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September 2005

Taste Test: Beef Jerky

Rich flavors and moist textures take top honors with these trail snacks

©Matthew J. Reigner

Buffalo Bills Western Cut Teriyaki Beef Jerky

This ultra-chewy jerky is easily confused with fine prosciutto. “Just add cheese, olives, and bread,” declared one tester. Made from high-quality top round, the bite-sized pieces are firm yet moist, ultra-thin yet not stringy. A pronounced teriyaki flavor balances saltiness with a satisfyingly sweet finish–a perfect appetizer to any camp meal.

Weight: 1.75 oz.

Price: $2.75

Contact: (800) 992-3933; www.bbjerky.com

©Mitch Mandel

Omaha Steaks Beef Jerky

Pack extra, because the salty tang of this stuff is addicting. “I could eat the whole bag,” proclaimed one happy tester. Cut from the eye of round steak, the tender, peppery red squares resemble sliced corned beef and burst with a pure beef flavor that’s consistent throughout. No wonder it’s the jerky of choice of the U.S. Secret Service.

Weight: 8 oz.

Price: $15.99

Contact: (800) 960-8400; www.omahasteaks.com

The above brands (except Buffalo Bills) can also be ordered from The Beef Jerky Emporium (888-751-6275; www.tbje.com).

©Matthew J. Reigner

The Other Jerky

The fish fans on staff swear by salmon jerky. The top brand we tested was from Just Smoked Salmon; the company’s fragrant, alder-smoked delicacy has no “fishy” aftertaste–just a rich, moist flavor. Try traditional, teriyaki, or our favorite, candy jerky-salmon infused with white and brown sugars, plus a touch of molasses and honey. $9.98 for two 4 oz. packages. (866) 716-2710; www.justsmokedsalmon.com

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