BOSTON (CBS) – Phantom Gourmet recently purchased four bags of beef jerky at a local supermarket for a taste test.
The chewy contenders were Ball Park, Jack Link’s, Krave, and Oberto. See if you can guess which protein packed participant ended up at the top of the food chain.
Jack Link’s finished in last place. Their “original” beef jerky claims to be slow cooked and hardwood smoked, and there certainly is plenty of smoky aroma wafting out of the bag. These randomly shaped pieces of dried meat feature a deep red color and decent amount of chewiness. Unfortunately, they are so incredibly salty, Phantom needed an entire glass of water after every bite.
Next up is Oberto. Phantom has never really associated beef jerky with basketball or snowboarding, but apparently the people who designed this brand’s packaging do. Setting that aside, these “all natural” jerky pieces sport a gnarled and twisted texture that looks dry and unappealing. They do score with a decent flavor, offering a nice balance of smoky and sweet with a kick of heat. On the downside, this stuff is so ridiculously chewy, Phantom’s jaw got seriously unwelcome workout.
The runner up is Ball Park. Best known for its hot dogs, this brand comes to the plate with a “flame grilled” jerky packed with sweet and savory notes reminiscent of Chinese boneless spareribs. The beef is cut extra thick but isn’t too tough on the teeth. Overall, this is a ballpark Phantom would be happy to visit again.
At the top of the food chain is Krave. From the moment he ripped open the re-sealable bag, Phantom knew he was in for a treat. These big pieces of thinly sliced meat are pleasantly tender, and as far as jerky goes, kind of moist. The flavors are well balanced, with notes of honey, sea salt, and soy sauce. Plus, the ingredient list doesn’t have anything on there you won’t recognize. That’s why Krave sea salt original beef jerky is at the top of the food chain.
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