Jerky Report

Dec 17 2009

What's the best winter survival food?

Published by under News

-Two cups deer or beef jerky, shredded or pounded into a coarse powder. -One cup chopped, dried fruit (berries, currants, or even organic cherries).

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Dec 15 2009

Caffiend: Perky Jerky (High-Octane Beef Snacks)

Published by under News

By Niki D’Andrea in Caffiend For anybody who thought caffeinated mints and granola bars were wacky, I’ve got three words for you: caffeinated beef jerky.

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Dec 14 2009

Jerky is not just for Texans

Published by under News

DJ Whittington developed the recipe for the company’s top-selling beef jerky back in the early ’60s. Today, the company sells eight types of jerky made from

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Dec 09 2009

Barossa Fine Foods – Beef Biltong

Beef Biltong from Barossa Fine Foods

Beef Biltong from Barossa Fine Foods

I’m so busy eating this Biltong it’s hard to stop and take the time to write the review. Barossa Fine Foods are the first company to send me some sample products, and I’ve enjoyed them very much.

Unlike most of the beef jerky and biltong manufacturers I’ve come across so far, BFF (I am NOT going to type it out in full every time) don’t just make jerky. They make, and retail a large range of smallgoods including bacon, salami, poultry products, pates and all sorts of other delicacies.

If you are in Adelaide I highly recommend seeking out one of their stores, and if not, they offer a wide range of goods through their website. The Barossa is normally famed for it’s fine wines, but our other fine produce can’t be ignored.

OK. So back to the beef! I didn’t weigh it, but the Biltong came in a very generous serving. There’s actually two pieces of beef in the bag, and the bigger one is not only about 25cm long but also nice and thick. I opened the bag and took a long sniff, rewarded with a rich meaty smell not unlike a german sausage.  It’s a slightly sweet, spicy aroma which for some crazy reason made me think of Christmas! I’ve tried to figure out why, and I think I can detect a touch of nutmeg, and it puts me in mind of egg nog and spicy mince pies.

Anyway, the Biltong is firm to the touch, not oily, not overly dry. This is a ‘soft’ or wet biltong and there’s just a little give if you push on it. There is a small amount of spice on the outside, but not too much.

Taste, wow! I really couldn’t wait to get my teeth into this and tore straight into it. The meat parted with little effort and is a good chew, but not a long one. Lot’s of structure, very little if any sinew or fat. BFF tell me that the beef is sourced from the South East of South Australia from a mix of grass fed and grain fed yearling beef. It’s a really nice piece of meat you’re eating here.

Sliced Beef Biltong

Sliced Beef Biltong

The spices aren’t strong on the tongue, and you don’t need them to be. I kept thinking nutmeg and then realised that it’s actually worchesteshire sauce I’m tasting. I don’t detect any coriander flavours, this has a more fruity spicy flavour than that. It’s slightly salty, but that just helps the craving for another piece, and then another. In some ways it reminded me of a good cut of ham, and I wondered briefly if it was beef at all!

In the end I sliced off a big chunk for myself, and have kept a portion to share with my friends, if it will last that long! It cut easily, and that revealed a lovely dark red center.

This is a quality meat product. A gourmet selection, not your everyday snack food. It has rich flavours and a beautiful texture. It’s certainly not hot, so it would suit all palettes, but it is very tastily spiced. *Edit – I’ve just been told by the manufacturers that it’s $55/kg which works out to be one the cheapest products so far. So I popped down to the Adelaide Central Markets, found their stall and bought myself some more! *

This is Bloody Good! I’m giving it my highest rating, for it’s texture, flavour and price.

Price: $55/kg ($5.50/100g)
Ingredients: Beef, Salt, Spices, Sugar, Sodium Nitrate (250)

Nutrition Information
Avg Qty / 100g
Energy 672kj
Protein 27.4g
Fat, Total 5.2g
– Saturated 2.3g
Carbohydrate, total 0.8g
– sugars 0.5g
Sodium 1320mg
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Rating: 4.1/5 (15 votes cast)

Dec 09 2009

Perky Jerky: the mega-meat with a chemical jolt

Published by under News

Now comes caffeinated beef jerky, and it's called — wait for it — Perky Jerky. The energizing snack food comes courtesy of the Performance Enhancing Meat

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Dec 07 2009

Upcoming Reviews

Published by under News

I have just received some absolutely delicious Biltong and some as yet un-tasted beef Jerky from Barossa Fine Foods and will have photographs and a review up very shortly. In the emantime, I can honestly say, you don’t need to wait for the review, if you like a good ‘wet’ biltong then you will surely love theirs.

My co-author hasn’t been well this past weekend, so our planned Jerky Tasting hasn’t happened yet, but I did my own little comparison tasting on Sunday trying products from Jack Link’s, Barossa Fine Foods, Territory Jerky and D.Jays.

All these notes have been written up, and will soon grace these pages. So stay tuned.

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Dec 05 2009

Books on Beef Jerky

Published by under Biltong,Jerky

One of the things I quickly found when I talked about this site with friends was that many wanted to have a try at making Beef Jerky. I found a few online resources, and later I’ll try and put together a list of useful links, but in the meantime I thought I’d point readers towards Amazon and the multitude of books about Beef Jerky, and other sorts of Jerky of course, that they have for sale.

The links below are part of an affiliate program, so clicking through from here will help us maintain the site and buy more Jerky to review!

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Dec 01 2009

D.Jay’s Mild Pepper Biltong

Mild Pepper Biltong in the packet

Mild Pepper Biltong in the packet

I couldn’t resist when I stopped to get the other jerky I knew I’d want something better so I thought I might try the hard version of D.Jay’s Mild Pepper Biltong.

