Thursday, September 23, 2010

Jerky Review: Chinese Brand Beef Jerky

Despite the fact that I prefer jerky to sausage, all the reviews here at MSR have been of sausage. Quite a surprising coincidence. Here is our first jerky review, and I expect jerky to be featured here more prominently in the future.

Chinese Brand Beef Jerky
1.5 oz package
Montclair, CA

Noteworthy Ingredients: Wine, MSG, Soy Sauce

Taste: Anyone who has sampled Asian-style meat snacks knows that they are usually more sweet than salty. This is no exception. Slightly sweet and not any saltiness. Overall, the taste is very fact, it is rather tasteless on some chews.

Texture: Dry, but not hard. It has a ragged, shredded appearance, almost like it was half way to becoming Jerky Snuff. Overall, it is a pleasant and unique texture and an easy chew.

Overall: Nothing too special, but a satisfying meat-eating experience for the carnivore on the go.

Have you tried this meat snack? Let us know what you think of it in the comments.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Sausage Review: Old Trapper Deli Style Beef Sticks

Old Trapper Deli Style Beef Sticks
.75 ounce stick, 24 count bag
Forest Grove, OR

Noteworthy Ingredients: Beef Hearts, MSG

Taste: I like salty but this stick is way too salty. There isn't much more I can say about the taste because the salt is overpowering from beginning to end.

Texture: This stick has a wonderful and consistent texture. Ground fine. The skin is just right. Very few, if any, tooth wedgies.

I sampled these sticks awhile back. I was quite impressed and eager to get more and do a full review. What a disappointment. I don't remember my initial sample being so salty. Almost uneatable, so I'm inclined to believe that this was a manufacturing error by the folks at Old Trapper.

Whew, it took me a few weeks, but I finally finished the bag. I'm gonna go buy a drink now.

Have you tried this meat snack? Let us know what you think of it in the comments.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Sausage Review: The Sasquatch Big Stick, Mild

It's been kinda slow here at the ranch lately because I haven't had as many different meat snacks this summer. The convenience store across the street from my workplace is under new ownership and is finally restocking their shelves with a variety of meat. This review is a product of that development. I've also discovered a great unique new sausage made by Old Trapper. When I can get my mitts on them again, I will do a review.

The Sasquatch Big Stick, Mild Happy
Made by Jack Links

Minong, WI
2.2 oz Snack Stick, beef and chicken

Noteworthy ingredients: Molasses Powder, Hydrolyzed Vegetable Protein

Taste: This is the Mild Happy variety. The taste is consistent and, yes, perhaps a bit mild compared your standard extreme meat snack, but still plenty of flavor compared to a non-extreme sausage. Nothing very noteworthy about the taste, but it is decent. There are many sugary ingredients, but it is not sweet at all to my taste buds.

Texture: Firm and consistent, but yields easily to the bite. The casing is thin and takes some effort to peel it from the filling. Very few tooth wedgies. It looks plenty greasy in the wrapper, but it doesn't feel that way in the mouth.

Overall: The Sasquatch is, of course, the Jack Links answer to Slim Jim. It is more meaty than the Jim and not as rubbery. A quality extreme stick if you are into that kind of thing.

Have you tried this meat snack? Let us know what you think of it in the comments.

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Stinkers: Long John Polish

Some meat snacks are pretty bad and not worthy of a head to head comparison here at Meat Snack Review. These are Stinkers.

Long John Polish
Made in Michigan

I haven't been munching on the meat snacks much lately, but I did try this one a couple weeks ago. I must have thrown out the wrapper in anger and I can't find any info about it online. So, details are sparse, but if you see this meat snack in the wild, stay away.

I could taste nothing but vinegar in this one. After one bite it felt like I had eaten half a bag of Salt and Vinegar potato chips. The texture was very mushy. After removing the sausage from the wrapper, there was an inch or two of vinegar still in the wrapper, so it had to be handled carefully like a test tube until I could find a trash can.

One last thing I remember about this sausage: there is a hillbilly on the wrapper.

