The thing is the packages of jerky on shelves at convenience stores and supermarkets, and it’s always a similar 2 or 3 brands.
But did you realize there are actually easily thousands of different brands of jerky selling all across the United States? Some more expensive and a few more limited in quantity.
Can you be sure if you’re getting your money’s worth to have an expensive type of jerky? How can you differentiate between good jerky and cheap jerky?
Can it taste like real meat? – Most major brands of jerky are really loaded with sugar, tenderizers and preservatives that all of the natural meat flavors are gone. Bite into a piece of jerky and see if you can taste the genuine flavor of beef, just as you’d taste within a slice of grilled steak or roast tri-tip.
Can it chew like real meat? – A good number of brands of jerky either have a great deal sugar that it becomes gummy, like eating a bit of fruit chew, or has cooked for too long it becomes crumbly. Sometimes, brands will add meat tenderizers which make it too mushy. Good jerky should feel exactly like eating a genuine bit of steak once it really has been chewed right 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 could find large chunks and streaks of fat. However, beef jerky sale needs 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 excessive fat may cause the meat to taste rancid.
Can it meet its advertised flavor?” – When a jerky packages says it’s “Hot”, then it needs to be hot, not medium hot, or somewhat hot, or simply barely hot, but HOT. The same with teriyaki. Most major brands just use sweetened soy sauce, and don’t bother to add the mirin wine and ginger which makes good teriyaki.
Will it require heavy machinery to chew?” – In the old days, it could have been acceptable to obtain tough jerky. However these days, most gourmet brands can make simple, all natural, beef jerky in dexspky28 tender, moist chew, that still retains the chewing texture of the grilled steak. In case your jaws getting too tired, then look for something much easier to chew.
Would it contain preservatives? – Sodium nitrite and sodium erythorbate are common preservatives utilized in processed meats, including jerky. However these days, vacuum packaging and oxygen absorbers can raise the life expectancy of jerky, consumers don’t need to subject themselves to the ingredients.
Does it make you need to eat more? – Probably the true test of excellent jerky is when it makes you wish to eat more, exactly like eating potato chips. I refer to this, “snackability”, a characteristic where you end up eating one piece after another without the capability to stop. Jerky is really a snack food, and if it satisfies your urge to snack, then you’ve found an effective jerky.