Thursday, December 6, 2012

Best Jerky for the Apocalypse

The two things you DON'T want to have happen while deep inside your underground shelter hiding from blood-sucking zombies during the Apocalypse...

1. Be discovered, and
2. run out of food and water.

Which is why we put together this guide on what kinds of beef jerky is best to stock up for the Apocalypse.  With December 21, 2012 fast approaching, it's not too late to stock up on Mankind's favorite food preserve.  Here's a list of criteria on which jerky is best suited for the duration...

1. You're going to want a jerky that INCLUDES preservatives, namely Sodium Nitrite.  Most major brands have this in it.  This keeps bacteria from infecting jerky, and allows it to maintain a very long shelf life.  When you consider the Bible says the Apocalypse will last seven full years of tyranny, you're going to need a lot of jerky to last that long.  I've eaten jerky over two years old, laced with sodium nitrite, and it tasted fine, and I didn't get sick.  Theoretically, it can last even seven years or more.

2. Buy jerky in one pound packages, where it's cheaper.  You'll accumulate less trash too.  And when you're done with the bag, you'll have a useful storage container for waste.  A one pound bag of jerky will contain about 1,000 calories and about 120-130 grams of protein.

3. Look for low sodium jerky.  We know of some brands that are really low, such that eating a full pound will still keep you at the 2,000mg, USDA maximum per day.  Also, low sodium jerky will allow you to drink lower volumes of water.

4.  Find odorless jerky.  Certainly there will be zombie scent hounds sniffing out live bodies, and so you'll want a jerky that doesn't produce much aroma.  Look for jerky as dry as possible.

5.  You'll also want jerky that comes in a resealable bag to contain those odors to a minimum.

6. Buy mild flavored jerky.  Don't get something hot and spicy, as this will cause you to drink excessive amounts of water.  Look for words like, "Mild", "Regular", or "Original".

Our Recommendation

New Braunfels Smokehouse, Peppered Beef Jerky meets all the criteria above...

1. It contains the necessary preservative to keep this jerky shelf stable throughout the Apocalypse,

2. It's sold in one-pound bag as well as other sizes,

3. It's low in sodium, in fact it's among the lowest sodium jerky brands on the market,

4. It's low odor, though not exactly the least odorless, it's still relatively low while meeting all the other criteria,

5. It comes in a resealable bag,

6. It's mild in flavor.

Fore more information about New Braunfels Smokehouse...

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Top 5 Turkey Jerky Brands

Turkey Jerky doesn't quite satisfy my meat snacking urge the way beef jerky does, but that doesn't mean I don't totally like turkey jerky.  I have actually found some really good turkey jerky brands out there.

So with Thanksgiving just a day away, here's a look at my top 5 favorite turkey jerky brands...

1. House Of Jerky, Turkey Black Pepper - Better known of their variety of red meat jerky, House of Jerky continues to score well for its good meat consistency, full flavor, and a nice natural meat flavor.  Their turkey jerky is no different.  Combining a savory blend of soy sauce, black pepper, garlic, and smokiness into a tender, easy chew, it keeps you reaching for more.

2. Port City Smokehouse, Chipotle Turkey Jerky - If you want real wood smoked, moist, tender chunks of turkey, seasoned in spicy hot chipotle peppers, this is your deal.  It'll cost you extra for shipping, but it's worth it.  The taste of real turkey meat comes through well, but enhanced with real wood smoke, and then spiked with fiery hot chipotle pepper, all done the old fashioned way.

3. Rives Quality Meats, Turkey Jerky - Some of the best jerky I've ever had came from Rives Quality Meats, a tiny butcher shop and country store in rural Michigan.  The rich smokiness against the natural flavor of turkey, but mixed with simple blend of salt and black pepper, makes this taste and chew just like something from small town USA.

4. Ju Ju Jerky, Turkey Jerky - This turkey jerky is so flavorful, you may not even realize it's turkey.  Ju Ju Jerky focuses on the flavors of Caribbean, with rich, bold blends of marinades, spices and seasonings.  But it's very soft, tender meat, and juicy too.  Flanked with a sweetness and lemon tanginess, it'll open your eyes the moment you put a piece into your mouth.

5. Gourmet Jerky, Turkey Jerky - For those of you who like dry, thin sliced jerky, here's one for you.  I found these slabs of turkey jerky to still retain their natural meat flavors, but boosted with a mild blend of garlic, peppers, and soy sauce.  The dry, thin meat consistency gives a little crunch to the chew.  Diet and fitness buffs will discover no added sugar.

Honorable mentions go to...

