Over 30 years ago, Garth McLean moved from New Brunswick and got his first job working in a Federal meat plant as a truck driver. Eventually working his way to sales, Garth was dismayed with all of the chemicals and preservatives used, Garth then developed Canada’s first nitrate-free deli line called Natural Farms. In 2003, Garth’s friends Michelle Neilson & Deanna Bell joined Garth and together they rebranded the company as McLean Meats, drawing inspiration from the words “CLEAN” and “LEAN” in Garth’s last name. McLean Clean & Lean jerky is distributed by McLean Meats Inc. based out of West Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada.
The next review on McLean Clean & Lean will focus on a 1.76 ounce/50 gram bag of their teriyaki flavored chopped and formed turkey jerky. This will be the second review on this teriyaki flavored turkey jerky, where the ingredient list and bag design has since been tweaked, plus the texture is chopped and formed now. The jerky was graciously submitted by the Director of Sales, Eastern Canada, Gina Lipton.
Ingredients: Turkey, Evaporated Cane Sugar, Apple Cider Vinegar, Molasses, Sea Salt, Yeast Extract (Contains Natural Flavour), Garlic Powder, Spices and Spice Extracts, Green Tea Extract, Smoke.
These turkeys are ethically raised, meaning no additional antibiotics or growth hormones are given. The turkeys are carefully sourced from selected farms in the USA and Canada. As a result, the highest ingredient awarded can be Very Good (9/10).
The texture of this jerky is chopped and formed. As a result, without having a natural whole muscle sliced strip of jerky, two ingredient ratings are deducted.
The liquid marinade is comprised of only super healthy apple cider vinegar.
There are multiple healthy ingredients added such as spices, garlic powder, and spice extracts (coriander, white pepper, rosemary).
The sugar level is acceptable at around 3.7 grams of sugar per 28 grams of jerky. The salt level is fairly low at around 215mg of salt per 28 grams of jerky. Commendably, minimally processed sea salt is used, which is high on minerals and trace minerals.
This jerky does qualify to have no sodium nitrite, or any other similarly unhealthy preservatives, Instead, apart from sea salt, the interesting choice of green tea extract is also used as a preservative, and apple cider vinegar to a lesser extent. Admirably, this jerky also qualifies to have no MSG added.
Decent (7/10) – Ingredient Rating
This will be a tale of two taste reviews, where this turned out to be a very polarizing flavor. There is Paul who did not care much for this chopped and formed teriyaki flavor, and awarded a generous Average (5/10) taste rating. On the other hand, we have Stéphane, who described this teriyaki flavor as outstanding, and awarded an enthusiastic Excellent (10/10) taste rating. So, where does the truth lie here?
Agreed with Paul that this teriyaki flavor is more on the bland side, and not bold tasting at all. Agreed with Stéphane that for a chopped and formed texture as we have here, this may have the best turkey texture to date. However, the turkey still has a somewhat processed flavor though, but is exceptionally soft and tender, being easy to chew. One disagreement with Stéphane, this flavor does not much resemble a teriyaki flavor.
Here is Paul’s negative take on this flavor: “The first flavors I detect are sweet, next to no salt, next to no pepper, and next to no flavor. My goodness, this jerky is exceptionally nondescript in flavor, it is very insipid. I’ve said it before, and this particular jerky flavor brings me to say it again, it is good for nothing more than just sustenance. Sorry guys, I can waste no more time on this jerky. A very generous 5/10 for this jerky. Blah!!”
Here is Stéphane’s positive take on this flavor: “I really enjoy this Mclean Chopped and Formed Turkey Jerky. I am especially impressed considering its chopped and formed nature. The flavor and texture are exceptional; the meat is lean and still very flavorful and bright. The Teriyaki is delicious; it is sweet without being distracting. This is without a doubt a great benefit of this blend of cane sugar and molasses been balanced to perfection with a splash of apple cider vinegar. The garlic with a slight spicy kick and smokiness are so tasty and evenly enjoyed throughout each and every bite. The texture is tender with a nice firmness while the chew is equally nice and clean.”
“Although the flavors are not overly bold, I really appreciate the depth of flavors, as it creates an outstanding flavor profile. I am especially impressed by its pleasant texture and the absence of the usual bitterness or after-taste often common with many other chopped and formed jerky.”
“Mclean Meats obviously pays a lot of attention to details and take great pride in their delicious turkey jerky. The quality of their meat and ingredients can be tasted in each and every bite.”
“Mclean Clean & Lean Chopped and Formed Teriyaki Turkey Jerky has an undeniable Addictive Factor and I’ve polished my two bags in a flash. I could not find any faults with this awesome jerky and therefore, Outstanding A+ and 10/10 taste rating. Cheers!”
Well there you have it, two polar opposite taste reviews on the same flavor. If we calculate the mean taste rating (10 (Stephane) + 7 (Mark) + 5 (Paul)) / 3 = 7.33. Rounded down would be a Decent (7/10) taste rating.
This 1.7 ounce/50 gram bag sells for $5.99, which works out to $3.40 an ounce. That translates to an expensive price.
This non-resealable bag has everything imprinted on both the back and front, with no labels attached. The McLean Clean & Lean logo is a farm on top of a scenic picture showing the surrounding land. To illustrate that further, a fairly high resolution picture of a farm is depicted on the front.
Some slogans printed on this bag are “Clean & Lean Foods”, “Embrace Food With Gratitude”, and “Eat Healthy – Be Kind To Animals”. Some facts printed are “Turkey Raised Without the Use of Antibiotics”, “No Nitrites Added”, “Soy Free”, “Gluten Free”, “No Celery Extract”, “Low Fat Protein Snack”, and “No Preservatives”.
All bag categories are covered here. There is a short blurb printed on the back briefly explaining McLean Meats Inc. As per Canadian law, French translations are required.
Excellent (10/10) – Bag Rating
Check out their web site: www.mcleanmeats.com
McLean Clean & Lean – Teriyaki Turkey Jerky (Recipe #2) was last modified: April 14/2019 by
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