Wednesday, August 31, 2016

People's Choice Beef Jerky Box Subscription Review

People's Choice has been making jerky for 85 years! Starting in Los Angeles in 1929, People's Choice supplied meat to the neighborhood and now beef jerky to anyone who likes to sink their teeth into natural style, quality goodness.

Starting with hand-trimmed lean meats, the cuts are then marinated or infused with spices. After being laid out by hand, the meat is cooked and dried to jerky perfection. There are several styles of jerky to choose from which can make decisions difficult. It's nice, though, because whichever texture you're looking for is likely there and the flavors are plentiful.

The Cost: $16.99 and up/month (this review is for the One of Everything box which is $66)

What You Get: Whole cuts of USDA Lean beef, high in protein in your choice of many flavors and styles.

Classic Beef Jerky

The Classics comes in three flavors: Original, Hot & Spicy and Teriyaki. For these, whole cuts of beef are sliced, marinated, and slow-cooked for over two and a half hours at low temperatures to maximize flavor and maintain tenderness of the meat.
They're thin, wide and flat. Almost crunchy at times but still chewy.
Hot & Spicy- Cracked red pepper with a sweet and savory blend.

Original- A medium spice level that features cracked black pepper and mild sweetness with a slight smokiness on the finish.
Teriyaki- A balance of sweet and savory notes with cracked black pepper.

Old Fashioned

This is the jerky made with an updated recipe from the 1920's. Ingredients in the Original and Hot & Spicy are natural and gluten free. I'm offering up a photo of the back of the bag because both bags of the Old Fashioned got eaten before I got a photo. I'd like to blame that all on my husband but I can't. *cough*
Hot & Spicy-  All-natural spice blend of cracked red pepper and sea salt rubbed on the meat and then it's slow roasted for five hours.

Original- The thicker cut and reduced moisture highlights the cracked black pepper and sea salt framing the natural richness of the meat

Carne Seca

These jerkies are my favorite, hands down. Normally I like a jerky that's more moist but with these, the flavor is too good to care about anything else. They're all natural, gluten free and have no additives, preservatives or MSG. Like most of the jerkies I sampled from People's Choice, they're dry but they have a texture I like. Plus the flavor... Yum!
Limon- Cracked black pepper and sea salt marry with the bright tang of lemon juice. This is my second favorite with the Con Chile being number one.
Limon con Chile- Thinly sliced, marinated with lemon juice and an all-natural spice blend with cracked red pepper and guajillo chili powder, this jerky was my startling discovery. I love it. I'm a wimp when it comes to spice and yes, my mouth burns after I eat a piece but the flavors are so delicious!

Tasting Kitchen

Available every few months in a new flavor, these are basically limited edition jerkies. Meaning get them while you can.
Of all the jerkies, these come closest to my preferred texture. They're moist, flavorful and soft. They are sticky but also great tasting and have more "chew" than the other jerkies do. I like that but I did find that it was a little too fatty for me. I'm a texture eater and that fatty squish is killer. My husband has no such qualms and said these were his favorite out of the bunch.
Orange Honey Teriyaki- Whole cuts of beef are sliced, slathered with Teriyaki sauce, orange oil and honey. The thick texture of the marinade gives a nice glaze to the jerky, offering a sticky texture that enhances the flavors.

Sweet Chili Habenero- Marinated in a dry rub of dried habanero peppers, red chili peppers, and cane sugar. Pineapple juice is added to ensure proper coating of the marinade.
Sriracha- This jerky is billed as having a light tanginess, subtle sweetness, and a kick of residual heat. According to my husband he said it didn't taste a whole lot like sriracha but I didn't test to see. No sriracha for me.
Garlic Ginger- A savory blend of ginger, garlic, and sesame. This was very, very good. My next favorite after the Carne Seca.

Beef Sticks

I'm really picky when it comes to sticks. I don't want to eat one with by-product in it. People's Choice is 100% lean beef cuts. The sticks are mixed with spices and cooked to perfection. While I didn't care for the flavor of the Original, the casing had a satisfying crunch and the meat wasn't too soft. Great mouth feel but I passed them off to my husband who enjoyed them.

VERDICT: I don't, by any means, consider myself a beef jerky connoisseur. Between my husband and I, however, all beef jerky disappears rather quickly. I'm fussy about fat, he prefers his to be spicy not sweet. I like thick, chewy jerky, he likes the dry, thin style. My favorite jerky in this bunch is the Carne Seca Limon con Chile. Given that I don't really like spicy foods, it's kind of a surprise, even for me. If you like your jerky on the drier side, this is your smorgasbord. If you're looking for thick, chewy, moist jerky I think Tasting Kitchen style comes closest.

This box is a great way to get a taste of all the jerky People's Choice has to offer. Then you can decide from there exactly what you want. You can customize your own monthly delivery to include only what you want. You can also choose from their lineup and start that way.

If you would like to purchase some People's Choice Jerky or start up a recurring delivery of your own, you can do that here. I recommend the Carne Seca Limon con Chile and the Tasting Kitchen Garlic Ginger.

*This box was sent complimentary for review purposes. All opinions are mine.

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