Jedidiah's Jerky, Turkey
Perky Jerky, Turkey
Prasek's Hillje Smokehouse, Turkey

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Beef Jerky Recipe Contest

We want your homemade beef jerky recipe!

If you love to make beef jerky, and you think you have a really good recipe, PLEASE SUBMIT YOUR RECIPE TO US!

All recipes we receive will be posted and categorized here on for others to try.

We will pick up to 10 lucky winners.

Each will winner receive a 6-pack of Golden Island Beef Jerky.  Golden Island Beef Jerky is known for their unique asian-style flavors like Mandarin Orange, Korean Barbecue, and Grilled Pork, plus others.

The contest runs from November 1, 2012 through November 30, 2012.

E-mail your recipe to us at:

Contest Rules

1. When you submit a recipe to us, you are hereby certifying that you created this recipe or have permission to submit it to us.

2. All recipes submitted to us will be published on this website for the public to see and use.

3. You can submit as many recipes you want.

4. Each recipe must have a name (e.g. "Mike's Famous Beef Jerky", "Hot Teriyaki Jerky", etc.

5. You must include one or more photos with each recipe, and it must pertain to that recipe (ingredients, making, finished product, etc)

6. You must include your first & last name.

7. You must include your mailing address (not a P.O. box)

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Low Sodium Beef Jerky

low sodium beef jerky
Low sodium beef jerky is generally accepted to range from 0mg to 200mg per 1oz (28g) serving.

Beef naturally contains sodium, about 10.5mg per 1oz (28g) serving.  Therefore it's not possible to have completely sodium free beef jerky.

Below is a list of beef jerky brands with the lowest sodium content I have come across thus far, and I've evaluated about 1,000 beef jerky brands and flavors...

Beef Jerky

Strollo's Homemade Beef Jerky - Hot Garlic (65mg per 1oz) *
Strollo's Homemade Beef Jerky - Garlic (65mg per 1oz)
Blerky Beef Jerky - Blueberry (72mg per 1oz)
Carnivore Candy - Barbecue Mesquite (85mg per 1oz) **
Hickory's Best Beef Jerky - Hot (95mg per 1oz)
Joe's Beef Jerky - Regular (110mg per 1oz) ***
Carnivore Candy - Original Peppered (125mg per 1oz)
Joe's Beef Jerky - Hot (125mg per 1oz)
Jerky John's - Black Pepper (150mg per 1oz)
Jerky John's - Pacific Teriyaki (150mg per 1oz)
Jerky John's - American Original (160mg per 1oz)
Texas Best Beef Jerky - Hot & Spicy (160mg per 1oz)
Ju Ju Jerky - Original (170mg per 1oz)
Hickory's Best Beef Jerky - Old Fashioned (170mg per 1oz)
Jerky John's - Cayenne Hot (180mg per 1oz)
Jeff's Famous Jerky - Habanero Heatwave (180mg per 1oz)
KC's Old Style Beef Jerky - Hot & Spicy (180mg per 1oz)
KC's Old Style Beef Jerky - Peach BBQ (180mg per 1oz)
KC's Old Style Beef Jerky - Teriyaki (180mg per 1oz)
Omaha Steaks Beef Jerky - Original (190mg per 1oz)
Old Trapper Beef Jerky - Chipotle Carne Seca (190mg per 1oz)
New Braunfels Smokehouse - Jalapeno (190mg per 1oz)
New Braunfels Smokehouse - Peppered (190mg per 1oz)

Turkey Jerky

Perky Jerky - Turkey (110mg per 1oz)
Jerky John's Turkey Jerky (160mg per 1oz)

Pork Jerky

New Braunfels Smokehouse - Peppered Pork (170mg per 1oz)

* My second favorite choice for low sodium and good flavor & meat consistency
** My first favorite choice for low sodium and good flavor & meat consistency
*** This jerky is low sodium AND no sugar added (trace amounts still exist in the worcestershire)

Sunday, October 28, 2012

World's Hottest Beef Jerky

worlds hottest beef jerky
I'm often asked what's the hottest beef jerky I've ever had.

It's hard to pin down one particular brand because I've had so many, and it's hard to keep a memory of how hot each one was compared to the other.  My tolerance for heat has also increased, so what seemed to be really hot four years ago, doesn't seem to be so hot now.

Here's a list of the world's hottest beef jerky, according to what I've tried...

Ed's Roadhouse Jerky - Inferno Ghost Pepper Jerky w/Scorpion Bite - This jerky is primarily marinated and seasoned with Ghost Peppers, and is then dusted with powdered Scorpion Peppers.  These two chiles are regarding as the world's hottest.  After eating one piece of this jerky, I couldn't eat more.  It was that hot!