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Sugar River Meats vs. Thousand Hills Cattle

I've been chewing on this review for awhile. The supermarket had a sale on the 2 pound bag of Sugar River "Original Spicy Snack Sticks, Ends and Pieces" and I've been munching on it for a few weeks. Also, we recently stopped in at the organic food store to get some good stuff for my infant daughter. They had a meat-less soy snack called "Jerquee" and some grass fed beef sticks by Thousand Hills Cattle Company. I choose the beef sticks...duh.

Thousand Hills Cattle Company

Cannon Falls, MN
Uncured Beef Sticks (Original and Minnesota Spice flavors)

Noteworthy ingredients: 100% Grass Fed Beef

Taste: Just not much flavor. Kinda like summer sausage. The "Minnesota Spice" variety has some black and red pepper, but it doesn't add much the the experience.

Texture: Soft casing. Texture is quite wet when I first opened the package. Because it is uncured, this must always be refrigerated. I let it sit in the fridge for more than a week to help it dry age a little. Also, texture was occasionally grisly, with those slimy things getting stuck in my teeth.

Overall: "No Nitrites of Nitrates Added. Except for the naturally occurring nitrates in celery juice and sea salt." I appreciate the good intentions of this product, but it wasn't very good. I'm throwing away the rest of them.

Sugar River Meats

New Glarus, WI
Original Spicy Snack Sticks, Ends and Pieces

Noteworthy ingredients: Beef, Mechanically Separated Chicken, Molasses Powder, Rice Bran Isolate or Rice Flour

Taste: Very similar to a Slim Jim. The flavor intensifies as you chew, as if you are grinding it down to its essence. The molasses adds a pleasant aroma.

Texture: Papery casing. Again, similar to a Slim Jim, but a little more substantial. Consistent, dry, firm texture. I wonder if the Rice Bran/Flour contributes to its dry consistency?

Overall: So this is alot like a Slim Jim, but without the sleaziness of a strip joint. It is cut into 1-2 inch pieces and its easy to keep nibbling on just one more piece. That I've rationed it to last a few weeks is quite an accomplishment.

The Verdict: Sugar River wins big.

Have you tried either of these? Let us know what you think of them in the comments.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

NASCAR Salami Sticks vs. Jack Link's Jerky Chew

The vending machine at my workplace has these NASCAR salami sticks for 85 cents. The last time I bought this, I vowed never again. I broke that vow so I can conduct this review. According to this fascinating article, these are only available in vending machines.

Paired with the salami sticks for this review is a can of jerky chew from the drug store.

Officially Licensed NASCAR Salami Sticks (Beef and Pork)
Chandler, MN

Noteworthy Ingredients: Mustard, MSG, Chili Pepper, Natural Smoke Flavor, Paprika

Texture: These sticks seemingly have little to no casing, as my sunk in with no added pressure. It has a soft, even chew, though a little rubbery perhaps. In my youth I once bit a rubber super-bouncy ball, and this salami stick reminded me of that.

Taste: Maybe kinda like pepperoni? I detect the added smoke flavor. There is a weird fizzy sensation if you press the tip of your tongue to the salami. It's a little like touching your tongue to the posts of a 9 volt battery (also something I did in my youth and as recently as last year).

Jack Link's Beef Jerky Chew
Minong, WI (Proud to say that I've driven past the Jack Link's factory a couple times in my life.)

Noteworthy Ingredients: Chicken Stock, MSG, Maple Flavor

Texture: This is "shredded" beef in a plastic can, so there isn't much to say about the texture. Actually, it's not exactly shredded. "Pulverized" would be a more accurate description. It would be easier to eat if it were less powdery, because putting a pinch of this into your mouth is a little messy. I prefer to just dip my wet tongue into the can and see what sticks.

Taste: Like chicken soup.

Verdict: The novelty of the jerky chew, and the fact that it reminds me of my Kirk Gibson baseball mitt, gives it the nod.

Have you tried either of these? Let us know what you think of them in the comments.