Monday, November 10, 2008

Bulk Teriyaki Jerky by the Pound

A search for a good bulk jerky supplier or distributor can be involved. Not only do you want to find a reasonably priced jerky but you also want to find a great tasting and high quality jerky as well (forget for a minute that we're looking specifically for teriyaki flavored jerky). Whether you're looking to outfit a backpacking trip, cater a sporting event, large events, or just plain want to find the most jerky for the best possible price, you'll eventually ask where can I buy jerky by the case? or where can I buy jerky by the pound?

Some jerky suppliers online sell by the case, but a case is usually made up of smaller 3 oz. 4 oz. or 5 oz. bags. This is likely more convenient on hiking trips or for parties. The largest increments I've seen advertised online, at least for consumers, is about 5 lb., usually in 1 or 2 lb bags at a time, but that is an open ended quote. So if you need 100 lbs. of teriyaki jerky, they'll be more than happy to oblige, though I don't know where the price reductions top out in product or shipping. Unless you're looking to become a distributor or you purchase a generous amount of product, you may not get much of a break (don't let it stop you from trying though). Price/lb. for a good quality whole-muscle beef jerky (pork, alligator, lamb, etc is more expensive) is around the $20-$35 range. Yes, you will find some wild deals like $6/lb or less but often they are of inferior quality or pushing their expiration date. If you know anyone who consistently sells good product for that little, please let me know. I've seen homemade jerkies (good according to customer reviews) for around $8-$10/lb. Typically these deals though are local prices, so when you try them online, their shipping costs jump up their prices. I'm sure there are premium jerkies people will happily pay much more for.

If $25-$30/lb. seems steep, here's a little primer on how jerky is priced. Because of the drying process, many jerky makers actually buy 3 lbs or more of meat just to make 1 lb of jerky, so you have to consider what kind of what quality meat they're buying, from where, and at what price. Now include the cost of other ingredients and spices such as teriyaki, hot peppers, spices, etc. Now add in packaging costs, electricity, administrative costs, other overhead costs, employees, and equipment. So buying raw meat in the store is not going to be comparable to buying a good tasting, fresh jerky. Shipping is a major price factor as well. Anywhere you see free shipping, pay attention. I've seen very cheap jerky with high customer praise, then go to their checkout form and see that their shipping is outrageous. International shipping obviously usually costs you more. I also give props to companies that offer military discounts for the troops. I'm a U.S. citizen and I support U.S. troops, but I'll bet overseas jerky manufacturers and suppliers offer discounts to their servicemen and servicewomen as well.

I hope to compile a full list of bulk teriyaki jerky suppliers to compare prices when I find the time and will update this post. I've already found a few but a couple of these suppliers have already changed their shipping and product prices on me. It's going to have to be a regularly updated list, it's tough though as homemade jerkies and websites come and go. I'll also seek out suppliers that charge less for larger shipments, as of this post most listings for bulk jerky are showing mostly specials or normal/higher prices per pound. Another route is to get a private label branding from jerky makers. How this works is you create your own business and label and use their product to sell to customers. You'll get wholesale prices on the jerky, but this probably isn't a deal they work out for consumers. I'll seek out the details, but this private label doesn't sound like it's going to help the average catering supplier, party coordinator, or hiking trip planner unless you're looking to promote their products to others.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Hot Teriyaki Beef Jerky

There are not as many brands of hot teriyaki beef jerky as there are mild. Hot, Fire, and Spicy are mostly descriptions of the seasoning and the marinade of the jerkys. Most teriyaki flavors tend to be sweet and mild but there are some with a kick. Some companies' hot teriyakis are their best selling. I've noticed a lot of the handmade jerkys suppliers take much pride in their seasoning and they won't share their secrets. They mix sauces and hand season every piece. These tend to be smaller no-name or small-name brands. And that's okay. There is not always a strong correlation between large company and small company products as far as taste goes. I'd bet many homemade jerkys would run circles around the big boys in a blind taste test. You'll have to order at your own risk with some spicy jerkys. Many will add large amounts of hot pepper, jalepenos, and crushed red pepper in their seasonings. They will lather it on in the oven or dehydrator and let it soak in for hours. When they are finished being prepared many will just leave it on. Look in the plastic bag and notice how much spice is at the bottom. Some have just sick amounts, some are pretty bare. The spicy teriyaki jerkys without a huge amount of visible pepper seeds are sometimes scraped free after dried. Some companies don't use peppers at all but do soak their beef in hot teriyaki marinades for hours. They'll use hot sauces such as Tobasco, Franks, Louisiana Chipolte, or any local brand or famous brand of hot sauce. Just companies also use ground seasonings, mostly with heavy doses of peppers, and use the teriyaki spices for soaking. Some jerky makers use both at once. They'll mix all seasoning with marinades and soak it all before drying the meat.