Ed's Roadhouse Jerky - Inferno Ghost Pepper Jerky - This is the same jerky as above, but without the Scorpion Pepper dusting.  It's still extremely hot!

Trailhead Beef Jerky - XXX Naga Jolokia - Dusted with the Naga Jolokia pepper (also known as Ghost Pepper), these orange-red coated pieces of meat seem deceptive, but will can cause permanent psychological damage to your tongue.

The Jerky Connection - Satan's Flaming Hemorrhoids - If this jerky is hot enough to make Satan's sphincter swell with discomfort, imagine how you could use this to keep your mother-in-law on the toilet all evening long.

Damn Good Jerky - Death by Jerky - They add straight pepper extract to this jerky to maximize the burn.  Keep a towel handy to wipe the sweat running down your neck.

Alien Fresh Jerky - Colon Cleaner Hot - With a name like "colon cleaner", it ought to be hot, and this certainly delivers on burn.  This might be what aliens use to clean out a colon before probing.

Settlers Jerky - Ring of Fire - Made with a combination of cayenne pepper and habanero pepper, this jerky is also covered thick with red pepper flakes, elevating the burn to a high level.  You'll be reaching for some Immodium to stop a ring of fire of another kind.

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Beef Jerky vs Biltong: The Differences

Biltong is a form of dried meat, having its origins in South Africa. It's also very popular in Australia.

Beef Jerky is also a form of dried meat, having its origins in North and South America.

Both biltong and jerky were created for the same reasons, to preserve excesses of meat and as protein for long journeys.

To sum things up, both biltong and jerky are effectively the same things. However, biltong has a more specific recipe and process, whereas jerky is much more encompassing.

Jerky, in its most basic form, is simply dehydrated meat. It doesn't have to have any marinade, salt, or other seasonings. All it has to be is dried. Most jerky, however, is marinated in something, be it salt, vinegar, vegetable, or sugar solution, and then seasoned with one or more spices. Jerky can be dehydrated in a smoker, oven, dehydrator, sun dried, or air dried. I've seen them all.

Biltong, is specifically air dried, hung from hooks, and usually dried anywhere from 3-7 days. It's also specifically doused (not marinated) in vinegar, and rubbed with salt. Biltong is commonly seasoned with coriander seed, but may also include other spices. The air drying process lasting from 3-7 days creates an aging that gives biltong its unique meat flavor.

Contrast that to jerky, where the dehydration process lasts anywhere from 2 to 8 hours.

Good biltong is often judged by the quality of meat and the aged meat flavor. The vinegar and salt ingredients are there primarily to preserve the meat, but they do add to the unique flavor profile of biltong.

Good jerky is often judged by the unique combination of marinade and seasoning. It can also go on to include the unique choice of smoke woods, the cut of meat, and even the natural flavor of meat. But it's the unique blend of marinades and seasonings that define one brand from another.

Biltong is dehydrated as one large chunk or strip of meat, and then sliced into bite-sized pieces.  Jerky, on the other hand, is always sliced first, and then dehydrated.

Biltong is always made from whole meat.  Jerky can be made from either whole meat or ground meat.

Biltong is dehydrated in large pieces and then sliced.
Biltong is dehydrated in large pieces and then sliced to eat
Jerky is sliced first into edible pieces and then dehydrated

The word "jerky" has grown to include a wide variety of dehydrated foods. You can now find companies marketing mushroom jerky, cactus jerky, clam jerky, soy jerky, even bacon jerky. Biltong, however, remains limited to red meats, based on its aging process and limited ingredients.

Many biltong experts claim that jerky does not use vinegar, but the fact is the largest brands of jerky all use vinegar for both flavoring, preservation, and tenderizing. Many small gourmet brands rely on different types of vinegar to create tangy chewing.

There is also a belief that jerky is not air dried in the way biltong is. While it's true that most jerky manufactured for commercial purposes is dehydrated in smokers and ovens, that's only because US federal laws require meat to be heated to at least 140 degrees F to kill off bacteria. Otherwise, the earliest forms of jerky were all air-dried under the sun, and there are still people who make jerky this way for personal consumption.

There is also a number of companies manufacturing jerky using the same recipe for biltong, but dehydrating it under US federal requirements. As a result, it doesn't have the same soft, aged flavor as biltong, but still has all the same ingredients.

What that means is that biltong is largely defined by the dehydration process as it is the ingredients.

Meanwhile jerky remains a very broad term encompassing all sorts of dried meats and other foods.

Note:  Interested in trying biltong?  See my reviews here: