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Old 02-07-2017, 07:06 PM   #1
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Jack Links Beef Jerky

So, I was curious to see what was in the "American" section of my local Sainsburys, and I came across beef jerky.

I have of course heard of jerky but I haven't tried it before (and know nothing about brands), but I have been looking for a protein rich savoury snack product, so I thought I would give it a try.

I can't say I am convinced about it. It is sort of disgusting, and yet, I keep eating it... or should I say chewing it. There is also a strange little blue and white packet in there, which says "do not eat" and I guess this is some kind of preservative. It is an "absorber" bag apparently, but I have never seen anything like it before. (Mildly alarming, depending on what is in it.)

Is this a well-known brand in the US?

Is it well-regarded? What's the general opinion about it?

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Old 02-07-2017, 07:29 PM   #2
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I don't eat jerky because I don't enjoy it, but the packet is nothing to worry about. It contains an inert substance that absorbs moisture. Moisture + microbes can = food poisoning.

Can't say whether it's a "well-known brand" since you don't mention the brand
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Old 02-07-2017, 07:32 PM   #3
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It is a well known brand with regular ads on TV featuring Big Foot. As to the taste, I can't say as I don't eat the stuff.
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Old 02-07-2017, 07:40 PM   #4
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Hm, seems this could be a case of a product being exported because nobody eats it in the producer country!

I'm going to take it into work tomorrow to see what my colleagues think of it.

If all else fails, I am sure I could make a pair of shoes out of the pieces!

My quest for a high protein savoury snack continues.
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Old 02-07-2017, 09:47 PM   #5
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I like the Jack Links Sweet and Spicy. I like most jerky as long as it's dried cuts of meat rather than the ground and reconstituted stuff that's like chewing on sawdust. Also don't care for turkey jerky... beef or occasional wild meats that I get to sample from friends who hunt. I've had both elk and venison jerky, homemade.

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Originally Posted by KatyCooks View Post
Hm, seems this could be a case of a product being exported because nobody eats it in the producer country!

I'm going to take it into work tomorrow to see what my colleagues think of it.

If all else fails, I am sure I could make a pair of shoes out of the pieces!

My quest for a high protein savoury snack continues.
Actually it is quite popular. Jack Links is just one brand... there are many, brand name and more or less generic. It's usually found in the checkout aisle in the supermarket in the impulse buy rack.
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Old 02-07-2017, 09:50 PM   #6
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I happen to love beef jerky. It comes in all kinds of fruit flavors as well as a BBQ type flavor. It is easy to make. Just slice the meat real thin. marinate in a chosen recipe of liquid flavorings, and then slowly dry in the oven or dehydrator.

I make it using soy sauce and liquid smoke along with some other flavoring ingredients. I cut up almost a whole cheap roast and it took me almost a week to finish getting it dry. As much beef jerky as their was, the kids cleaned me out in one day. Now I make smaller batches for just myself.
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Old 02-07-2017, 09:59 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by RPCookin View Post
I like the Jack Links Sweet and Spicy. I like most jerky as long as it's dried cuts of meat rather than the ground and reconstituted stuff that's like chewing on sawdust. Also don't care for turkey jerky... beef or occasional wild meats that I get to sample from friends who hunt. I've had both elk and venison jerky, homemade.

Actually it is quite popular. Jack Links is just one brand... there are many, brand name and more or less generic. It's usually found in the checkout aisle in the supermarket in the impulse buy rack.

I do wish they would remove it from there. Every time I pick up a packet, then I open it and can't stop until it is all gone. I once had buffalo jerky. It was kind of a strong beef flavor. Wasn't to fond of it, but it could grow on me if I ate it often enough.

Katy, beef jerky was a mainstay of the old west cowboys on the trail.
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Old 02-07-2017, 11:19 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Addie View Post
I happen to love beef jerky. It comes in all kinds of fruit flavors as well as a BBQ type flavor. It is easy to make. Just slice the meat real thin. marinate in a chosen recipe of liquid flavorings, and then slowly dry in the oven or dehydrator.

I make it using soy sauce and liquid smoke along with some other flavoring ingredients. I cut up almost a whole cheap roast and it took me almost a week to finish getting it dry. As much beef jerky as their was, the kids cleaned me out in one day. Now I make smaller batches for just myself.
Addie...I'm amazed that you still make beef jerky. Back when I used to make it, it was usually from venison and there was no such thing as small batches....so much work, seasoning and drying....it just wasn't worth it to make a little bit. How do you do it these days - hopefully you have your sons to help you. What are those other ingredients you use?
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Old 02-07-2017, 11:21 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by KatyCooks View Post
My quest for a high protein savoury snack continues.
How about hard-boiled or deviled eggs? They're the perfect protein and can be prepared with many different flavors.
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Old 02-07-2017, 11:43 PM   #10
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I set off two root canals over the years chewing on leathery store bought jerky. I make my own now. If you do buy store bought, you really should make sure you're buying a package that hasn't been on the shelf that long (fresh from the factory). Store bought Jerky, if not recently from the factory, turns into rawhide pretty fast.
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Old 02-08-2017, 01:38 AM   #11
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Originally Posted by KatyCooks View Post
Hm, seems this could be a case of a product being exported because nobody eats it in the producer country!

I'm going to take it into work tomorrow to see what my colleagues think of it.

If all else fails, I am sure I could make a pair of shoes out of the pieces!

