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. This Pearson Ranch Jerky brand name is distributed under the name of Pearson Ranch, and it is located in Horse Springs, New Mexico.
The next review for Pearson Ranch Jerky will be on a 2.1 ounce/61 gram bag of their hickory flavored elk and beef chopped & formed jerky. This will be our second time reviewing this flavor, where the bag design has since been overhauled. The flavor is described as using all natural ingredients, and seasoned to perfection. This bag was kindly submitted for review by the General Manager, Brandon Cromwell.
The elk and cattle are ethically raised, meaning no growth hormones or additional antibiotics are given. These elk and cattle also have free range access, with grass in their diet. Elk is known to be one of leanest types of meats available.
The texture of this jerky is chopped and formed, or something similar, mixing the elk and beef 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 rounded down per 28 grams of jerky. The salt level is decent at 305mg 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 mainly uniform square sized strips are small and bit sized, sliced to a medium thickness. The texture is borderline soft & tender, being easy to chew. This texture is also chopped and formed, with a ratio of around 80% elk and 20% beef according to Pearson Ranch.
The first flavors detected are a moderately strong level of saltiness, a mild level of black pepper, and a light level of garlic. Soon a light level of spiciness starts to develop. While the heat level never does exceed a 1 out of 4 on a heat scale, it is certainly noticeable and amplifies the overall flavor.
As a bonus, there is almost no sweetness present, and in the background is a subtle level of smokiness that accentuates the overall flavor profile nicely. We cannot really differentiate the elk flavor here from the beef flavor, where it’s more of a meaty sort of processed flavor that is typical of a chopped and formed texture.
In terms of chopped and formed textures, which for the record is not our personal preference, this is one of the better flavors around. We surely recommend this flavor to fans of a chopped and formed texture, who appreciate the fine qualities of elk, and who would enjoy a slightly spicy kick.
This may be the most interesting, creative bag reviewed to date, which covers everything, and then some. Recently, the Pearson Ranch Jerky bag designs were changed, advertised as “Character Jerky Bags”.
This resealable plastic bag has everything imprinted on the bag itself, both on the front and back. There is an interesting picture of an elegant looking elk wearing glasses, a blazer, a vest, and a tie. Something that you do not see often, and appreciated, is a number of the individual ingredients used are pictured on the back of the bag.
Some slogans printed on this bag are “Since 1959”, “Eat Like a Predator”, and “The Best Jerky Ever :)”. Some facts printed on this bag are “12g Protein Per Serving”, “No MSG”, “No Nitrites Added”, “Gluten Free”, “Smoke Flavor Added”, “Ground and Formed”, “Made in USA”, “Made With Sea Salt”, “Soy Free”, “Minimally Processed”, and “No Artificial Ingredients”.
All bag categories are covered with this bag. A great blurb is printed on the back about Pearson Ranch Jerky. An old photograph of Ken Pearson and his wife Sue is displayed on the back. You are encouraged to follow Pearson Ranch Jerky on Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook. The hashtag #urwhatueat is displayed.
Order their jerky online: www.pearsonranchjerky.com