Back in 2010, while visiting San Diego, California, I bought a 3.25 ounce/92 gram bag of Jerky John’s beef jerky at a convenience store. This review will focus on their Pacific Teriyaki flavor.
Jerky John’s, Inc. was founded by John Keller, who started making jerky in 1994. He is a former Paratrooper, and realized that a quality snack like jerky would be perfect for field exercises. This jerky is advertised as being healthy and premium quality. Printed on the bag is a blurb about Jerky John’s. It mentions that you will understand what the “Jerky Revolution” is all about, where I will add that jerky is the second most popular snack food in North America for sales, only behind potato chips.
Ingredients: Beef Top Round, Yoshida’s Teriyaki Sauce (Soy Sauce (Water, Wheat, Soybeans, Salt), Water, Sugar, High Fructose Corn Syrup, Distilled Water, Vinegar, Salt, Citric Acid, Natural Flavor, Kikkoman’s Teriyaki Sauce (Naturally Brewed Soy Sauce (Water, Wheat, Soybeans, Salt), Wine, High Fructose Corn Syrup, Water, Vinegar, Salt, Spices, Onion Powder, Succinic Acid, Garlic Powder, Sodium Benzoate less than 1/10% as a preservative), Lea & Perrins Worcestershire Sauce (Water, Vinegar, Molasses, High Fructose Corn Syrup, Anchovies, Hydrolyzed Soy and Hydrolyzed Corn Protein, Onions, Tamarinds, Salt, Garlic, Cloves, Chili Peppers, Natural Flavorings and Eschalots), Brown Sugar, Granulated Garlic, Liquid Smoke, Prague Powder (Sodium Nitrite) Allergen Warnings: Anchovies, Soy, Wheat
The beef used is not guaranteed to be free of growth hormones or additional antibiotics. Also, the beef is not guaranteed to have at least partial free range access to graze on grass. As a result, the highest ingredient rating that can be awarded is a Good (8/10) rating.
The liquid marinade is comprised of Yoshida’s Teriyaki Sauce, Kikkoman’s Teriyaki Sauce, Lea & Perrins Worcestershire Sauce, and a little bit of liquid smoke, making this jerky smoked. It was disappointing to see that all three sauce contained the unhealthy sweetener high fructose corn syrup (HFCS).
The sugar level is very respectable at only 1 gram of sugar per 28 grams of jerky, although I question the accuracy. The salt level is also very respectable at only 150mg of salt per 28 grams of jerky.
This jerky does use the unhealthy sodium nitrite as a preservative. It is identified in the Prague Powder, which tends to have a higher content of nitrite, compared to other cures.
This jerky is advertised as containing “no added MSG”, where we respectfully disagree. In the Lea & Perrins Worcestershire Sauce there are hydrolyzed soy protein and hydrolyzed corn protein, which are flavor enhancers, similar to MSG, but worse.
Fair (4/10) – Ingredient Rating
Unfortunately in 2010, I kept scant taste notes on this jerky. All I noted was the taste being good, and the texture being good also, which would mean this jerky was dry enough. My apologies to Jerky John’s, Inc.
I paid $5.99 for this 3.25 ounce/92 gram bag of jerky. That would work out to $1.84 an ounce, which rates as an average price. There are healthier choices out there.
We certainly have a colorful bag here, on both the front and back. There are no labels affixed to the bag, everything is imprinted directly on the plastic bag. The plastic thickness is fairly thin.
The Jerky John’s logo is interesting, depicting two J’s that resemble bull horns. There are a number of slogans on this bag such as “Premium Quality”, “Gourmet”, Healthy”, and they dare you to “Compare Our Nutrition Facts”. It goes on to list 1g of fat, 1g of sugar, 150mg of sodium, no saturated fat, no trans fat, and no added MSG.
There is an informative blurb written on this bag about the owner, John Keller, explaining how his jerky business started. On the back of the bag, there appears to be a soldier saluting behind the USA flag. Also on the back, there is a “Blessings in a Backpack” trademark displayed, which is a program to help feed elementary students.
The majority of bag categories are covered. Missing are allergen alerts. While there is a small price like sticker on the bag, I cannot decipher the best before date on it.
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