This doesn’t come ready sliced, it’s the real deal, a long ‘rope’ of meat and as you’ll see in the picture below it doesn’t skimp on the flavouring with coriander seeds embedded in the meat.

Ripping the top off this packet I don’t get a sweet smell at all, I get a really nice savoury meat smell, like a pepper steak, or a schnitzel with pepper sauce. The stick of meat is dry to the touch and although covered in seasoning it’s not coming off in my hands, rather it is part of the meat, obviously having been rubbed in well before the curing process.

I go to take a bite and this is where Biltong isn’t for the faint of heart, or people with dentures.  It’s tough, I have to really work the meat, ripping at it to bite off a chunk. I enjoy this, you may want to get a sharp knife and slice off bite sized chunks as you go. As I rip off my first hunk, the pink inside of the Biltong is exposed, like a steak medium rare.

The flavour is fantastic, peppery but not too hot. The coriander comes through but even though there are whole coriander seeds it’s not overwhelming or over done. The texture of the meat is… well it’s just like eating a steak. As the enzymes in your mouth start to soften it up the break down is just like any good quality meat. There’s no gristle, no stringy sinews.

Mild Pepper Biltong Rope

Mild Pepper Biltong Rope

I really can’t stop eating this, I’m already regretting I didn’t buy more and I can tell this is going to become a favourite. I’m tempted to give it a 5 star rating, but since I’ve only tried one brand of Biltong I’m going to hold back that accolade until I’ve had something to compare it to. So for now, let’s just say this is a Damn Fine product that I’m more than happy to recommend.

Price AUD$4.95 / 30g stick ($16.50/100g)

Nutrition Information
Avg Qty / 100g
Energy 1450kj
Protein 64g
Fat, Total 8g
– Saturated 3g
Carbohydrate, total 4g
– sugars 4g
Sodium 2000mg
Iron 8.8mg
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Rating: 3.8/5 (6 votes cast)

Dec 01 2009

Nobby’s Beef Jerky – Teriyaki

Nobbys Beef Jerky - Teriyaki (packet)

Nobbys Beef Jerky - Teriyaki (packet)

In the interests of fairness I stopped and grabbed some of the ‘commercial’ jerky I frequently disparage. So how does this stack up against the rest?

Well it gets of to a good start, opening the packet and you have a nice flavoursome smell, very little meat and definitely no gamey aroma here. This is going to appeal immediately to the mass market.

The jerky however doesn’t look quite right. It’s translucent, and cut up into squarish pieces. It has a glossy appearance too, and to touch is smooth, not actually oily, but almost soapy. There’s no sign whatsoever of seasoning on the surface, so at least you’ll have clean fingers!

A piece on the tongue and the flavour hit is immediate. It’s quite sweet, and obvious, but no real spice too it. Chewing brings out some other flavours, but although they’re tasty there are some worrying afternotes.

I get the faintest taste of soap, then coffee. All very subtle, but sliding in on the side of the sweet fruity flavours. Chewing is like eating a fruit rollup. In fact these make me think of meat rollups. Even the texture on the outside looks like it has been pressed into the meat like a fake leather dashboard.

Teriyaki Beef Jerky

Teriyaki Beef Jerky

Before I realise it I’ve finished the lot.  It was a little moreish, but I could have left it at anytime, and now I’m done there are some very chemically tasting after tastes in my mouth. These are quite persistant and I’ve taken a quick break to go get a drink to rinse my mouth.

Before I round up I’m going to comment on the ingredients, because this is full of more shit than any jerky I’ve ever seen, and the low protein, high sugar and salt values back this up. OK, so here goes: Beef, Sugar, Salt, Soy Sauce Powder (Soy Beans, Maltodextrin, Salt), Spices and Spice extracts, Acidity Regulator (331), Vegetable Oil, Flavour Enhancer (621), Flavour, Garlic Powder, Antioxidant (316), Preservative (250). Why does it need all that unless it’s a totally manufactured, non smoked product.

This stuff is Absolute Rubbish. It’s sugary, has a texture like a gummy lolly and comes in a miniscule 25g packet. It’s slightly cheaper than the Territory Jerky but you’re better off with a bag of beer nuts!

Price AUD$3.99 / 25g bag ($15.96/100g)

Nutrition Information
Avg Qty / 100g
Energy 1258kj
Protein 40g
Fat, Total 4.7g
– Saturated 2.1g
Carbohydrate, total 28.1g
– sugars 13.2g
Sodium 2520mg
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Rating: 1.7/5 (11 votes cast)

Nov 29 2009

What is Biltong

Published by under Biltong

Biltong is a cured meat, similar to Jerky but originating in South Africa. The manufacturing process and typical seasonings differ from Jerky. Where Jerky is a smoked meat, Biltong is dried, not smoked.

Biltong is usually prepared in long strips cut following the grain of the muscle, and it’s name reflects this. Biltong from the Dutch or Afrikaans bil (rump) and tong (strip or tongue). Often the meat used is beef, but many different meats are used for Biltong including game meats and Ostrich.

The most common ingredients of biltong are: Vinegar, Salt, Coriander, Black Pepper and Sugar or Brown Sugar. Variations may involve using: balsamic vinegar or malt vinegar, dry ground chili peppers, garlic, bicarbonate of soda, Worcestershire sauce, onion powder, and saltpetre as a preservative.

So what’s different about Biltong from other Jerky? Mainly it’s in the use of vinegar to marinate and cure the meat in addition to the drying, and the thicker, long strips used.

Read more about Biltong at Wikipedia.

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