The thing is the packages of jerky on shelves at convenience stores and food markets, and it’s always the same several brands.
But did you realize there are easily one thousand different brands of jerky selling throughout the us? Some other expensive and several more limited in quantity.
How can you tell if you’re having your money’s worth for an expensive make of jerky? Just how do you differentiate between good jerky and cheap jerky?
Can it taste like real meat? – Most major brands of jerky are really full of sugar, tenderizers and preservatives that each of the natural meat flavors are gone. Bite into a piece of jerky and try to taste the genuine flavor of beef, in the same way you’d taste in a chunk of grilled steak or roast tri-tip.
Will it chew like real meat? – A good number of brands of jerky either have a lot sugar that this becomes gummy, like eating a bit of fruit chew, or has cooked for too much time which it becomes crumbly. Often times, brands will prove to add meat tenderizers which render it too mushy. Good jerky should feel just like eating a true component of steak once it has been chewed down to a soft mass.
What’s that stringy stuff?” – Mass produced jerky utilizes low grades of beef filled with stringy sinews, rubbery gristle, and unchewable tissues. Worse yet, you can definitely find large chunks and streaks of fat. On the other hand, beef jerkey needs to be absolutely lean, practically pure meat. It’s OK to have tiny flecks and streaks of fat, since this will prove to add some “beefy” flavor. But an excessive amount of fat will cause the meat to taste rancid.
Would it meet its advertised flavor?” – Every time 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 use only sweetened soy sauce, and don’t bother to add the mirin wine and ginger that creates good teriyaki.
Would it require heavy machinery to chew?” – In the past, it may have been acceptable to get tough jerky. Nevertheless these days, most gourmet brands can make simple, natural, beef jerky in dexspky28 tender, moist chew, that also retains the chewing texture of your grilled steak. If your jaws getting too tired, then look for something easier to chew.
Will 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 those ingredients.
Will it make you would like to eat more? – Probably the true test of excellent jerky is that if this makes you want to eat more, the same as eating potato chips. I refer to this, “snackability”, a characteristic in which you end up eating one piece after another without the capability to stop. Jerky is a snack food, and in case it satisfies your urge to snack, then you’ve found a great jerky.