My quest for a high protein savoury snack continues.
No, Jack Links is actually a top selling brand here. It is not as good as homemade or small batch smokehouse jerky, but you can get it anywhere from super-markets to gas stations. And, it is pretty good for a mass-produced jerky.

I avoid the "fu fu" flavors, and just eat the "original" jerky.

As for jerky in general, it is not something you eat quickly. You chew on it like meat chewing gum, to enjoy the flavor as it slowly softens up, and then you swallow it. You can't rush jerky eating.

Jerky originated as a meat that could be taken on a long trail ride, that wouldn't spoil after days/weeks in a leather pouch. So, it is what it is. You like it, or you don't.

And, yes, the little pouch you shouldn't eat is a desiccant (absorbs moisture). It's okay -- just don't eat it.

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Old 02-08-2017, 05:35 AM   #12
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Addie...I'm amazed that you still make beef jerky. Back when I used to make it, it was usually from venison and there was no such thing as small batches....so much work, seasoning and drying....it just wasn't worth it to make a little bit. How do you do it these days - hopefully you have your sons to help you. What are those other ingredients you use?
I buy a cheap cut of chuck steak beef. Soy sauce, pepper, some red pepper flakes, liquid smoke, garlic powder, onion powder, Worcestershire sauce, paprika. The red pepper flakes I count. No more than three. The rest of the I don't measure.

I gave Spike my slicer. I place the meat in the freezer to develop it to a semi freeze. Easier to cut. Spike then takes the meat home and slices it for me. When I get the meat back it goes into a large white bowl I have that used to be for an old Sunbeam mixer where the bowl turned and the beaters were along the side when working. It died, I kept the bowl.

I mix all the ingredients in the bowl, then heat it on the stove to dissolve the ingredients, Pour back into the bowl, then I add the slices. I make sure every slice is covered by the mixture. I let it sit in the fridge til the next day. If I tried to do this all in one day, my legs wouldn't hold up. Senior moments catching up on me.

The next day I take it out of the fridge and lay the slices on my large cake racks and put them in a 200ºF oven until they are completely dried and stiff. Depending on just how much meat was sliced, sometimes I have to do a second load. By then I have already downed half of the first one.

Yeah, it is a lot of work. But I do buy a piece of meat that is large enough to make it worthwhile. And if I had to stand there and slice it, I don't think I could.
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Old 02-08-2017, 07:46 AM   #13
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Love beef jerky and my relatively new found Bacon Jerky. Handy snacks that don't need to be refrigerated.
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Old 02-08-2017, 10:01 AM   #14
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Love beef jerky and my relatively new found Bacon Jerky. Handy snacks that don't need to be refrigerated.
Whoa! Wait a minute. Isn't bacon jerky dog treats?
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Old 02-08-2017, 11:25 AM   #15
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Jack Links Beef Jerky

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Whoa! Wait a minute. Isn't bacon jerky dog treats?

Yes. Beggin' Strips. Bacon bacon bacon!

I make my jerky in the dehydrator. Lean cut of beef, and try to remove every smidge of fat. The seasonings differ every time, but usually include soy sauce and hot pepper flakes, some worchestershire sauce. It helps to partially freeze the meat before slicing.

Not a big fan of store-bought jerky, have not tried Jack Links.
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Old 02-08-2017, 02:24 PM   #16
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Not a big fan of store-bought jerky,
Two root canals later, I agree. Rawhide. Most store bought jerky gets the texture of rawhide soon after it leaves the plant.

Sorry, Oberto and other brands. Tough chewy rawhide. lol. Unless you get a package fresh from the plant.
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Old 02-09-2017, 07:36 AM   #17
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Beef jerky is too expensave to buy. I make my own.
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Old 02-09-2017, 09:39 AM   #18
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Originally Posted by KatyCooks View Post
Hm, seems this could be a case of a product being exported because nobody eats it in the producer country!

I'm going to take it into work tomorrow to see what my colleagues think of it.

If all else fails, I am sure I could make a pair of shoes out of the pieces!

My quest for a high protein savoury snack continues.

Not at all.

It's probably the biggest brand of jerky in the US. Or one of the biggest at least

Jerky has become the next big thing here. There are now tons of "artisanal" jerkies which are widely available, from gas stations to Whole Foods.

I eat it on the golf course.
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Old 02-11-2017, 02:54 AM   #19
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The thing about store bought jerky is that it's made to have a shelf life of 18 months or more. I make my own to last a couple of months at the most, stored in the fridge. I therefore can make jerky that has some fat in it and is more tender to chew (flank steak, sirloin). I don't use lean cheap cuts for jerky because it's tougher and more difficult to chew. Lean cuts of jerky last longer because of the lack of fat to make it go rancid. I don't make my jerky to last that long, not 18 months.
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Old 02-11-2017, 03:49 AM   #20
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...I make my own to last a couple of months at the most, stored in the fridge...
How do you know it lasts a couple of months? You mean you don't eat it all up at once? You have some serious self-control.

Back when the kids lived at home and I still had my dehydrator (before Goober spirited it away to his place...) I would get an eye of round roast at the grocery store and have the butcher slice it very thin. Goober would make his marinade up by taste, which means he has no idea how to tell me to duplicate it, and make a big batch. It was usually gone in less than a week.

Since I'll never-ever get my old dehydrator back, I've now been eyeing a new one. Some day...
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