Last week I chatted with the man behind Think Jerky: the jerky that’s hoping to shake up the jerky industry with cutting edge flavors developed by famous chefs. (Check out my interview here.)

Today, I am excited to say I’m putting Think Jerky to the test.

CEO of THINK JERKY, Ricky Hirsch Photo Credit: Ricky Hirsch
CEO of THINK JERKY, Ricky Hirsch
Photo Credit: Ricky Hirsch

 

Thanks to CEO Ricky Hirsch (pictured above), this awesome bag came in the mail today (Thanks, Ricky!):

 

 Ricky noted in his message to me that was inside the package that the company spent two years developing the recipes and noted the jerky contains half the salt and sugar compared to other brands.

Here are the bags:

Without further ado, lets get to tasting!

With my eyes closed, I shuffled the bags, that way I’m not picking any pre-favorites first!

First up, Sweet Chipotle:

 

I’m impressed that when I took it out of the bag, it came in big pieces, not tiny little ones (not that I would expect tiny, but these pieces are very generous!). It looks more solid/meatier than other beef jerkys I’ve seen. You smell the spices when you sniff the pieces of meat. However, to me its not the best smell in the world at first sniff. When biting it, be forewarned that it’s dry and takes a little rippage action with your teeth. When you first taste it, you taste the beef and all, but all of a sudden the chipotle flavor kicks in and heads to the back of your mouth. It definitely isn’t salty tasting at all; the smoky/spiciness of the chipotle and the sweet berry taste goes back and forth in your mouth. It makes me think of Asian food when I eat it; there’s a good spice but a nice sweet flavoring to it to balance it.

Next up, Sriracha Honey:

 

As I shuffled the fates want me to have the spicy ones first, clearly. I’m drinking water in between tastes, but the chipotle from the last taste is still lingering in my mouth. This one unlike the last one is a lot smaller in strip size compared to the Sweet Chipotle. I’m amazed at the orange color from it as well; I guess this is what happens when turkey is marinated I guess?!! Compared to the last one, it already feels a bit more moist in texture. Definitely a lot easier to eat as well. This one is a bit more mild compared to the Sweet Chipotle; I taste the honey and then just a tad of the heat from the Sriracha sauce. This one, it’s not super strong flavors to me compared to the last, but I find myself popping a bunch of it in my mouth.

Third, Ginger Orange:

 

The fates also seem to want me to alternate between the beef and turkey jerkys, clearly. I am amazed at all of the different textures and colors these jerkys have. This one in particular has a lot of texture as it has the sesame seeds. It seems a little more moist than the other beef jerky flavor, and its falling apart a little quicker too. This one, unlike all three I’ve had so far, does not have a smell to it either. It tastes great, however! I love how the ginger and orange flavors blend together so well, and one doesn’t overpower the other. Just like the last one I find myself popping it in my mouth. It reminds me of sesame/orange beef, but in jerky form. Yum!

And finally, last but not least, Thanksgiving:

 

The fates, of course, put this last. This is the one I was dying to try the most too, as I LOVE the flavors of Thanksgiving! At first glance, this one just seemed like any old jerky to me. But when you get a closer look, you can see the spices attached to these strips, a little bigger than the other jerky flavor. The smell test proves Thanksgiving is here; it smells like stuffing! It’s a lot chewier than the other turkey jerky flavor. It takes a few chews, but you start to taste the herbs and spices of Thanksgiving (sage, really), but I taste the cranberry in some pieces more than others.

IMG_3461
Top: Chef Gale Gand, Bottom (L-R): Chef Laurent Gras, Chef Matt Troost

My final words: I’m not usually a jerky eater whatsoever, but this had me rethinking everything! The flavors developed in these, and the time it took to develop these flavors truly shows when you look at the jerky close up, and when you taste it. The one I was dying to try the most, Thanksgiving, didn’t turn out to be my favorite one of the bunch. I’m glad I shuffled them with my eyes closed so I got to try them based on whatever I got in my hands based on the order I chose. Some were drier than others. But ALL FOUR had distinctive flavors you could pick apart when you ate them. I give SO much credit to the chefs pictured above, because these flavors are definitely a step above what I believe you would normally get out of a jerky.

So which one was my favorite? Any guesses?

::drumroll please::

It was REALLY CLOSE between two flavors…But my favorite is…

GINGER ORANGE!!!!!

 

Why? It really made me reminiscent of some of my favorite Chinese food dishes. I LOVED this flavor combination, it stood out to me the most (props to you, Chef Gand!). Like all of them, it wasn’t super salty. The flavors weren’t overpowering but had just enough to give you that wow factor. And get this: a bag of it is 100 calories, 16 grams of protein, and only 390 grams of sodium! What what!

If I were to buy any of the flavors, that one would be it.

If I have to rank the other ones, it would be:

2nd place: Sriracha Honey

3rd place: Thanksgiving

4th place: Sweet Chipotle

Definitely check this product out friends! It definitely exceeded my expectations, and had me thinking, “Well, if I became a beef jerky eater after all, I would buy this one.”

To learn more, head to http://www.thinkjerky.com where you can find info. about the product and of course, where to buy it! 🙂

Happy Jerky Days!

 

 

 

 

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