With the proliferation of so-called "gourmet" beef jerky over the past few years, it might be difficult for the average consumer to pick the jerky that's right for them. During a typical trip to the convenience store, a jerky lover might be required to choose between one bag of Small Batch Korean BBQ Turkey Jerky and another bag of Garlic Lime Chili Cherry Cabernet Pork. So how does a smoked meat lover navigate this diabolical jerky maze? Simply follow these 3 rules before you buy and you'll never be disappointed.
Did you know all beef jerky bags are not created equal? Some of my competitors (who I'll not be naming here) mimic the size of a 3.25oz jerky bag but only include 2.85oz of beef. You're probably not buying for the bag alone, so check the weight before you purchase!
A good bag of beef jerky should always include a window so you can see exactly what you're getting. The jerky should be clearly identifiable as strips of moist and juicy smoked beef. If instead the jerky looks like a mystery concoction of dried tree bark, put the bag down and run the other direction. If there's no window in the jerky bag at all, DO NOT ENGAGE!! Who knows what they're trying to hide.
This rule is easy to follow. Check the bag's label. Does it say, "Old Trapper" and include a logo featuring my lovely visage? No? then throw it out.
The best consumer is an educated one, so I hope these tips will help you make better beef jerky decisions. Of course, you could always skip that hassle and buy the beef jerky that already follows all the rules. But I'll leave that up to you.