Saturday, January 2, 2016

Ria's RoadKill Jerky - Original

ria's roadkill jerky
Ria's RoadKill Jerky is run by Eden Van, based out of Long Beach, CA, having launched in January 2011.

Eden got started in making jerky after receiving compliments on his barbecue recipes. He uses USDA Choice top round from his local meat market. All jerky is dehydrated in a smoker. He currently sells through Facebook and eBay while waiting for his new website to finish.

This Original beef jerky is said to be his "plain" jerky for non-spicy eaters, smoked over hickory wood.


Beef, water, cane sugar, soy sauce, garlic, onion, black pepper, lemon juice, monosodium glutamate.


The first thing I taste from the surface of these pieces is significant sweetness with a well-defined hickory smoke flavor. Some of the seasonings are detected.

The chewing brings in a significant natural meat flavor with more of the sweetness. The lemon juice produces a faint tanginess.

For being marketed as a mild jerky with a hickory smoke flavor, it really holds up well. It's quite mild, with no discernable spiciness or heat. Meanwhile, the hickory smoke flavor comes through really well and is hard to not notice.

Otherwise, the flavor that seems to define this jerky is the hickory smoke, having a real-wood smoke flavor. The sweetness is also significant as is the natural meat flavors. The seasonings are light, just enough to color the meat and give it some savory quality.

The ingredients combine extremely well in this, putting all the focus on the great taste of beef with the wonderful flavor of real wood smoke. The sweetness draws you into the chewing while the lighter seasonings gives these chunks of meat just enough savory body to create a well-rounded taste experience.

This stuff tastes like eating chunks of tender, marinated, beef right off the smoker.

Meat Consistency

These are slices of whole meat, cut into thick slabs of small to medium sizes, with each slab big enough for one or two bites.

This a semi-moist jerky with a dry surface feel, maybe a faint bit of stickiness. Chewing is easy, while tearing off a bite is easy as well.

The chewing starts out feeling tender with a light bit of rubber character. After several chews, it breaks down into a meaty feel, with still rubbery chewing. But once chewed down to a soft mass, it feel like just like a steak cooked medium-rare.

I see tiny flecks and streaks of fat on some pieces, perhaps enough to add a light marbleized flavor. Otherwise, I see no gristle or tendon. I don't encounter much stringiness and don't really find any unchewable tissues.

As for clean eating, it's mostly clean with just a fine film of stickiness on my finger, but still dry enough to type on my keyboard.

ria's roadkill jerky

ria's roadkill jerky

Snack Value

Ria's RoadKill Jerky sells this Original variety at a price of $7.99 for a 4oz package. You can buy four of their 8oz packages at a discounted price of $53.99. Shipping is free. That works out to a price of $1.69 per ounce.

For general jerky snacking purposes, at the $1.69 per ounce price, this is an excellent value. Compared to other brands of jerky sold in stores, this has far better flavor, much better meat consistency, and much better chewing texture. You're basically paying bargain-bin prices for top-quality jerky.


I'm giving this a best rating.

This Original beef jerky from Ria's RoadKill Jerky offers an amazing natural meat flavor with a well-pronounced real hickory smoke flavor. It starts with a significant amount of sweet to draw you in, and then brings on the goodness of real-wood smoke before it finally nails you with an amazing natural beef flavor. It tastes just like chunks of tender, smoked beef straight from the smoker.

The seasonings are light, but just enough to create a savory chew without getting in the way of the honest-to-goodness simplicity of real wood smoked beef.

The meat consistency is excellent, being of mostly all meat with small streaks of fat to create a more marbleized flavor. The chewing feels just like real pieces of steak. This is a one-two combination of excellent smoked beef flavor with excellent tender chewing.

Rating: Best (5/5)


  1. This is a fantastic jerky! I usually like my jerky with a bit of zing but, wow, this mild jerky filled my mouth with smokey goodness! The marinate was wonderfully balanced. Chewing consistency was great on all the Ria's flavors I tried.

    The bonus, as you mention, is that this is bargain jerky! Really glad to add Ria's to my lineup of favorite purveyors!

  2. Gotta disagree strongly with the review here. Although definitely a value compared to other "homemade" jerky offered online, I found this to be full of gristle and tendons. Definitely not a smooth nor "clean" eating experience. I guess I got what I paid for. BTW I ordered 8oz packs of Korean BBq, Chipotle and Original. Tough consistency was the same in all.

  3. My favorite jerky. Great taste, consistency in the meat. Really Great. Cracked Pepper is my personal favorite.