Like I said, each supplier offers jerky as different in taste as packaging, shipping, and business models. Here's a few suppliers I've come across. Best Beef Jerky offers a very spicy london broil teriyaki jerky and also offers a much spicier flavor called habanaero super hot. BBJ sells 3 oz bags and guarantees they're one of the best American made teriyaki jerkys you'll ever taste (they also offer medium-hot and mild). Prime Cut offers A05, a thin cut, tender, and moist hot teriyaki jerky at $19/pound. They mix hot chili pepper with their product and ships same day with free shipping. Arizona Pepper Company apparently makes an excellent jerky named "Jackson’s Awesome Peppered Teryaki Beef Jerky". The description of their product is very similar to that Best Beef Jerky's, london broil with a habanero hot flavor. This is described as a sweet jerky and looking at a picture of it it's one of those jerkys that has a lot of crushed red pepper on it. They make the jerky as ordered by the week, in my opinion a very good idea for homemade jerky. I don't know if this is the same jerky though. The Jerky Hut's has "Mooie Louie Hot Teriyaki Beef Jerky", which is thick prime cut strips and they use crushed red chilies. You can buy this flavor in 1/2 pounds. Have I mentioned how crazy their packaging is? It's a cow on a surfboard with a bikini top and grass skirt. JH also has a Habanaro Hot Teriyaki Jerky in an 8 oz bag. Papa Dan's also has a hot teriyaki and he also sells in 8 oz bags. The packaging on this one is purple and this also is a heavily seeded jerky. They've combined their teriyaki sauce with hot peppers.

Cowboy Extreme offers their "Hot Teriyaki Kippered Beef Jerky" in 2 or 4 oz bags. Kippered means moisturized. This is a darker beef jerky and while it's not as heavy on the peppers as the other brands, they're very visible. Look for the black label with barbed wire outline design. Oregon Trail also makes "Teriyaki Hot Kippered Beef". Oregon Trail is out of Castle Rock, Co and they offer 4 oz bags. They are currently running a sale as of this writing. The Hoffman's seem like a nice family run outfit and they also offer black pepper and regular teriyaki flavors as well. (They're currently out of elk and buffalo jerky but try back!) There's another brand "Ass Kickin Beef Jerky-Teriyiak Flavor" out of a company in Arizona called Southwest Specialty Food. There are tons of products under the Ass Kickin label such as sauces, gummy candies, peanuts, seasonings, and more, so consider this. They sell these in 4 oz vaccum-sealed bags and the packaging is yellow-orange with a donkey on it. Sorry I wrote another long post here. I would add the shipping information and ingredient specs as well but I tend to write too much as it is. Actually these are only a few of the selections of spicy and hot teriyaki jerkys. There's probably countless homemade flavors that I have never even heard of. Also be sure to check out my post about the selections of mild teriyaki beef jerky.

Friday, October 17, 2008

World Kitchens Teriyaki

World Kitchens teriyaki beef jerky is one of the more popular brands of teriyaki beef jerky. World Kitchens different products include Old Fashioned beef jerky, Brown Sugar beef jerky, Peppered beef jerky, Hot & Spicy beef jerky, beef pepperoni sticks, and of course Teriyaki beef jerky. Teriyaki flavor sells in one pound (16 oz.) bags and is sealed in a resealable bag to keep in freshness. This is a USDA inspected and approved jerky and can be dry stored, you don't have to refrigerate it. Many homemade jerkys are not USDA inspected. Of course usually they are still safe just keep it in mind. World's tereyaki is made of natural beef but different companies have different definitions of natural. These are lean strips of beef and are not formed or compressed. Worlds Kitchens offers free fast 2 day shipping on orders of six packs or more. The flavor is less strong than most teriyaki brands. WKs takes pride in great flavor and not being too tough or too dry.

