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We’re tearing into a bag of Texas Best Smokehouse Venison Jerky picked up at their store in Italy, Texas.

Texas Best Venison Jerky

Texas Best Smokehouse Venison Jerky

Being a fan of Texas Best Smokehouse’s delicious meats, it was a no-brainer to swing by on a recent road trip to central Texas to stock up.  This particular bit of tastiness is one of many different meats available in their store.  Along side the bison, elk, and good ol’ beef, the venison was a particularly tempting option.  So, does the deer hold its own among the other available meats?  Here’s what you get with this one:

Taste (A-):  This meat starts out with a slight sweetness followed by a nice peppery tang.  The venison flavor is mild and savory and the garlic and other seasonings are perfectly balanced to enhance but not overwhelm it.  The pepper builds over time, bringing a bit of heat as you work through the bag, but never too much.  It’s a tremendously enjoyable flavor, with the sweet and savory in terrific harmony, and delicious through and through.

Texture (A):  The meat itself is quite dry.  While a little pliable, with only a bit of flexing and you’ll begin to tear off pieces.   Since it’s cut along the grain tearing the meat is easy, and while it starts off pretty dry it moistens up quickly in your mouth and delivers a really great chew.   The pieces are relatively thin, but still substantial, and you can feel the leanness of this meat it in every morsel.

Smell (A):  This jerky has a low-key scent, primarily that of the meat itself with a bit of support from the garlic and pepper.  The venison smells fantastic, too – solidly meaty – with the seasonings just teasing your nose a bit around the edges.  It sets you up nicely for that first bite, foretelling the taste to come.

Appearance (A):  With natural cut pieces, mostly in substantially sized strips, this jerky looks very appetizing.  It has an almost dull sheen, with spots of shininess here and there, and a dark brown color with red highlights peeking through the depths along the with-the-grain cuts.  This is a fine-looking jerky.

Consistency (B+):  This is an expert-made jerky by people who clearly love what they do.  The pieces, while natural cut, were uniformly thick.  The meat was consistently dry and slightly pliable through and through, too.  In only one way, this particular bag was a touch less consistent than we’ve seen from other Texas Best Smokehouse wares – the flavor.  While every piece was delicious, some of the pieces seems to lack some of the sweetness of the rest.  It didn’t seem to be the normal variation of the meat itself but rather a subtle difference in the intensity of the flavorings.  To be clear, it was ALL really, really good, and didn’t detract from the enjoyment of the meat at all, but the difference was a noticeable one none the less.  Even with that, the Texas Best Smokehouse folks make some awesome jerky and this venison is another great example of their skill.

Overall Impression (A-):  One word:  Delicious!  This is an incredibly great jerky.  The venison flavor is frame perfectly by the seasonings of the jerky and the pieces themselves are a joy to eat.  They look as good as they taste and you’ll enjoy the bag from beginning to end.  This jerky is a definite winner.  Grab a bag and we’re sure you’ll agree this is some seriously tasty jerky.  Eat well!



Today we’re tearing into a bag of Texas Best Smokehouse Beef Stix purchased at their outstanding store in Italy, Texas.

Texas Best Smokehouse Beef Stix

Texas Best Smokehouse Beef Stix

No stranger to this veritable shrine to dried meats, the Beef Stix are just one of many tasty treats arrayed to tempt the visitor.  Unlike sausage-style sticks, these “Stix” are strips of regular beef so the temptation to see how they stack up to the veritable cornucopia of other meats offered at the smokehouse was simply too great to refuse.  Just how tasty are these narrow strip of beefy goodness?  Let’s see what you get with this one:

Taste (A):  Straight up, this jerky’s taste is fantastic!  Foremost you taste a solidly delivered black pepper kick.  It’s strong, and enjoyably so, and pairs up with the beef itself in an outstanding fashion.  There’s also a pronounced garlic flavor accompanied by a low-key brown sugar sweetness that seem to chime in with the pepper in a way that takes the whole well beyond the sum of the parts.  It’s an outstandingly tasty and yet deceptively simple flavor.

Texture (A):  While this natural-style jerky is only slightly moist it is quite pliable and easy to tear.  The bites start of slowly requiring a bit of effort to really dig into the beef, but it quickly softens up to really let the flavor out.  The pieces are cut along the grain and can be torn by hand easily enough.  The feel of this jerky in your mouth though is really something special.  It’s substantial and tough while also quickly soft and tender.  You get the whole gamut of feels from this jerky and it’s just really fun to eat.

Smell (B):  This jerky projects a relatively low-key scent, primarily conveying garlic and hints of black pepper.  It’s dry enough that there’s just not a lot of scent going on there, but what you do smell is still pretty pleasing, all told.

Appearance (A):  This jerky is natural-cut along the grain into long strips, or “Stix”.  These Stix are several inches long and generally around a half-inch wide.  Cut relatively thin, the meat has a dark reddish-brown hue and very, very slight sheen.  The meat itself looks to be of excellent quality and is really eye-candy in its own right.  Simply stated, the folks at Texas Best Smokehouse make a find looking jerky.

