Campside treats: Jerky

Myles Tan

Subject: Jerky is Awesome

By: Deven VanKirk (DVK Outdoors) | Madera Brand Ambassador.

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Madera Outdoor blog Chef's jerky.

*Disclaimer: I want to preface this by saying that I received several samples of Chef’s Cut Real Jerky products for the purpose of this review (see photo above). The views and opinions expressed below are mine and mine alone.

Jerky, originated with the South American tribe called the Quechua, which were originally part of the Inca Empire, as early as 1550. It was called ch’arka “to burn (meat)”. Alpaca and llama meat was used by the Quechua, who would remove bones and fat from the meat, cut it into strips, pounded it thin, rub with salt and then smoke or dry the meat over a fire.

Spanish Conquistadors picked up and started utilizing this form of meat preservation as well, referring to it as charqui. When they invaded North America, they noticed that Native Americans were using similar methods to preserve buffalo, elk, and deer. Eventually, the natives started calling it charqui as well. Their accents made it sound like ‘jerky’ which is what we call it today.

The above was aquired from High Country Snack Foods History of Jerky

I’ve always loved beef jerky. It’s a quick, easy, healthy snack, and is one of my backpacking favorites. For years, I’ve only eaten beef jerky from grocery and chain stores, you know the brands, they usually have a few different flavors, and maybe as many styles. I’ve always found these brands to be delicious, but a bit dry.

I’d been following Chef’s Cut Real Jerky on social media for a while and was continuously in awe of all the varieties and flavors they made. I wrote a letter to the folks at Chef’s Cut, telling them I was excited about their variety of products and the fact that they’re gluten and nitrate free.
Madera Jerky Campside Eats. Food to eat while camping
The first style I tried was the original recipe steak jerky. Wow! Not only was it extremely flavorful, but it wasn’t dry like the jerky I’d been used to for as long as I can remember.

Other flavors that I tried:

Honey BBQ Chicken jerky – This is an excellent combination of honey and BBQ flavor, neither overpowers the other. The BBQ does have a slight kick to it.

Buffalo Style Chicken jerky- Tender, with just the right amount of kick. The buffalo flavor isn’t too overpowering and you can still taste the chicken. Perfect flavor without the need for ranch or blue cheese dressing. Of the jerkys that I tried this one was hands down my favorite.

Chipotle cracked pepper steak jerky was the most uniquely flavored. I really enjoyed the chipotle with the added flavor of the cracked pepper. Like the others, neither the chipotle or cracked pepper were an excellent mix.

Teryaki turkey jerky – I don’t like teryaki, so I have to adnit this is the last flavor I tried. I was really imoressed with this one. I really enjoyed the mild teryaki foavor mixed with the flavor of the turkey.

Buffalo Chicken stick – Awesome flavor with just enough heat.

Original Smokehouse stick – About a miplion times better than other similar products, full of flavor, awesome.

Jalapeno cheddar stick – Nice mix of meat and cheese. The heat is mellow and sticks with you for a while after you finish eating it.

Barbecue stick – while this one had a nice overall flavor, I didn’t like it as much as the others, there seemed to be a mustard like flavor to it.

Overall, Chef’s Cut Real Jerky products are the best I’ve had, and I will definitely be ordering more soon. Not only are all of their products tender, full of flavor, and both gluten and nitrate free, but there are so many flavors, there’s something for everyone.

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