This next review for Chef’s Cut Real Jerky will be on a 2 ounce/56 gram bag of their applewood flavored bacon jerky. The bag was purchased for $5.49 at a ShopRite store in Lyndhurst, New Jersey. This flavor is described as combining brown sugar, honey, and Applewood smoke flavors that will have you reaching for more.
This Chef’s Cut Real jerky brand name is distributed by RSJ Ventures LLC. They are based out of Naples, Florida. The chief and founder, Blair Swiler, is a chef. Initially, Blair only made jerky for his family using a proprietary smoking process. Then his business partner, and now co-founder, Dennis Riedel, realized the potential of selling “Filet in a Bag”. In their words, it is “Jerky Done Right”. They aspire to only make the best jerky they can, where they don’t believe that anything, or anyone, should ever stop improving.
Ingredients: Natural Bacon (Pork, Water, Salt, Turbinado Sugar, Celery Powder, Lactic Acid Starter Culture [Not From Milk], Brown Sugar, Honey, Applewood Smoke (Natural Smoke Flavor, Apple Flavor, Maple Syrup Flavor, And Natural Apple Wood Smoke Flavor), Powdered Sugar, Ground Pepper, Apple Juice, Sea Salt, Water, Cane Sugar.
This is a surprisingly good ‘natural bacon’ ingredient list, being uncured. It is uncommon to see no sodium based preservatives used with bacon. There are no guarantees that the pigs had free range access, or were ethically raised. As a result, the highest ingredient rating that can be awarded is a Good (8/10) rating.
The liquid marinade consists of water, healthy honey, and apple juice. Apples have a polysaccharide named pectin that offers many health benefits. Honey offers healing effects if eaten in moderation, but it should be raw honey.
The sugar level is extremely high at 9 grams of sugar per 28 grams of jerky. For a sweet based flavor as we have here, our preference is 5 grams of sugar or less. In fairness, turbinado sugar, honey, and cane sugar are some of the better sweeteners out there.
The salt level is high at 550mg of salt per 28 grams of jerky. Our preference is 350mg of salt or less. In fairness, some of that is sea salt with its minerals and trace minerals.
Disappointingly, the applewood smoke may contain artificial flavors for the maple and apple flavors.
This jerky does qualify to have no sodium nitrite. Instead, sea salt is the main preservative used. Sea salt is high on healthy minerals and trace minerals. Admirably, this jerky does qualify to have no MSG added.
Some of the jerky strips resemble normal bacon strips. Most of the strips are cut small, and sliced borderline thin. The texture is slightly crispy and crunchy. A fair amount of fat is visible, but that would be normal with bacon. Handling this jerky leaves a fair amount of oily residue left on your fingers.
The first flavor detected is the sweetness, at too high of a level. Included in the sweetness is a light level of honey. The applewood smokiness has a subtle, pleasant taste in the background.
The bacon jerky itself tastes natural, no different than a regular bacon strip. A mild level of black pepper compliments the flavor, and mixes well with a persistent amount of moderate saltiness. Overall, this flavor gets better tasting as you consume more strips, if you can get past the sweetness.
This 2 ounce/56 gram bag cost $5.49, which works out to $2.75 an ounce. That rates as an expensive price, but a reasonable price compared to beef jerky. This jerky is recommended if you would enjoy a sweet based bacon flavor.
This wide plastic bag has everything imprinted on the bag itself, both on the front and back. A pig is displayed on the front. On the back, there is a high resolution picture of bacon with apples and peppercorns.
There is no slogan displayed. Some facts printed are “Uncured Bacon Jerky”, “Handcrafted”, “Made With Uncured Bacon”, “Natural Smoke Flavor Added”, “Uncured Bacon”, “No Nitrites”, “Gluten Free”, and “Product of USA”. There is a Keepin’ It Real customer comment printed.
The pig displayed on the front has sayings “Nobody Puts Bacon In The Corner”, “My Name’s Bacon. Crispy Bacon”, “Show Me The Bacon”, “Bacon”, “Hasta La Vista Bacon”, and “You Had Me At Bacon”.
The only bag categories missing are the jerky weight not stated in grams, and no transparent window to view the jerky. A very good blurb is printed on the bag about this flavor and the company. Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram handles are provided. An email address is provided for customer inquiries.