You can see the packages of jerky on shelves at convenience stores and food markets, and it’s always a similar two or three brands.
But did you realize you can find easily thousands of different brands of jerky selling all across the United States? More expensive and some more limited in quantity.
How can you determine if you’re getting the money’s worth for an expensive type of jerky? Just how do you tell the difference between good jerky and cheap jerky?
Would it taste like real meat? – Most major brands of jerky are extremely full of sugar, tenderizers and preservatives that all the natural meat flavors have left. Bite into a piece of jerky and see if you can taste the real flavor of beef, in the same way you’d taste inside a chunk of grilled steak or roast tri-tip.
Can it chew like real meat? – Several brands of jerky either have a great deal sugar that this becomes gummy, like eating some fruit chew, or has cooked for too long that it becomes crumbly. Quite often, brands will prove to add meat tenderizers which render it too mushy. Good jerky should feel much like eating a true part of steak once it really has been chewed as a result of 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 might find large chunks and streaks of fat. On the other hand, bulk beef jerky must be absolutely lean, practically pure meat. It’s OK to have tiny flecks and streaks of fat, since this will add some “beefy” flavor. But a lot of fat will cause the meat to taste rancid.
Does it fulfill its advertised flavor?” – Whenever a jerky packages says it’s “Hot”, then it should be hot, not medium hot, or somewhat hot, or just barely hot, but HOT. The identical with teriyaki. Most major brands just use sweetened soy sauce, and don’t bother to provide the mirin wine and ginger that makes good teriyaki.
Will it require heavy machinery to chew?” – In the old days, it might have been acceptable to get tough jerky. However, these days, most gourmet brands can certainly make simple, natural, beef jerky in dexspky28 tender, moist chew, that still retains the chewing texture of your grilled steak. When your jaws getting too tired, then look for something simpler to chew.
Does it contain preservatives? – Sodium nitrite and sodium erythorbate are common preservatives found in processed meats, including jerky. However these days, vacuum packaging and oxygen absorbers can improve the shelf-life of jerky, consumers don’t have to subject themselves to the ingredients.
Does it make you want to eat more? – Perhaps the true test of fantastic jerky is that if it makes you want to eat more, much like eating potato chips. I refer to this, “snackability”, a characteristic the place you end up eating one piece after another without the ability to stop. Jerky is really a snack food, and when it satisfies your urge to snack, then you’ve found an excellent jerky.