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Chef’s Cut Real Jerky is nothing like the inferior dried meat you’ll find at your local gas station or mini-mart. Each 2.5 ounce package is made up of choice cuts, and offers 30 grams of lean protein, with no nitrites. This makes it a great snack, and a tasty choice after a hard workout.
I have a lot of food allergies, which has changed how I look at food. Fast food is out of the question. Even some of the “healthy” restaurant fare has one or more ingredients that don’t agree with me. So I have to prepare just about all the food I eat, or suffer after. The bright side is that it’s easy to find healthy snack items if I shop at the right store. That’s where Chef’s Cut comes in. I tried some samples at Outdoor Retailer, then arranged for a full review, since their jerky is gluten-free, with an ingredients list full of words I can pronounce with ease. They’re all very tender, and the flavor is bold, without any sort of artificial components. Unlike the cheaper jerky, they have more of a dry texture, but not hard or too chewy, and not at all greasy. Chef’s Cut was kind enough to send me a box with full size bags of jerky, which I shared with friends and family.
Here are my tasting notes for each flavor:
Real Chicken Jerky Honey Barbecue has a slightly sticky texture, with a tangy bite that ends in a bit of spice. Onion and garlic are balanced by the brown sugar and honey. It coats the inside of your mouth with a nice sweet feeling, and you get a mild tingle on your tongue. I could dice this up, and mix it into a salad in place of dressing.
Real Steak Jerky Original Recipe is as close as you can get to real steak in your backpack or pocket. My wife told me that after eating it, other jerky was more like a dog treat. This classic flavor is the most tender jerky we have ever had, and I would consider this the yardstick by which we’ll measure all other brands. If you think that’s a bit too much, try some, and then let me know if you agree.
Real Steak Jerky Chipotle Cracked Pepper hits you with some spicy hot goodness, but it’s not so hot that you won’t finish the bag in one sitting. The mix of crisp jalapeno, plus smoky, earthy chipotle gives it the kind of heat that has you reaching for some water if it’s a post-workout snack, or you can pair it with a cold brew and treat your palate right.
Real Turkey Jerky Teriyaki was probably my least favorite, although it’s still a great jerky. Tender, and full of flavor, it just lacks the zing of some of the other choices. But if your taste buds prefer mild and delicious, rather than spicy, this is for you. And it’s a great alternative for those that prefer birds over beef.
MSRP for a bag of Chef’s Cut is $6.99, but you may find it priced lower at your local retailer. Either way, it’s a great source of lean protein when you want to add a bit of variety to your diet. Due to the sodium content, it may not be the ideal daily snack, but it’s a lot more portable than grilled chicken or fish. And your taste buds may like it more. Chefscutrealjerky.com