The first review for Stewart’s will focus on a 3.25 ounce/92 gram bag of their teriyaki beef jerky. This flavor is advertised to use premium cuts of beef, seasoned and smoked to perfection. The bag was purchased at a convenience store in East Rutherford, New Jersey.
This Stewart’s brand of jerky is distributed by Stewart’s Shops Corp., and they are located in Saratoga Falls, New York. Stewart’s Shops has been in business for more than 70 years, Today, there are over 335 Stewart’s Shops located in 31 counties across upstate New York and southern Vermont. To summarize Stewart’s Shops by the decade: In the 1950s, became an Ice Cream Shop. In the 1960s, became a Dairy Shop. In the 1970s, became a Gas Station. In the 1980s, became a Coffee Shop. In the 1990s, became a Beverage Shop. In the 2000s, became Invested in their Partners. In the 2010s, became a Restaurant. Today, Stewart’s Shops employs over 4,500 people. The private labeler Monogram Foods manufactures this jerky based out of Tennessee.
Ingredients: Beef, Water, Sugar, Brown Sugar, Soy Sauce (Water, Soybeans, Rice, Salt). Contains 2% or Less of Fructose, Salt, Flavorings, Hydrolyzed Corn Protein, Maltodextrin, Disodium Inosinate & Guanylate, Sodium Erythorbate, Paprika Oleoresin, Sodium Nitrite. Allergen Warnings: Soy
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 only healthy ingredient stated is a small amount of paprika oleoresin (similar to paprika extract), whose purpose is likely as a red food coloring agent. The vague term flavorings is used, which could include healthy and/or unhealthy ingredients.
The sugar level is quite high at 7 grams of sugar per 28 grams of jerky. For a sweet based flavor as we have here with teriyaki, our preference is 5 grams of sugar or less per 28 grams of jerky. The salt level is also quite high at 500mg of salt per 28 grams of jerky. Our preference is 350mg of salt or less per 28 grams of jerky.
Technically, two ingredient ratings can be potentially deducted for salt above 450mg of salt per 28 grams of jerky, unless counteracted by healthy ingredients. Additionally, two ingredient ratings can be potentially deducted for sugar that is 7 grams or more per 28 grams of jerky, unless counteracted by healthy ingredients. Three ingredient ratings will be deducted here, where no healthy ingredients are used. What helps is that the taste of this jerky does not seem overly salty or sweet tasting, where the sugar and salt levels stated in the nutrition facts table may be incorrect.
This jerky does not qualify to be MSG free because the highly processed flavor enhancer hydrolyzed corn protein is used. Additionally, the unhealthy flavor enhancers disodium inosinate and disodium guanylate are used, which work synergistically together.
Written by guest jerky reviewer Stéphane Leclerc
As I first tasted this Stewart’s Teriyaki Beef Jerky, I had flashbacks of a recent and very similar experience. Again, I did not find any single flavor that really stands out or shines. A mild sweetness and saltiness is noticeable followed by notes of light soy. This is not totally unpleasant and these flavors are much lighter than most typical Teriyaki based flavors. The sweetness is fine and seems to be slightly more in line with a Teriyaki flavor but not by much.
In fact, there is not much else to really be reminiscent of a teriyaki flavor. Some traditional teriyaki seasonings such as garlic, ginger and especially Mirin which is a common Sweet Japanese Rice Wine would have been welcomed. Some of these common ingredients would give a Japanese/ Asian flair and brighten or make its flavor profile more appealing as it clearly also lacks any tanginess or sourness. A little splash would certainly cheer up these flavors and bring a little fun and excitement to the party. There is some beef flavor present but not without a processed taste and feel to it. After consuming a few more strips, this unnatural and processed beef flavor becomes more apparent.
There are flavor enhancers such as hydrolyzed corn protein and disodium (inosinate and guanylate) used in making this jerky and these generally accentuate all flavors especially beef. Although these flavor enhancers were used, they somewhat fail to really pull the trigger. Instead, it gives this jerky a somewhat unnatural savory flavor as well as a processed feel and taste.
These strips of jerky are medium in size and inconsistently sliced between a medium thickness to borderline thick. The texture is between dry and soft and reasonably easy to chew. These beef slices appear slightly processed, as they are translucent and shiny. They also have a pink hue due to the sodium nitrite. While handling these strips, an oily residue is left on our fingers and can also be seen on the surface of these strips.
This Stewart’s Teriyaki Beef Jerky feels flat and uninspiring with no real hooks to make us crave for more. Although, the taste is fine, there is nothing that really stands out at all. This jerky is more of a typical run of the mill jerky flavor. The texture and appearance feel processed and in turn, the flavors are dampened. This is not bad tasting jerky; there is simply nothing special about it. We’ve rated this jerky a Fair (4/10) taste rating.
Everything is imprinted directly on the plastic bag, both on the front and back. The Stewart’s logo is a profile of a cow’s head.
There is no slogan printed on this bag. Some facts printed on this bag are “0g Trans Fat Per Serving” and “High in Protein”.
All bag categories are covered here with this bag. The only complaint here is that the blurb printed on this bag is too generic and short, which could describe a multitude of different jerky brands.