You go to the grocery store and look for the beef jerky and you notice that it is the same two to three different brands. But have you ever realized that there are a thousand more different brands of jerky sitting on shelves of stores across the United States? There are expensive jerky’s and there are cheap ones as well.
But what are the characteristics of a jerky that will let you know it is worth spending money on? In order to do that, you need to know the difference between a good jerky and a cheap one.
Another thing you need to consider is if it tastes like real meat. Too much sweeteners, tenderizers and preservatives are being added to jerky of major brands which results in the loss of natural meat flavors. Try a bite and see if you can taste the same meaty flavor you taste when you eat grilled meat.
A question you can also ask yourself if does it feel like real meat when you chew on it. There are brands of jerky that can feel gummy or crumbly due to factors such as too much sugar or has been cooked for too long. There are also times where jerky manufacturers put in meat tenderizers that make the jerky very mushy to eat. Even after it has been chewed down to a soft mass it should still taste and feel like real meat.
Most brands that do mass production have a habit of utilizing low grade beefs and sometimes even adding stringy sinews which in turn results in the presence of tissue that is hard to chew. Mass production also results in jerky having huge chunks of fat instead of meat. You can consider your jerky great if there is less or no fat on it and a lot of pure meat. Although having a little bit of fat in the jerky is fine as it can also give it its beefy flavor. Too much fat and the jerky will taste sour or stale.
Living up to the advertised flavor is another characteristic or quality of a jerky you should look for. Basing the greatness of the jerky on its advertisement is a good practice as it tells a lot about the product.
The most important thing you need to consider is if it is easy to chew on or if you need a heavy machine to crush it down to mush for you. Before, jerky was naturally tough to eat. Most brands today are now able to make soft and chewy jerky. If you buy jerky and get tired by just eating the first one, then you should consider buying a different brand of jerky.
The last thing you would want to ask yourself is if the product makes you want to eat more.