Ingredients include brown sugar, sugar, salt, soy proteins, papaya juice, vinegar, powdered onion and garlic, and soy sauce powder, among other ingredients. 1 oz. of World Kitchens Teriyaki Beef Jerky contains 80 calories and 1 gram of total fat (saturated and trans fat), 11 grams of protein, 7 grams of sugars, 20 mg of cholestorol, and 580 mg of sodium. There are 16 servings in a 1 lb pack. All orders are shipped priority 2 day shipping but again if you order in units of six (6, 12, 18, 24), shipping is free which is a pretty good deal. When you order there are no fees or club memberships and your order is booked noon on weekdays and shipped same day. They promise to always stock fresh jerky. W. Kitchens teriyaki jerkys come in a blue bag that is thicker and larger than most jerky packaging. Many brands don't have as much as a pound of meat contained in one bag. World Kitchens accepts paypal, Visa, Mastercard, American Express, Discover, and e-checks. As of this post, they're getting jerky to your door within 2-3 business days. The price per ounce, depending on where you buy or order it, is around .60-.70. Also keep in mind that this brand may be available in your local grocery store. As far as I know, Walmart does not carry teriyaki flavored (at least mine doesn't and I haven't seen it at any other ones). Many online customers seem happy with this product just by reading the reviews but of course you'll get the negative reviews as well. One customer says that the teriyaki flavor tasted old and like liver, despite the expiration date. He also said it fell apart in his mouth. The package says that the jerky is made in Brazil and is distributed from the U.S. Some are turned off by this because they're unsure of Brazilian beef. Other customers claim that the jerky is of different colorings, some brown, some red. Most of the opinions on the teriyaki-flavored jerky are positive but some prefer their other labels. This is normal. If you don't like World Kitchens jerky, please contact them, as they encourage feedback, usually a good sign from a manufacturer.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Mild Teriyaki Beef Jerky

Mild teriyaki beef jerky is intended to be great tasting and is catered to those who prefer to stay away from the spicier jerkys. Typically mild jerky will be measured and sold by the pound or in a few to several ounce vacuum sealed or regular plastic bags. Depending on where you order you can find them in full pounds, half pound, quarter pound etc. If you're not sure of the jerky because it's a new flavour to you, see if you can find it in small sample sizes. For example, on Jerky Works, they currently sell snack size 1 oz. Luau Louie's Mild Teriyaki for $2.90 and they sell in bulk all the way up to 40 snack strips. Luau Louie's is their best seller, so obviously I'm not the only one obsessed with teriyaki flavored jerky! This particular brand is the thick Jerky Hut which targets a sweeter Hawaiin tropical taste and is a more tender strip. I prefer sweeter jerkys and Luau Louie's fits that bill for me. Ingredients included are brown sugar, teriyaki sauce (of course), high fructose corn syrup, and corn syrup solids. Choo Choo R Snacks has a mild teriyaki jerky called Buffalo Bill's Premium Teriyaki. Please do not confuse them with Hot or Habanaro. They're sold in 12 packs, 6 packs, and 50 packs of 1 oz. foil packets, so the pieces, while of medium thickness, are short. Choo Choo's is a well known brand and gets good reviews by major cooking magazines, cooking websites, blogs, and outdoorsmen hunting and camping magazines. Choo Choo takes pride in offering jerky for those on Atkins, South Beach, and NutriSystem diets. Buffalo Bill's Premium Teriyaki's single packet is a serving size of 28 g or 1 oz and contains 6 grams of carbs, which is in line with their other brands. A single pack contains 80 calories, 520 MG of sodium, 14 g of protein, 2 g of fat, and 4 g of sugar. This jerky has excellent reviews for taste, even while the teriyaki flavor is lighter (if you're a diehard teriyaki fan, you'll find stronger flavoring of it in other brands). It's got a smoky aroma and is not too salty. Also this jerky is not tendon or fat heavy. Oh, they also have a shredded Teriyaki Beef Chew, which is in a chewing tob.baco-like can. You can get 12 44 oz. cans for $12.99. This one placed top 4 for U.S. beef jerky in Backpacker magazine. This taste is also considered mild. Also, Buffalo Bill's has what are called Jerky Shots, which are 14 oz. tariyaki beef circles (80 per bag). You'll find a bag of these for about $16.99-$20.00 and each circle is about the size of a silver dollar. They boast only 1 carb and 15 calories per piece and are also available in original and peppered flavors.

