Wednesday, October 17, 2018

Smoke Shack Jerky - Snack Sticks

smoke shack jerky
Smoke Shack Jerky describes itself as a "small Upstate NY kitchen" that launched in 2017 by Jonathan Brown of Rochester, NY. Their unique angle is smoking jerky over real wood, and using thicker cuts of meat for a beefier chew. They don't use any smoke flavoring, and no preservatives. The company also has a line of smoked nuts.

Brown also chose to develop jerky recipes based on cultures found around the world as opposed to the more common profiles found with mass-produced brands.

These snack sticks are described by the company as being 60/40 Pork & Beef, cured, and smoked. They come in two flavors, Jammin Jerk and Fuman Chew.

Jammin Jerk

Ingredients: beef and pork, brown sugar, encapsulated citric acid, salt, red pepper, worcestershire sauce, celery juice powder, black pepper, allspice, garlic powder, nutmeg, cinnamon, colored collagen casing

The first flavors is a lightly salted seasoning, followed by a cured meat flavor. There's a lightly spicy heat brewing slowly, followed by a touch of tangy, and hints of sweet. For being associated with Jerk seasoning, and presumably a Jamaican-inspired flavor, it actually does have that Caribbean-island flavor, most notably the complex blend of seasonings, and a light bit of chile pepper heat. We ratet the meat as, "mild medium" (level 2/5). Overall, the primary taste profile starts with the cured meat flavor, but washed over with a good deal of seasonings and a noticeable red chile pepper spice.

The meat consistency feels a bit light and airy, not so much full and meaty like most brands of meat sticks. In some regards, it's comparable to South African-style droëwors, with a similar weight and solidity, though the droëwors is even more so. But, the casing has a fair amount of snap and crunch to the bite, and the meat itself is finely ground with no hard bits or unchewable tissues.

Fuman Chew

Ingredients: beef and pork, brown sugar, salt, encapsulated citric acid, worcestershire sauce, celery juice powder, red pepper, chili powder, black pepper, colored collagen casing.

Interestingly, this flavor is also available as a beef jerky, see our previous review.

The first flavor that comes into view is a lightly sweetened sauce, tasting more like a mix of teriyaki, steak sauce, and vienna sausages. It's moderately salty, with a vinegar-like tanginess. The meat flavors are more mild than the Jammin Jerk variety, but don't taste as cured either. Overall, it's more mild in seasoning and spice, and doesn't really taste at all like the Fuman Chew beef jerky. Overall, the primary taste profile is moderately sweet sauce, more associated with grilling and/or barbecue, but with vienna sausage overtones and a vinegar tanginess.

The meat consistency is different than the Jammin Jerk, feeling more solid and meaty, but with the same light snap and crunch to the bite. The meat mixture is smooth and finely ground, with no bits of hard or unchewable tissues.

Verdict

These 60/40 blend of pork and beef snack sticks from Smoke Shack Jerky definitely offer up two new unique flavor concoctions that you won't find elsewhere. The Jammin Jerk, a Jamaican-inspired flavor, definitely has the character of the famed Caribbean island cuisine, notably the Allspice and a chile pepper heat, but mixes into it a cured meat flavor with a light and airy meat consistency. I tend to prefer the Fuman Chew variety, however, which serves up a recipe that's difficult to pin down, but largely a barbecue or grilling sauce profile with a unique combination of vinegar tanginess and vienna sausages. Overall, we like the light snap and crunch to the casing, and we do like the unique recipes and flavor profiles. Definitely a couple of sticks worth trying if you're looking for something new to add to your snack stash.

Rating: Good (4/5)

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smoke shack jerky

smoke shack jerky





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