Note: For a more current taste review on a tweaked bag design, open up Pearson Ranch Jerky – Hickory Smoked Elk Beef Jerky (Review #1).
The first review for Pearson Ranch Jerky will focus on a 1.875 ounce/53 gram bag of their hickory smoked flavored elk and beef chopped & formed jerky. This flavor is described as using all natural ingredients, and seasoned to perfection. The bag was purchased at a gas bar convenience store in Sayre, Pennsylvania.
This Pearson Ranch Jerky brand name is distributed under the name of Pearson Ranch, and it is located in Horse Springs, New Mexico. Founder Ken Pearson founded Pearson Ranch in 1959, which is a family owned ranch raising elk, buffalo (also known as bison), and cattle. Today, Ken’s grand-nephew Marvin Cromwell and his sons Brandon and Matt run the key operations for the company. While Pearson Ranch Jerky has been in the meat snack business for over 15 years, the main focus of ranch operations shifted to meat snack products in the summer of 2011. Pearson Ranch advertises their jerky as made of only natural ingredients, contain no nitrites, have no MSG, and are gluten-free.
The texture of this jerky is chopped and formed, or something similar, mixing the beef and elk together. As a result, without having a natural whole sliced strip of jerky, two ingredient ratings are deducted.
The sugar level is great at 0 grams of sugar per 18 grams of jerky. If the nutrition facts table instead displayed the totals per 28 grams of jerky, dextrose may have rounded off as 1 gram of sugar per 28 grams of jerky. The salt level is respectable at around 288mg of salt per 28 grams of jerky.
This jerky does qualify to have no sodium nitrite added, or any other similar unhealthy preservatives. Instead, minimally processed sea salt is the main preservative. Commendably, this jerky qualifies to have no MSG added.
These strips are sliced narrow and long, with a medium thickness. The texture is chopped and formed, with 3 uniform sized strips (18 grams each) in this bag. As expected, with a chopped and formed texture being a preference for people with weak teeth, this jerky is easy to chew.
The first flavor detected is a moderately strong level of salt, which is arguably too salty tasting. There is a solid mild level of black pepper, and a light level of garlic present. A light level of red pepper complements the flavor nicely.
The flavor is consistent from bite to bite, a characteristic of chopped and formed textures, where generally every bite tastes the same. There is some sort of meat flavor, albeit processed tasting. Not so much beefy or elk tasting, just unnatural tasting (processed).
The scent of smokiness is certainly apparent, and at least at a mild tasting level in this jerky. The smoky flavor is not just in the background, but in the forefront also, and arguably dominates the flavor. However, there is not a well-defined hickory taste here, just a bland, plain, nondescript smokiness.
There is only a light level of sweetness present.
This narrow, clear, non-resealable plastic bag has a label affixed to the front, and nothing on the back. The Pearson Ranch Jerky logo displays an elk with a sunset in the background. This bag is vacuum sealed, the best way to keep jerky fresh tasting.
There are no slogans printed on this bag. Some facts displayed on this bag are “Beef Added”, “Smoke Flavor Added”, “Ground and Formed”, “Gluten Free”, “No MSG”, and “No Nitrites”.
All bag categories are covered with this bag.