The thing is the packages of jerky located on shelves at convenience stores and supermarkets, and it’s always exactly the same several brands.
But do you realize there are easily thousands of different brands of jerky selling all across the us? Even more expensive and some more limited in quantity.
How can you tell if you’re obtaining your money’s worth for the expensive type of jerky? How can you differentiate between good jerky and cheap jerky?
Will it taste like real meat? – Most major brands of jerky are incredibly full of sugar, tenderizers and preservatives that every one of the natural meat flavors have left. Bite into a piece of jerky and try to taste the real flavor of beef, in the same way you’d taste in the chunk of grilled steak or roast tri-tip.
Will it chew like real meat? – Several brands of jerky either have a lot sugar it becomes gummy, like eating a sheet of fruit chew, or has cooked for days on end that it becomes crumbly. Sometimes, brands will prove to add meat tenderizers which render it too mushy. Good jerky should feel just like eating a true 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. Worse yet, you could find large chunks and streaks of fat. However, where to buy beef jerky should be absolutely lean, practically pure meat. It’s OK to get tiny flecks and streaks of fat, because this will add some “beefy” flavor. But too much fat will cause the meat to taste rancid.
Will 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 maybe barely hot, but HOT. Exactly the same with teriyaki. Most major brands just use sweetened soy sauce, and don’t bother to incorporate the mirin wine and ginger which enables good teriyaki.
Does it require heavy machinery to chew?” – In the old days, it could have been acceptable to get tough jerky. But 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. Should your jaws getting too tired, take a look for something quicker to chew.
Would it contain preservatives? – Sodium nitrite and sodium erythorbate are standard preservatives found in processed meats, including jerky. However these days, vacuum packaging and oxygen absorbers can improve the life expectancy of jerky, consumers don’t must subject themselves to these ingredients.
Does it make you wish to eat more? – Possibly the true test of really good jerky is if it will make you wish to eat more, much like eating potato chips. I call this, “snackability”, a characteristic in which you find yourself eating one piece after another without the opportunity to stop. Jerky is actually a snack food, of course, if it satisfies your urge to snack, then you’ve found an excellent jerky.