Review: Golden Island Grilled Barbecue Pork Jerky (B+)


Today we’re partaking of a bag of Golden Island Grilled Barbecue Pork Jerky picked up at the local Costco.

Golden Island Grilled Barbecue Pork Jerky

Golden Island Grilled Barbecue Pork Jerky

Costco regularly carries a small variety of jerky, and they’re one of the few places that regularly carries pork jerky.  The folks at Golden Island offer jerky with no preservatives, nitrates or fillers and made from premium pork hams.  They use a combination of kettle cooking and flame grilling when making their jerkies that allows them to make a particularly flavorful and tender treat and focus on using only quality, natural ingredients.  It’s a compelling story but does is the meat as good as the tale?  Let’s see what you get with this one:

Taste (B+):   This is a delightful jerky.  The pork’s flavor is first and foremost sweet.  Sugar, brown sugar and corn syrup feature early in the ingredients and you can taste it in every bite.  While sweet as can be it’s not at all overpowering.  The sweetness is fantastically paired with the pork and the other flavors, a bit of citrus and wine, enhance the sugary goodness.  It’s meat candy, truly.

Texture (A):  This is a natural cut jerky cut along the grain.  The pieces are moist, tender, and exceptionally easy to bite and chew.  It’s a pleasure to tear off a bite and enjoy eating this jerky.  It feels great.

Smell (B+):  You can smell the brown sugary sweetness most prominently with this jerky.  It’s an enjoyably sweet scent that clearly conveys much of the jerky’s flavor.  You can make out hints of the other seasonings, but just hints, and it all comes together really nicely.

Appearance (A):   Presented within the bag in a small plastic tray, you get a sense that you’re being offered jerky that’s worth a little extra attention.  With a reddish, light-brown color and a glistening sheen from the sugary glaze, this jerky looks every bit the sweet treat that it is.  The pieces are mostly large and of a moderate thickness and are naturally cut with mostly irregular edges.  It’s a fantastic presentation and an even better looking meat.

Consistency (B+):   The Golden Island folks have done some things exceptionally well with this jerky.  First, the moisture of this jerky is exceptional.  From bite to bite, beginning to end, every bit of this jerky was the model of tenderness.  It’s impressive, to say the least, and shows great care and attention was invested in this meaty goodness.  The flavor, too, held throughout the bag.  The sweetness, with just those hints of sour, was a persistent treat.  The only chink in their otherwise spotless armor is the gristle… and there was just too much of it.  To be clear, it only effected maybe a fifth of the pieces in our bag and often not just a little spot of fat but rather a largish blob of unappetizing crud.  We know that this is a normal part of the meat, but they clearly cut out the fatty bits in most of the pieces in the bag leaving the impression that some of the pieces just made it through without remediation.  It’s not a critical flaw, surely, but it took away from their otherwise flawless emphasis on quality.

Overall Impression (B+):   Yes, you want some.  This outstandingly made and genuinely tasty pork jerky is the meat candy you’ve been craving.  It’s sweetness is almost over the top and the amazing tenderness of every piece will delight your mouth again and again.  If you spy some of Golden Islands delicious Grilled Barbecue Pork Jerky at a store near you, you know you’ll do right to pick some up and partake of it’s tasty goodness.  Eat up and enjoy!

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