Review: Sugar River Original Beef & Pork Sticks Ends and Pieces (C+)

Hi there fellow Jerkyologist!

Today we’re digging into a package of Sugar River Original Beef & Pork Sticks Ends and Pieces picked up at the local Cabelas.

Sugar River Original Beef & Pork Sticks Ends and Pieces

Sugar River Original Beef & Pork Sticks Ends and Pieces

This two-pound block of meat bits was a bit daunting at first.  Two pounds is a LOT of meat.  Still, we’re a sucker for vacuum packing and Cabelas generally caries good stuff, so we gave into temptation.  Ends and pieces, of course, are the nibbly bits left over after they cut regular meat sticks to length for more conventional packaging.  Sometimes that means you get great meat at a killer price.  Sometimes it means you get the parts they couldn’t sell otherwise.  How does this was fare?  Let’s see what you get with this one:

Taste (C+):    There’s an almost sour taste to these sausages that starts off a bit oddly but develops into something pretty pleasant.  It has a savory and every so slightly sweet flavor with a lingering sourness that combines well enough.  It’s not a spectacular taste, but it’s enjoyable and you’ll probably catch yourself snacking your way through the pack.

Texture (C+):  There’s a slightly grainy texture to this sausage which is both interesting and a bit distracting. It’s not firm enough to feel overly meaty and it isn’t soft enough to feel insubstantial.  Somewhere in the middle these ends and pieces feel decent in your mouth and chew well.

Smell (C-):  This smell of these stick bits is borderline.  You can make out the flavor scents of the meat pretty easily but it mingles with what smells like a preservative soup.  It’s a strictly passable smell but doesn’t add much.

Appearance (C+):  Allowing for the fact that this is a pack of ‘ends and pieces’, the meat itself actually looks pretty good.  The casing is a brownish-red and the meat inside appetizing to the eye.  The cuts themselves are clean and straight (even at every conceivable angle) and it all looks well executed, as such.  The thing that detracts from an otherwise nicely presented snack is a watery, slightly gooey liquid that’s omnipresent in the package.  It seems like it’s probably some of the grease from the sausage escaping as part of the vacuum packing process.  Regardless, it’s a bit of a mess.

Consistency (B-):  This is a well made snack.  The texture and flavor holds throughout the pack, big pieces or small.  It’s clearly the product of skillful hands.

Overall Impression (C+):  If you need a meaty snack you can stock up for an excursion in the woods or an all-day snack-a-thon you’ll like this one.  It tastes pretty good, eats well, and aside from being a bit messy is an enjoyable treat.  Go ahead and pick some up if you get the itch.

9 Comments
  1. i bought these beef stick, ends and pieces at cabela’s and wouldn’t feed them to my dog. HOOOOOOOOOOOOOOORIBLE!!!!!!

  2. I would like to know the Sugar River website. I have nutritional questions. I bought 2 different orders of the Sugar River Original Beef Snacks and everything is identical except one batch list more Fat and Calories than the other. Everything else is the same including the 1 oz. serving size. I am not extremely concerned about the difference but this kind of mistake concerns me. Which one is correct and why the difference? If it is not a clerical/labeling error I am totally confused.

  3. Jim,

    Thanks for sharing your opinion. They’re certainly not best-in-class, but really… I’m sure your dog would LOVE them. 8)

    Eat on!

  4. Boze,

    I’ve not found an actual website for the Sugar River brand, but my digging suggests its probably made by Jack Link’s (http://www.jacklinks.com/). You might try giving their customer service line a call with your question. I’d be interested in hearing what you find out.

    Enjoy!

  5. Thank thee. I did finally get some nutritional information I found acceptable. And a portion was on the site you mentioned.

  6. I do believe that regular dog treats are better for you. These things are horrible, they gave me severe diarrhea. These so called treats are nothing more than waste fat and indigestible floor waste with saw dust. I think these could be harmful.

  7. Don,

    These are pretty greasy and if you eat too many at a time I suspect they could definitely mess with you. Still, I don’t think the product is inferior or dangerous in any way. No worries though, there’s plenty of tastier treats waiting for you.

    Jerky on!

    Jared

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