Tuesday, October 6, 2015

Charqs Smok'n Tender Grilled Pork Jerky

charqs jerky
Charqs Smok'n Tender Pork Jerky is a new brand of jerky based out of Sleepy Hollow, IL. It was started Greg Schweiner, who helps run a corporate training and leadership business from the same town.

Charqs' biggest marketing angle is that it's grilled over an open flame and is made with real hickory wood smoke. The idea for Charqs was born from Greg's travels across the world, sampling a variety of street fare and recreating the flavors and styles that he loved the best. After spending years perfecting his recipe, Charqs was born.

Charqs is manufactured in a USDA inspected facility and thus far comes in only one flavor.


Pork, pure cane sugar, water, salt, invert sugar, tamari soy sauce, yeast extracts, spices.


The first thing I taste on the palate is a strong sweet, followed by a touch of smoke, and a bit of saltiness. The chewing brings on a smoky, meat flavor, comparable to black forest ham.

For being marketed as "Smok'n Tender Grilled Pork Jerky", it seems to hold up well. It certainly does have a smoky character, but nothing over the top. It also has a grilled look to it, and it does seem to have a light char flavor much like something you'd expect from grilled meat. And certainly, it is quite tender and easy to chew.

Otherwiwse, the primary taste profile of this jerky is a heavily sweet, black forest ham, that was laid over a hot grill and seared for a several seconds. The sweet is very prominent, so much so that my tongue can feel the dried layer of sugar across the surface of these pieces. It's very mild in terms of seasonings; I don't pick up anything like black pepper, garlic, nor anything hot, just a little bit of salt.

This a chopped & formed jerky that seems very meaty with no noticeable bone, tendon, or any other unchewable tissues. The chewing texture is quite crumbly, and doesn't really chew like ham or pork. It's overall easy to chew.


Charqs Smok'n Tender Grilled Pork Jerky does offer a nice, smoky, grilled flavor that resembles to taste of black forest ham that was seared over a flaming grill. That grilled flavor gives this jerky a "real" character. Some of the pieces even have slight bits of black char that gives off a tiny "crunch" sound. The heavy sweetness seems to grab too much attention, I thought. The chewing, which is quite easy to get through, only made the texture feel crumbly intead of meaty. Overall, I still found Charqs irresistible to stop eating. I think it makes a great snack to share around the table over craft beer, along with other delectables like cheeses and olives.

Rating: Good

pork jerky

grilled pork jerky


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