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Does 'quality' beef jerky exist?

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Is there such a thing as gourmet beef jerky? Any artisanal jerky purveyors? Do any chefs you know use it? Looking for some great great jerky.

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  1. Years ago I was on vacation in southern Oregon and I had some jerky from a little shop in a town near Ashland. I'm not normally a big jerky fan, but this stuff was fabulous. I brought some back to the office and my co-workers and I devoured it all in a day. Unfortunately, I soon forgot the name of the place, so I'd given up on ever finding it again, if they were even still making it. Then, a few weeks ago, I saw a show on the Food Network that featured Gary West Meats in Jacksonville and I realized this was the place. I haven't ordered any more jerky from them yet, but if it's as good as it was then, it might fit your requirements. If you like heat, try the Cajun!

    http://www.garywest.com/

    2 Replies
    1. re: MsMaryMc

      Love Gary West, and so do my dogs.

      :)
      BK

      1. re: MsMaryMc

        "Does 'quality' beef jerky exist?"

        Yes. Meadow Farms 'Famous Mahogany Smoked Meats' in Bishop California has been making quality jerky since 1922. A co-worker of mine who has family near there and visits often brought some back for me to try...it was the best, and continues to be, the best I'd ever tasted. Mail order is available. Here's a link (below) to their website so you can check it out if you like. Jerky varieties include...beef, turkey, elk, buffalo, and fish.

        http://www.smokedmeats.com/

      2. Yes! The Fatted Calf (http://www.fattedcalf.com/) makes delicious beef jerky.

        1 Reply
        1. re: nyerineastbay

          The Fatted Calf makes the best jerky I've ever tasted.

        2. -----

          At one time I liked beef jerky till I found out that most of it is essentially salty dried up road kill. (I need not make that up, just read the labels!).

          Anyway, it would be a great hobby for you to start making your own or locating someone that does.

          -----

          1. I'm not a huge jerky fan, although I enjoy chewing on the occasional strip. Most interesting purveyor I've found is Buck Thornton, who owns the World of Jerky in Sedona, AZ. Check out his website, especially the products (variously seasoned jerky made from beef, buffalo, elk, salmon, etc.) which can be ordered online. If you're in Sedona, it's definitely worth a visit.

            http://www.worldofjerky.com/

            1 Reply
            1. re: Striver

              Just visited this place, very nice people and great jerky. Lots of interesting choices and Buck will let you try whatever you want.

            2. On a side note, Asian beef jerky is available in most larger Asian markets. Look for the ones in the red boxes. They come in either sweet (flavored with fruit juices) or spicy. The texture is softer and more tender than the "American" jerky I've seen.

              2 Replies
              1. re: dpan

                I second the Asian beef jerky suggestion. Sometimes you don't have to choose between sweet and spicy - I like the ones that are both at once. Plus, you can get pork jerky or spicy dried squid or cuttlefish. In Taiwan, beef or pork jerky is considered a delicacy; people will give it to each other as a fancy gift. (Not at all like giving someone a box o' Slim Jims here.)

                1. re: dpan

                  Absolutely concur with this. There is a small shop in Chinatown in NYC, I don't know the name of it, it's miniscule, I believe on Canal Street. Anyway, it makes the most sublime jerkies I've ever had of various types of meat; pork, chicken and beef all with an asian flare. They are in squares, and flavored with various sauces such as sweet & sour, spicey, etc. Positively addictive. If it hadn't been for an ex-boyfriend that grew up there, I never would have even known about this type of food, let alone the store. Wonderful stuff.