Another mild brand is the Divine Bovine Honey Teriyaki Beef Jerky. I love honey jerky! Divine Bovine sells this in a 4oz pack, 2 4oz packs, or 4 4oz packs (1 lb). This choice "brisket of beef" has a lighter teriyaki flavor as well, and even contains what they describe as an herbal taste. Some of the ingredients include beef brisket, teriyaki sauce, brown sugar, wine, lemon juice, honey, and Worcestershire sauce. I have a problem with that last one. Worchestershire sauce=anchovies, but to each his own. Divine Bovine specializes in brisket of beef because it's a more tender cut. Their beef is hormone-free and without nitrates. Nor is there added preservatives or MSG. This mild jerky is very sweet and very easy to chew. There is not much of a smoked flavor, but what do you expect with a honey jerky? Divine also ages this jerky for 30 days and marinates it for 24 hours. I also came across this Original "Mild" Stonewall's Jerquee by Lumen Foods. Now they offer a beef teriyaki flavor but actually this is a vegetarian jerky. This is an animal free beef substitute so there are fewer nitrates, growth hormones, and antibiotics. I don't know why, but I love the old guy on the package of this one. These are sold in 1.5 oz bags (inexpensive), in single packs, 8 packs, 64 packs, 5 lb. bulk bags. Again, be careful not to grab the "Wild" instead of the "Mild", as the former is spicy. Oh, in case you're wondering the beef substitute is soy flour. Papa Dan's has a sweet/tart mild Teriyaki/Lime Beef Jerky as well as regular Teriyaki Beef Jerky. Lime Beef obviously has a lime taste and he adds mild seasoning as well. They sell a single 8 oz. pack or a double pack. These juicy strips are vacuum packed and made in the U.S.A. Papa Dan uses thick USDA choice sirloin beef steaks and marinates his jerky for up to 18 hours. I have not tried this jerky and have not read any reviews on it, so stay tuned for more information. Okay, so there are other styles of mild teriyaki jerky but I better cut this off for now. Oh, and if you do mistakenly order the hot teriyaki flavors by accident, feel free to send them my way :)

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Thursday, September 18, 2008

Teriyaki Beef Jerky

Welcome to Teriyaki Beef Jerky. If you're anything like me, you love the taste of teriyaki and teriyaki flavored jerky. As you may know, teriyaki is a Japanese cuisine cooking style in which the meat is grilled or broiled into a tare marinade sauce. It's a common cooking style in Japan. Many beef jerky manufacturers provide this as a flavor to dehydrated jerky. The work teriyaki actually is made up of teri, a noun meaning the luster shine given from the sugar content in the yaki, which is the cooking method. What makes teriyaki so delicious is that the beef is brushed and glazed several times during cooking. Teriyaki beef jerky can actually have multiple flavors and ingredients including ginger, onion, soy sauce, lime, sake, brown sugar, maple syrup, pineapple, shiitake, honey, sugar, salts, mirin, sesame, and more. For the dehydrating process many include teriyaki sauces such as soy sauce, Kikkoman marinades including lower sodium, basted glaze, and roasted garlic, Lawry's marinade teriyaki, World Harbor's teriyaki, Sable and Rosenfeld Tipsy (comes in a sleek little bottle), Barefoot Contessa Maple, Stonewall Kitchen Garlic, Roland Fusion, shrimp teriyaki, teriyaki chicken, barbecued beef bulgogi, and many other brands and types. You can also purchase packet teriyakis as maybe I should word that better, teriyaki sauce mixes. If you have an Asian grocery store or market you should find many great teriyaki brands. Also ask what they would recommend for beef jerky specifically. Many make their own sauces for their jerky to get the perfect flavor but if you don't have the time to cook, grab a beef complimenting marinade.

