Saturday, June 29, 2013

Billy Franks Beef Jerky - Teriyaki

billy franks beef jerky
Billy Franks beef jerky is a small-batch maker of eclectic beef jerky, based in London, England. The creation of computer programmer, Will Francis Yates, it's all hand made from rare breeds of indigenous cattle such as Red Devons, Angus, Dexters, Herefords, and Galloways from Cornwall and Scotland.

Yates gets his taste and love for smoked meats after having lived in Texas for a number of years. Billy Franks beef jerky collaborates with London's street-food sensation, "The Rib Man" to create a special line of "Holy Fuck" beef jerky, some of the hottest jerky around, which I'll be reviewing later.

Go ahead and check out his website, and find some unique jerky flavors like "Cheeseburger", "Roast Beef & Mustard", and "Holy Mother of God".


British beef, white wine vinegar, soy sauce, lime juice, ketchup, liquid smoke, spices, ginger, garlic, black pepper.


The first thing I taste from the surface of these pieces is a saucy flavor, comparable to worcestershire, but more like vinegar. There's a light saltiness. A bit of the ketchup is noticeable, offering faint tomatoey, sweet taste.

The chewing brings in more of that vinegar, but introduces a light tanginess and touches of ginger, along with a light natural meat flavor.

For being marketed as "teriyaki", or as Billy Franks website calls it, "special spice teriyaki", it's quite different than the teriyaki beef jerky we find in the United States. The soy sauce is less defined, and tends to taste something along the lines of worcestershire. And it's not very sweet, in fact the only sweetness is a faint bit that comes off the ketchup, whereas traditional Japanese teriyaki is heavily sweet. However, this teriyaki still has that tangy, fermented character that traditional teriyaki has, and it still has the touches of ginger.

Otherwise, the flavors that seems to define this jerky more than any other is a saucy combination of vinegar, soy sauce, and lime juice, where you have that fermented character from the vinegar, the soy sauce, and the tangy, fruity quality of the lime. But there's also a light sweet and tomatoey flavor off the surface, likely coming from the ketchup. Then there's the ginger to a small degree, and the light natural meat flavor.

There's also another flavor back in there that reminds of me either Oregano or Thyme, something that you'd expect to find in a Cajun/Creole seasoning blend, and completely unexpected in Teriyaki.

The ingredients all seem to combine really well into a very unique taste unlike what I've tasted elsewhere. It tends to mimic the flavor of worcestershire, though you can still tell it's not really worcestershire. It's doesn't really taste like traditional teriyaki, at least not anything I'm accustomed to, and it's hardly sweet. Yet on its own, it's still a very savory, addicting flavor.

Meat Consistency

These are slices of whole meat, sliced into small, thin strips of one to four inches in length.

This is a dry jerky with a dry surface feel. Biting off a piece can require a little bit of effort, while chewing varies between moderate to tough.

The chewing texture starts out feeling tough and dry. There's a good deal of initial chewing resistance, but once it does chew down, it breaks down quickly. Once chewed down to a soft mass, it feel very much like a piece of steak, one cooked well-done, and rather dry.

I don't find any bits of fat on these strips, nor any tendon or gristle. I didn't find any stringiness and no unchewable tissues. It's very meaty.

In terms of clean eating, it's very clean, leaving no residue on my fingers and no bits of meat or seasoning falling on my lap or desktop.

Snack Value

Billy Franks sells this Teriyaki beef jerky from its website at a price of £2.99 for a 40g bag. By today's currency exchange rates, that works out to $4.66 for approximately a 1.5oz bag. I don't know what the shipping costs are, particularly to the United States, that works out to $3.11 per ounce.

For general jerky snacking purposes, at the $3.11 per ounce price, it's a fair value. It's expensive jerky, and that's without the shipping price considered. However, this has a unique flavor and one that I find quite good. The meat, however, is rather tough and dry, and would prefer something more tender and easy, considering the higher price.

As a teriyaki beef jerky, at the same $3.11 per ounce price, it's a fair value again. It's not anything like the heavily sweet teriyaki beef jerky that Americans are accustomed to, and it has a soy sauce base that's quite unusual. But it's not to say that this is not teriyaki, it's just quite different, and still quite tasty on its own merits, and could still be worth paying the higher price.


I'm giving this a good rating.

This Teriyaki beef jerky from Billy Franks offers a very unique teriyaki flavor, quite unlike what most teriyaki jerky brands offer, with a soy sauce base doctored up with seasonings and ingredients that you might not expect to find in traditional Japanese-style teriyaki. It's also not very sweet, in fact it's hard to find any sweetness, aside from what I can pick up from the ketchup ingredient.

But it's not to say that this isn't "teriyaki". When you consider this still has all the characteristics of teriyaki, aside from little-to-no sweetness, it's a unique expression of teriyaki which by traditional Japanese standards, could vary greatly. On it's own merits, this is a very tasty jerky, full of flavor, and quite addicting.

The meat consistency is quite dry, however, and the chewing can be tough, however it still isn't that bad overall compared to other dry brands I've had. But these are very meaty strips, with no fat, stringiness or anything unchewable, and feels like chewing real steak once you get it softened up.

Rating: Good

Buy this online:

1 comment:

  1. Thanks dude! Definitely the driest of the flavors - Think you will like the others. Can't wait to hear what you think of them.
    All the best,