You can see the packages of jerky sitting on shelves at convenience stores and grocery stores, and it’s always a similar 2 or 3 brands.
But did you know there are easily a thousand different brands of jerky selling throughout the United States? More expensive plus some more limited in quantity.
How can you tell if you’re having your money’s worth on an expensive make of jerky? How can you differentiate between good jerky and cheap jerky?
Would it taste like real meat? – Most major brands of jerky are really loaded with sugar, tenderizers and preservatives that each of the natural meat flavors are gone. Bite into a piece of jerky and see if you can taste the actual flavor of beef, just like you’d taste in a slice of grilled steak or roast tri-tip.
Can it chew like real meat? – A number of brands of jerky either have a great deal sugar that this becomes gummy, like eating some fruit chew, or has cooked for too much time it becomes crumbly. In many cases, brands will prove to add meat tenderizers making it too mushy. Good jerky should feel much like eating an actual piece of steak once this has been chewed down to a soft mass.
What’s that stringy stuff?” – Mass produced jerky utilizes low grades of beef full of stringy sinews, rubbery gristle, and unchewable tissues. Even worse, you can definitely find large chunks and streaks of fat. However, beef jerky sale ought to be absolutely lean, practically pure meat. It’s OK to get tiny flecks and streaks of fat, as this will add some “beefy” flavor. But too much fat will cause the meat to taste rancid.
Does it live up to its advertised flavor?” – Every time a jerky packages says it’s “Hot”, then it must be hot, not medium hot, or somewhat hot, or just barely hot, but HOT. Exactly the same with teriyaki. Most major brands just use sweetened soy sauce, and don’t bother to include the mirin wine and ginger which enables good teriyaki.
Does it require heavy machinery to chew?” – In the old days, it might have been acceptable to possess tough jerky. However, these days, most gourmet brands will make simple, all natural, beef jerky in dexspky28 tender, moist chew, that still retains the chewing texture of the grilled steak. If your jaws getting too tired, take a look for something much easier to chew.
Will it contain preservatives? – Sodium nitrite and sodium erythorbate are normal preservatives used in processed meats, including jerky. Nevertheless these days, vacuum packaging and oxygen absorbers can improve the life expectancy of jerky, consumers don’t have to subject themselves to these ingredients.
Would it make you want to eat more? – Probably the true test of really good jerky is when it makes you would like to eat more, much like eating potato chips. I refer to this, “snackability”, a characteristic the place you find yourself eating one piece after another without the cabability to stop. Jerky is a snack food, and when it satisfies your urge to snack, then you’ve found a good jerky.