I've talked a little about teriyaki marinades but now I'll say some more about the beef jerky itself, because let's face if the beef jerky texture has to be right, or the sauce will only be covering an ingrediental disaster. To make sure we're on the right page, jerky is the beef strips that have been cut, typically not the fattier meat strips as fat does not dry. There's many different ways of cooking beef jerky. It can be salted, marinated, baked, sun-dried, and dehydrated. Jerky is mostly a snack, nobody I know eats beef jerky for dinner. It can be great for hiking, camping and exercising, though be careful of dehydrating when active by eating too much salty jerky! Btw, astronauts love beef jerky! If dried and salted properly, beef jerky doesn't need refrigerated. The drying process into beef jerky goes back to ancient times because it was simply the best and easiest way of preserving meat. Jerky could be dried around a camp fire, and as a bonus, smoke fired meat also kept insects away. Modern commercial jerky ovens are designed to get the moisture out of the ovens with insulated panels. Kitchen jerky dehydrators obviously are not that advanced, but they get the job done. Raw beef strips are sprayed with oil or lathered with teriyaki marinade, placed into a tray and are dried in the oven. Many will automatically rotate the beef strips for you. Salting the beef in usually done afterwards but brushing on the teriyaki sauces can be done while the meat is drying (though check the specific recipe and of course your dehydrators owners manual before). Organic teriyaki beef jerky is also becoming more common. Organic means that the quality of meats are better because they are more natural. The strips of meat are from cows that were not fed animal parts or byproducts or injected with hormone enhancements. (the more I read about organic foods, the more I feel like I should be eating them). They also don't have preservatives, artificial flavors, MSG or erythorbates (I had to look up that last one ha ha). Many jerky makers don't specifically advertise Organic Teriyaki Beef Jerky but many of them do use organic meats. Some jerky websites have a page dedicated to how they feed their cows or where their meat supply is from. As with most organic foods, organic beef jerky typically costs little more (but not always!). Most jerky is vacuum wrapped in plastic though some places ship in cases where they are in plastic bags. Beef jerky is typically high in protein but be aware that salted jerky is also high in sodium. Many prefer whole-muscle meat beef jerky to processed meat beef jerky. Whole-muscle meat is the traditional style of jerky in strips. Processed meat beef jerky is, well... processed. The best example I can give is "Slim Jim". It is log-shaped compressed meat. Both kinds are widely available in grocery stores or gas stations here in the United States. ADD moment: Biltong is a thicker 17th century South African beef jerky strip that is still sold today.

It takes practice to make the perfect beef jerky strip so I stick to buying ha ha, at least for now. Some sites offer wholesale prices and some jerky companies offer distributorships. Once I know a jerky is good, I don't mind buying it in bulk, as I know it'll keep. The best jerky is not too brittle. If it's easy to snap it's probably a little too dry, but that's up to personal taste. Flavor is just as important to me, which is why I like teriyaki beef jerky. I love the Oriental-style flavors and just like with Chinese food, no two recipes are the same. You definitely can't say once you've tried one teriyaki beef stick, you've had them all. Branding is not a big deal to me when it comes to jerky. I don't care if a company spends millions, if the jerky tastes bad, I don't want it. I do like to comparison shop price-wise and see what different flavors and meats are available. Sometimes you just have to take a leap of faith by buying the smallest amount that a company offers. Some companies will even send you free samples if they think you'll buy in bulk or give them repeat business. Again, there are many different flavors and people are dehydrating anything with legs (and some without legs). I haven't tried any meats that are too exotic yet and I don't want anything to do with fish jerky or aquatic jerky ha ha. I'll end this post for now but I'll continue to post about teriyaki beef jerky recipes, equipment, flavors, processes, etc.