We at American Butchers JERKi think that food is a precious thing. The luxury of flavor and the experience of craft is what makes food amazing. Often times though we find ourselves craving our next meal and realizing we just ate less than 30 minutes ago. We have a solution for all your food lovers out there! BEEF JERKY! Yes, you are reading that right, as an excellent source of protein and healthy jerky is an incredible in-between meal. okay… maybe we are a little biased but if you take are word and decide to choose beef jerky as your next filler, let me point you highlight the purpose of today’s blog. 3 things to consider when buying beef jerky - Nutrition, flavor, and texture.
We have included Nutrition as our number 1 focus because as avid food consumers it is important to make sure we are eating healthy especially when it can taste sooo good. We want to first make sure that we are getting a good substitute for our between meals as 5 cookies or that bag of chips might just not cut it. Beef jerky provides a number of nutritional benefits that sets your body up for success unlike many other replacement foods. To start, the main two important nutritional factors that jerky offers is protein and a lack of carbs. Providing such a high source of protein allows jerky to be great for low carb and paleo diets. If you didn't think the founding blocks of muscle grown were important, jerky also has a number of minerals stacked inside such as zinc and iron, which are important for many functions, including immune and energy level support. So if we are going to eat amazing food, why not get some nutritional benefits out of it also?
It is important to note that when determining your ideal bag of jerky to look at the individual labels when making a purchase. We aren’t here to just sell you on the positives, sometimes depending on the brand of jerky, there can be negative side effects in large quantities. It is common for some jerky companies to contain a large amount of sodium to boost flavor. We like to think that American Butchers JERKi has enough flavor that an increase in salt isn't needed. In addition to an increase in sodium, beef jerky as a national industry is considered a highly processed food (meaning a large amount of ingredients in the product.) In order to effectively make sure you are choosing a nutritional jerky, check the nutrition facts and see what the number of ingredients listed. If there is something in the list that you don't know what it is, we can assume it has probably been processed. For this reason, American Butchers JERKi has ensured that all of our jerky lists the exact ingredients, so you know what is going into your body all while providing the most nutrition possible (think less than 5 ingredients!)
Over the past decade beef jerky has evolved in the flavor department. What was once a classic dried meat with a little salt has evolved into an endless selection of flavors ranging from chocolate chili to coffee flavored beef jerky. Flavor is what makes food good! With the additional of flavored jerky comes the traditional flavors added such as maple taste found in the smoking process using hickory wood chips (our personal favorite.) It is common for companies to use an artificial flavoring such as “liquid smoke” to mimic this flavor that they eliminated by using a dehydrator so make sure to check the labels to ensure you are getting the best flavor possible. It is the foundation of enjoying food especially in taste. Not only has the flavor evolved but we now have the heat index varying depending on the amount of pepper or chili being used. Somewhere along the way someone wasn’t getting enough out of their jerky and decided to boost the sweat factor. When choosing a flavor, you can either play it smart and get the All-American classic or tiptoe with the devil, play with fire and try the Jalapeño Pepper (bound to make you sweat a little.) Ultimately flavor is entirely up to you and your taste buds!
As with flavor, texture is primarily dependent on you and your preference. Beef jerky comes in three different styles of texture. The first is your real American jerky. The old-fashioned brand of jerky is considered to be a dryer and harder texture. Many consider this to be your "traditional, real" jerky. Think of it as your old western, horseback jerky. Next on our list is the traditional texture of jerky. It has a combination of being not too tough and not too soft. We like to think of this as the ideal texture combination perfect for all new and experienced food lovers. This combination is not like tearing into some leather boot or like eating a piece of gum. Finally, on our list is the soft and moist jerky. Typically, this level of jerky attributes to having thicker and moister pieces than the two highlighted above. We have a test to help in determining the texture and quality of jerky. If you can grab a piece in the bag and squeeze your fingers together in order to break it, we think you need a better brand of beef jerky.
Though we like to think that American Butchers JERKi is always at the reach for quality flavor and premium jerky needs, sometimes you might need something a little sooner, so we hope these 3 things to consider in your next jerky purchase has helped!