amount of initial resistance, almost rubbery. It does take on a meaty resemblance after several chews, and by the time it chews down to a soft mass, it feels just like steak.

I can see small flecks and bits of fat on several pieces, enough to add a light touch of beefy flavor. I didn't encounter any stringiness or gristle, and found no unchewable tissues. It's very meaty.

It's also very clean handling, leaving no residue on my fingers or bits of meat on my desk.

sweet beef jerky

sweet beef jerky

Snack Value

Gnawjaw Premium Beef Jerky sells this Sweet variety from its website at a price of $12.50 per 5oz bag. I didn't see a price for shipping. So assuming shipping is free, that works out to $2.50 per ounce.

For general jerky snacking purposes, at the $2.50 per ounce price, it's a decent value. I get a satisfying overall flavor, a good meat consistency and good chewing texture (though somewhat tough). Compared to major brands of jerky, it's comparable in taste, though better in meat consistency and chewing texture.


I'm giving this an average rating.

This Sweet variety from Gnawjaw Premium Beef Jerky delivers a nice amount of sweetness, not too light, not too heavy. But it's really the combination of vinegar and worcestershire sauce that defines much of this jerky's flavor. You get the timeless flavor of worcestershire but jazzed up with the tanginess of vinegar.

The chewing tends to be tough, though it can be mitigated if you take the time to suck on each piece before chewing. But if you're just snacking away while camping or watching television, you might find yourself wanting to chew right away and feeling your jaw muscles tire.

Otherwise, it still feels like real steak once it's chewed down. Overall, I didn't find the flavor to be all that exciting. It's actually quite mild and better suited for jerky snackers with tamer tongues.

Rating: Average

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