LTR - Bridgford Sweet Baby Ray jerky - Ray Estrella
- Hi Kathy,
Here is the LTR for the jerky. The HTML may be found here:
I have been eating my way through the 12 packages of Sweet Baby Ray's beef jerky all fall and winter.
The first of two backpacking trips this fall saw me at the canoeist primitive campsite on the Red River outside Hendrum, Minnesota as it had been raining for the previous 2-1/2 days and I wanted to put a tent through some weather torture. Well besides being a muddy mess it did not rain at all until the morning when I had to pack up. Thank you Mother Nature. The low that night was 40 F (4 C.
For my last trip of the fall I went out to my friend's property north of Halstad, Minnesota. While I normally like to stay in the woods it was just too mucky (my shoes weighed a ton!) so I ended up by the Red River on some flattened prairie grass. I went chasing weather again because the forecast was rain, turning to snow and low temps. It did hit a low of 26 F (-3 C). It was raining as I headed out but stopped before I made camp. There was intermittent rain all night, but it did not turn to snow as the precip stopped before the temps dropped.
Once the ground froze and winter set in I fired the hiking back up again taking seven backpacking trips. Five were on the Red River either on the Halstad property or north of town, one was on the North Country Trail by the Anoway River in Chippewa National Forest and the last on the North Country Trail in Paul Bunyan State Forest. These trips were cold with lows averaging around 0 F (18 C). The trip on the Anoway River saw -22 F (-30 C). The picture below is from that trip. One bag of the jerky is on the table and another is in the back of the Grub Sack.
I also took it for lunches on a few day hikes, all around my area of Moorhead Minnesota.
I have liked beef jerky my entire life. Well since I can remember my dad giving my first taste when I was about seven at least. I buy a lot of it from stores and custom meat shops and even make my own. Both flavors of the Sweet Baby Ray's beef jerky are very good.
The Sweet Baby Ray's Original has a sweet smoky taste that I like better than Bridgford's original beef jerky. In fact it is as good or better than most jerky I have ever tried, including custom jerky.
But the Sweet Baby Ray's Honey Chipotle is hands down the best jerky I have ever while hiking my daughter, who is as big a fan of jerky as I am, asked if we had any jerky to snack on. While I had a couple packages of another brand I asked her if she wanted to try the Sweet Baby Ray's and asked her to pick a flavor. She chose the Honey Chipotle and too was blown away by it. We polished off the entire pack while watching a movie and she decided that it is now her favorite flavor. We were happy to see that the Walmart in our town just started carrying it so we can get more now that this test is over.
All of the jerky has been moist and easy to chew with the exception of one package. It was the Honey Chipotle flavor and there were three pieces in the package that were as hard as old leather. And the weird thing was they tasted like regular flavor, not the spicy Honey Chipotle. But besides that I have found the Sweet Baby Ray's to be exceptionally moist. In fact the amount of moisture (much of it oils I will guess) can be seen in this picture. I rarely took the entire package with me on backpacking trips, preferring to repackage into small Food Saver bags I make up. This is a one ounce (32 g) portion that I pulled out to eat one afternoon while waiting out a rainstorm. I had packaged it the day before leaving on the hike and the vacuum pressure pulled a lot of the moisture out of the jerky. It did not affect the taste as I happily munched away as seen below.
Once the temps dropped I stopped repackaging into Food Saver bags and just used small zip-locking bags.
Because I had so much to eat I also used the jerky to add calories and protein to meatless freeze dried entrees. For this use I would chop the jerky up at home and add it at the same time the hot water goes into the meal. I used the Honey Chipotle for all Mexican meals and the Original for American or Italian meals. It worked very well adding both flavor and texture to the meals. Here is a shot of the jerky being readied for dinner time.
That is about all I can say about this fine jerky. I think that Bridgford has a real winner here and I know that my daughter and I will be buying it in the future. I would like to thank them and BackpackGearTest.org for letting me participate in this flavorful test. I leave with a shot of some jerky in my Grub Sack at another campsite.