Hello my hungry friends!
We’re sinking our teeth into Kirkland Premium Beef Steak Strips, purchased at my local Costco.
Costco carries a small, relatively small assortment of jerky, but I’ve not seen many examples under their Kirkland brand. Their house brand is typically high-quality and a good value for the money. How does this one stack up? Let’s see what you get with this one:
Taste (C+): This jerky’s flavor is pretty good and comes really close to being something interesting… but it isn’t. This is a bit frustrating because it seems like all the elements for delicious are there, but they don’t manage to combine to exceed the sum of their parts. The packaging is correct though in describing this jerky as having a “complex flavor”; you do get a good taste of the garlic, onion and brown sugar (the ingredients even include Peach Puree Concentrate!) and their interplay is definitely something worth some attention as you go. So, for that, it’s all kind of fun. While the flavor doesn’t excel, it is certainly not bad by any stretch and this is not something you’ll turn you nose up at. Still, I wish it all came together a bit better.
Texture (C+): The chew of this jerky is pretty nice most of the time. The steak strips are generally of a good size and thickness and are enjoyably tender. You definitely feel like you’re eating real quality strips of steak here. It goes over well and is one of the best aspects of this jerky. One detractor though is the amount of connective tissue in the jerky. It seems (unscientifically) that fully a third of the pieces had some sort of tough, hard-to chew bit that really took away from the rest of the bite, occasionally tough enough to make the bites difficult (or impractical) to eat. This was true for pieces large and small and diminished overall appeal. Clearly this stuff is part of making jerky, but it was conspicuous here.
Smell (C+): The smell, like the taste, is almost something special. Yet, it isn’t. You smell the brown sugar, the fruit, the spices, all sorts of good stuff but it somehow just doesn’t come together in quite the right way. Its pleasant enough, but really comes across as unremarkable.
Appearance (A-): This stuff looks great! The dark brown color, accented with bits of pepper and other seasonings, show clear attention to quality. These look every bit the top round steak they are.
Consistency (C): While there is clearly an investment in quality meat and careful preparation, the variability from bite to bite makes it hard to get enthusiastic about this jerky. Some of the bites were fantastic – tender and well-seasoned throughout. Others were too sweet or savory. Others were tough and difficult to chew. Again, this is a bit frustrating because the overall impression had great potential but suffered from execution.
Overall Impression (C+): This jerky is pretty good, but just pretty good. It’s clearly a quality product but simply not all that remarkable. This will certainly do the trick if you’re looking for a snack of convenience on your next Costco run, but otherwise you will probably want to focus your jerky dollars elsewhere.