Consistency (A+):  These sticks are clearly the work of folks with deep expertise and zealous attention to detail.  The moisture of each piece was indistinguishable from one another, always maintaining that exceptional dry yet pliable feel.  The taste, similarly, was fantastically good from the first bite to the last with the pepper and garlicky sweetness steady throughout.   This jerky is simply outstandingly made and is a real testament to the skill of the folks at Texas Best Smokehouse.

Overall Impression (A):  This is an exceptionally good jerky.  The flavor is delicious, it feels like joy in your mouth, and you have real sense of the quality and care that went into making it with every bite.  This is the good stuff and if you’re a fan of peppery jerky this one will doubtless be a quick favorite.  If you make your way into the Texas Best Smokehouse you can rest assured that selecting their Beef Stix is a choice you’ll definitely feel good about on your way out of the store.  Swing on by Italy and grab yourself a bag of this awesome jerky and you’ll be in for quite a treat.  Eat well!



Today we’re having a bag of Texas Best Smokehouse Sweet Honey Beef Jerky purchased in their store in Italy, Texas.

Texas Best Smokehouse Sweet Honey Beef Jerky

Texas Best Smokehouse Sweet Honey Beef Jerky

The folks at Texas Best Smokehouse make a veritable cornucopia of meaty treats including an impressive array of jerky.   Their Honey Bison Jerky was a clear favorite, so how does its beef counterpart stack up?  Let’s see what you get with this one:

Taste (B+):  This is some tasty jerky.  While the name would suggest a predominantly sweet flavor, this jerky starts its work in your mouth with a kick of soy sauce and pepper.  It’s a bit punchy. After a bit you register the taste of some quality, lean beef and the brown sugar sweetness that accompanies it.  The balance isn’t what you’d expect, but it is very tasty.

Texture (A):  The jerky is lean and moist,  but still slightly tough.  You’ll work a bit to tear off a bite but it chews easily and feels great.

Smell (B+):   With a relatively low-key aroma, the scent of beef is intricately accompanied by a slightly peppery smell and combination of soy and brown sugar.  It blends together pretty well and is generally enjoyable.

Appearance (A):  This jerky is an exceptionally dark brown with only a slight redness and a distinctive sugary sheen.  The pieces are cut along the grain and while a few of them are little more than a couple bites most are fairly substantial.  It’s also distinctive that none of the pieces show any discernible straight edge cuts, really enhancing the natural look of this visually fantastic jerky.

Consistency (A):  The folks at Texas Best Smokehouse didn’t leave anything to chance with this one.  Every single bite was thoroughly tasty.  The peppery kick and low-key sweetness are exacting throughout and the thickness was uniform without seeming mechanically so.  It’s expertly well made stuff.

Overall Impression (A-):  This jerky is a quality, tasty treat.  The sweet beef flavor is good stuff, but the peppery kick is what you’ll remember.  It’s a lean, delicious, expertly made jerky that’ll delight your mouth and leave you wanting more.  Again it’s worth going out of your way to visit Texas Best Smokehouse to pick up a few bags of this delicious jerky of your own.  Eat well!



For today’s tasty adventure we’re taking a bite out of some Texas Gourmet Regular Beef Sticks purchased at a local gun show.

Texas Gourmet Regular Beef Sticks

Texas Gourmet Regular Beef Sticks

Texas Gourmet, based out of Arlington, Texas, makes a small assortment of beef jerky and beef sticks with a focus on ol’ fashioned quality and tasty goodness.  We sampled a few of their meats at the show and knew right away there was a review to be done.  So, does this jerky deliver a tasty Texan treat?  Let’s see what you get with this one:

Taste (A-):  This is a tasty, tasty sausage that starts with a smoky and salty flavor with a pepper kick and strong onion and garlic flavors.  The smokey and savory are present in just the right balance and they blend exceptionally well.  There’s a bit of a tang, probably from some citric acid, that opens it all up a bit and rounds out the flavor nicely.  While the flavor is full and delicious it still manages not to be at all overbearing.  This just tastes great.

Texture (A):  Taking a bite of this sausage is such a treat.  The casing is thin but substantial and the sausage filling is tightly packed.  The meat itself is only slightly moist and, while still pliable, makes an enjoyably rigid and solid treat.

Smell (B+):  You get a good whiff of hickory smoke, onion, and garlic from these beef sticks.  It smells nice, mellow, and tasty.  The aroma isn’t particularly pronounced but is definitely a good compliment to the taste of these sticks.

Appearance (A):  What a great looking beef stick!  These sausages have a deep red color with dark brown highlights and the thin mottled casing gives you a glimpse at the course-ground pepper mixed into the beef.  All told they look quite delicious.

Consistency (A+):  There is clearly huge emphasis on making these quality beef sticks.  First, the flavor is dead-on consistent throughout the entire package.  From the first bite to the last they taste fantastic.  Similarly, the moisture of each stick is predictably great and the density of the sausage itself is reliably just-right.  This is more than just a well-made food, it seems made with pride.

Overall Impression (A-):  What a treat!  These are great beef sticks and the folks at Texas Gourmet can rightfully be proud of the excellent treat they’ve made.  They taste great and are a joy to eat.  If you’re perusing the tables at a DFW-area gun show and spy the Texas Gourmet booth we encourage you to make a b-line for their delicious wares.  Buy some.  Eat it.  Enjoy it!

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