Here is my IR on the Sweet baby ray's jerky. Mmmmmmmmm
Thanks in advance for the edits!
---------------------------Bridgford Sweet Baby Ray's Beef Jerky
TEST SERIES BY LARRY KIRSCHNER
INITIAL REPORT - October 7, 2012
NAME: Larry KirschnerEMAIL: asklarry98 at hotmail dot comAGE: 48LOCATION: Columbus, OHGENDER: MHEIGHT: 5' 9" (1.75 m)WEIGHT: 205 lb (92 kg)I've been an intermittent camper/paddler since my teens, but now that my kids are avid Boy Scouts, I've caught the backpacking bug. I typically do 8-10 weekend hikes per year, and have spent time over the past few years backpacking the Philmont Scout Ranch in New Mexico and canoeing the Canadian wilderness. I like to travel "in comfort", but I've shrunk to medium weight, and continue to work toward going lighter and longer. With all of my investment into these ventures, I expect my wife and I will continue to trek long after the kids are gone�
INITIAL REPORT October 7, 2012
PRODUCT INFORMATION & SPECIFICATIONS
Manufacturer: Bridgford FoodsYear of Manufacture: 2012Country of Manufacture: USA Manufacturer's Website: http://www.bridgford.comMSRP:
USD $23.94 for 6 x 3.25 oz/92 g of either flavor. A 'sampler pack' containing 3 x 3.0 oz/85 g of both flavors can also be purchased. for USD $23.94
For this test, I am testing the 3 oz/85 g packs.Measured weight of unopened package: 3.53 oz/100 g (average of 2 packs)Package dimensions: 225 x 173 mm (8.9 x 6.8 in)
Bridgford Sweet Baby Ray's Beef Jerky is a new flavor of beef jerky, one of my favorite protein sources on the trail. I am not going to describe the process for making jerky, but it is basically a preserved and dried form of meat, which can be taken on the trail, as it does not require refrigeration. Sweet Baby Ray's jerky is based on Sweet Baby Ray's (SBR) barbecue sauce, meaning the flavor of this jerky may be different from 'unflavored' jerky. Sweet Baby Ray's jerky comes in two flavors-original recipe and honey chipotle. The nutritional description for the flavors is the same, and is shown below for the Original flavor, as downloaded from the Bridgford website:
I found this information to be slightly misleading, as it indicates a serving size of 1 oz/28 g, with 2.5 servings per container. However, by my calculations, there would 3 x 1 oz/28 g servings in a 3 oz/85 g container, meaning that I am consuming about 270 calories in each package, rather than 225 as suggested above. On the package it indicates 3 x 1 oz servings per pack, so there is clearly a slightly disconnect between the website designers and the packaging people
In terms of the product itself, SBR's comes in a sealed 3 oz/85 g package which has a tear off strip at the top. The package is flexible and I think it would be easily stuffed in a backpack.
There is a small amount of air trapped in the package meaning it would take up a little extra space in my pack, but the package is close to flat. About 1 in/2.5 cm from the top of the package is a resealable zip closure, meaning that if I don't eat the whole package at once, I can seal it up for later. There is also a small silica pack in the bag to keep out excess moisture.
As is typical for beef jerky, the product is composed of small fragments of dried beef. Some of these are 1-2 inches in size, and others are small shredded pieces. The selling point of SBR's jerky is the use of SBR sauce, as the packaging indicates, "The sauce is the boss". This indicates that this jerky should be flavored like barbecue sauce, either regular sauce or a honey-chipotle flavor.
INSTRUCTIONS and WARRANTY
There are only two items worth mentioning. First, the silica packet is NOT to be eaten. Because this is a consumable, it has an optimal shelf life, which is indicated by a "best before" date clearly marked on the back of the package, just to the right of the Bridgford logo in the photo below. For this jerky received in September 2012, the product is best by January 2014, suggesting about a 15 month window.
In my experience, beef jerky does not go bad, but it gets stale, so that the product could likely be eaten beyond that date, but may lose some of its flavor and/or texture.
INITIAL IMPRESSIONS and TRYING IT OUT
To get an initial impression for this report, I ate one packet of original flavor for lunch at work, and a packet of honey chipotle for lunch a few days later . I typically eat a fairly light lunch, and one packet was plenty for a good lunch. In fact, after eating a pack of SBR's for lunch around noon, I really didn't feel hungry again until close to 7 pm. Of course, I burn less energy at work than I do on the trail.
The first impression I got when eating the SBR's original recipe occurred as soon as I opened up the pack, when I was hit by the smell of barbecue sauce. This stuff is potent! The texture of this product is essentially the same as other types of beef jerky I have eaten. It is a little chewy, but this is expected. The jerky has a strong barbecue flavor which I liked. It is a little sweet but not spicy. I liked it both the first time I ate it, and then later when it repeated on me (which is fairly typical for me when I eat beef jerky). After eating, my fingers felt like they had a light coating of sauce, so I had to wash them before getting back to work. On the trail, I might just lick them clean.
I didn't eat the honey chipotle flavor until a few days later, but my impression was similar. This also has a very potent but delicious smell. I didn't notice a huge difference in flavor, although maybe if I had done a side-by-side test I would be able to tell. My impression is that this sauce is a little more spicy, but not a lot. In any event, I liked the taste of this flavor as well.
EXPECTATIONS for the Delta Series kitchen items:
After sampling this product at work, I'm expecting to enjoy it quite a bit on the trail. I really like the barbeque flavor. I also like the fact that eating the jerky gave me a sustained feeling of fullness, so I expect that eating the jerky will give me a lot of energy for backpacking.
THE STORY SO FAR
ImpressiveExcellent flavorRe-closable packagingSustained feeling of fullnessConcernsIs the smell so potent it will attract animals (e.g. bears?)This concludes my Iniital Report on Bridgford's Sweet Baby Ray's Beef Jerky. Please check back in about a few months to see how this food did on the trail!
Thanks to Bridgford Foods for providing this tasty trail food for testing, and to BackpackGearTest.org for giving me the chance to participate in the evaluation process.
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