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.

13 comments to “Review: Sugar River Original Beef & Pork Sticks Ends and Pieces (C+)”
  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 ( You might try giving their customer service line a call with your question. I’d be interested in hearing what you find out.


  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!


  8. The shelf life of Jerky depends greatly on the way it’s made. Homemade Jerky, made without commercial preservatives, will often last up to a few months in the fridge when properly stored in an airtight container. Store bought Jerky will often last for 1-2 years when stored at normal room temperatures and away from the light. As always with store bought jerky take a look at the best by date on the package.

  9. Found at local Menards.
    For 2lbs of meat product for $9.99 per bag, I figured I’d give them a try.

    Glad I did. Both original and teriyaki flavors were excellent tasting.

    NOTE: These are COLD processed and due to that way of processing they ARE GREASY!
    But this does not affect the taste.
    You should refrigerate after opening.

    I suggest that you layout several paper towel sheets on the counter then wipe off any extra grease.
    Then place the De-greased bits and pieces inside a ziplock bag, in the fridge.

    Everyone who tasted them has liked them. The house pets, a cat and a dog just love them.
    Needless to say, they don’t last long around here.

    I noticed on the store display that some bags appeared vacuum-sealed and others did not.
    The color was slightly different on the ones that were not vacuum-sealed.
    For optimal taste and longevity, make sure your bags arrive vacuum-sealed.

    That is probably why anyone getting sick did so. They got a bag that someone had broken the vacuum seal upon. Then the beef started to spoil.
    A GOOD bag should appear to be VACUUM-SEALED.

    I have a standing order to get these when supplies run low. The household dog Willingly goes into his sleeping crate when I break out a few of these and walk him into his crate.

  10. Man i just had some these are super great as i got the extra hot which is just mild to me just right as i eat supper hot spicy foods. I got these at Menards i got all nine bags that was on the shelves. I never tried them before as they are hot so i got them all. I am glad i di and not looking for more.

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